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Muslim Cruising Sets Sail: Analyzing Preferred Activities and Payment Methods for a Flourishing Market | Muslim-friendly Cruise Report 2024

Mar 2024

The Muslim travel market is experiencing a surge, with the Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim-Friendly Cruise Report 2024 revealing a growing appetite for seafaring adventures. This report, released in February 2024, offers valuable insights for cruise lines looking to cater to this expanding demographic.

Balancing Exploration with Relaxation

The survey sheds light on the activities that resonate most with Muslim cruisers. Unsurprisingly, immersing themselves in local cultures and attractions takes the top spot (82%). This highlights a desire for experiences that go beyond the ship, with culturally rich shore excursions and port tours becoming increasingly crucial aspects of cruise itineraries.

However, the report also reveals a strong emphasis on relaxation and self-care, with 74% of respondents prioritizing spa and wellness facilities. Cruise lines can cater to this preference by offering high-quality spa treatments and creating a serene onboard environment.

The desire for entertainment is also evident, with over half (58%) expressing an interest in live shows and performances. This suggests that a diverse lineup of entertainment options, from musical acts to cultural performances, can significantly enhance the onboard experience for Muslim travelers.

Adventure seekers are not forgotten either. Nearly the same percentage (58%) showed interest in water sports and recreational activities. Cruise lines can capitalize on this by offering excursions that leverage the maritime setting, such as snorkeling, kayaking, or jet skiing.

Maintaining fitness routines also appears to be a priority for Muslim travelers, with almost half (49%) seeking access to onboard fitness facilities and classes. Offering yoga sessions, aerobics classes, and well-equipped gyms can cater to this segment.

The report underscores the importance of cruise lines striking a balance between cultural immersion, relaxation, and entertainment to satisfy the varied expectations of Muslim passengers.

Seamless Transactions: A Digital Focus with Traditional Options

In today's digital age, convenient and secure payment methods are paramount for a smooth travel experience. This is especially true for cruises, where onboard purchases and activity bookings are frequent. The survey provides valuable data on how Muslim travelers prefer to pay, highlighting their comfort levels with technology and desire for hassle-free transactions.

Debit and credit cards remain the dominant payment method, with 85% of respondents favoring them. This is unsurprising given their widespread acceptance and security features.

However, the growing popularity of contactless payments (35%) signifies a shift towards quick and easy transactions, particularly relevant in the fast-paced environment of a cruise ship.

While digital payments are on the rise, a significant portion (26%) still prefers cash. This necessitates continued acceptance of cash onboard to cater to those who are more comfortable with traditional methods or have concerns about digital security.

The survey also reveals a growing openness to newer payment methods like e-wallets (19%), QR code payments (19%), and mobile payments (17%). This trend can be attributed to the increasing ease of use, the ability to track spending, and widespread smartphone use among travelers.

The diverse payment preferences among Muslim cruisers emphasize the need for cruise lines to adopt a flexible approach. By offering a variety of payment options, from traditional cash to the latest digital methods, cruise lines can ensure a seamless financial experience for their Muslim passengers, aligning with the ongoing digital transformation of the travel and tourism industry.


This report by Mastercard-CrescentRating paints a promising picture of the future of Muslim cruising. By understanding the preferences and needs of this growing market segment, cruise lines can create a more inclusive and enjoyable experience for Muslim travelers, allowing them to explore the world while staying true to their faith and lifestyle.

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