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Muslim Consumer Behavior at Sea: Unveiling Preferences of Experienced Cruise Vacationers | Muslim-friendly Cruise Report 2024

Mar 2024

The cruise industry is experiencing a wave of new interest from a growing demographic: Muslim travelers. A recent report by Mastercard-CrescentRating, the "Muslim-Friendly Cruise Report 2024," sheds light on the preferences and behaviors of this burgeoning market segment.

The report, based on a survey of over 560 respondents globally, offers valuable insights for cruise lines looking to expand their offerings and cater to Muslim vacationers.

Untapped Potential: A Sea of Future Cruise Prospects

The survey reveals a significant untapped potential within the Muslim travel market. While 27% of respondents have already experienced a cruise vacation, a staggering 91% of those who haven't cruised before expressed strong interest or are considering it for the future. This translates to a vast pool of potential customers waiting to be welcomed aboard.

Family First: Cruising as the Ideal Multigenerational Getaway

The report highlights a key trend among experienced Muslim cruisers: a strong preference for family-oriented travel. A whopping 73% of seasoned Muslim cruise vacationers reported traveling with immediate and extended family. This statistic underlines the appeal of cruises for multigenerational groups. Cruise lines offering diverse activities and amenities catering to all ages can effectively tap into this market.

Booking Trends: Direct Channels Favored Over Third-Party Options

Understanding how Muslim travelers book their cruises is crucial for maximizing reach. Interestingly, the survey reveals a preference for direct booking channels. Nearly half (48%) of experienced Muslim cruisers chose to book directly through the cruise line's website. This suggests a potential need for cruise lines to strengthen their online presence and user experience, ensuring easy access to information and promoting Muslim-friendly packages.

Vacation Length and Budget: Catering to Diverse Preferences

The report delves into the preferred vacation lengths and budgets of Muslim cruisers. When it comes to duration, the survey reveals a balanced preference. Almost half (42%) favor moderate cruises lasting 4-7 nights. This suggests a desire for a getaway that offers relaxation and exploration without an overly long commitment. Shorter cruises of 1-3 nights also appeal to 45% of respondents, indicating a market for quick escapes.

In terms of budget, the findings showcase the affordability and accessibility of cruises for Muslim travelers. A significant portion (32%) allocate less than $500 per person, highlighting the availability of budget-friendly options.  A larger segment (34%) invests between $500 and $1,000 per person, reflecting the mainstream market where value for money is important.  For a smaller group (14%), luxury experiences are a priority, with budgets exceeding $2,000 per person. This spectrum of spending habits underscores the need for cruise lines to design packages that cater to a diverse range of financial considerations.

Conclusion: A Sea Change for the Cruise Industry

The Muslim-Friendly Cruise Report paints a clear picture: Muslim travelers are increasingly drawn to the allure of cruise vacations. By understanding their preferences, from family-oriented travel to budget-conscious options, the cruise industry can unlock a new wave of growth. Tailoring offerings to cater to these evolving needs, from dedicated prayer spaces and halal dining options to user-friendly booking channels, will be key to welcoming Muslim travelers aboard and ensuring they have an enriching and enjoyable experience at sea.

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