When you booked your cruise, you imagined your arms stretched wide, the Leo to your Kate at your side, carefree in your “I’m king of the world” moment.
You can definitely still go for it, but maybe don’t plan on stretching your arms too wide?
Cruise lines are overcrowded. And that undersells how much they’re, well, overselling — many ships are reporting 100%+ occupancy levels this summer, per The Wall Street Journal.
Uh, 100%+… how?
Cruises base occupancy rates on the assumption of there being two people per cabin. As passengers take advantage of post-covid discounts and promotions and flock back to ships, cabins are filling up fast, sometimes with three or four people per room.
- Royal Caribbean averaged 102.1% occupancy in Q1 this year.
- Norwegian Cruise Line averaged 101.5% in Q1, and expects a full-year rate of 103.5%.
Off-boat excursions are selling out and getting into premium activities is an ordeal. One passenger told WSJ: “Every time you went out of your room, it felt like you were in a Disneyland line.”
Customers can rebook, but to when? Many 2023 cruises are sold out and demand into 2024 is already strong, according to booking sites.
In fairness, land isn’t any better
Pent-up demand has tourism hot spots everywhere scrambling to keep up.
- South Tyrol, in the Italian Alps, has capped tourist numbers.
- Roads in Japan’s hot spots, like Tokyo and Kyoto, are “rammed” with visitors.
- An overabundance of African safaris has endangered the very animals tourists are there to see.
Sorry, penguins: Even Antarctica isn’t spared from overtourism.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less