Cruise Planners reports bookings are up across its three top destinations — Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean — despite the Omicron variant.

The giant home-based agency network said this shows pent-up demand for travel supersedes headlines inundating the news. Cruise Planners also credited its strong marketing efforts to drive performance, including publication of a 2022 Vacation Planning Guide and direct mail pieces that traditionally have correlated with increased sales activity.

Sales up 35% for last week year over year

‘As we continue to monitor the Omicron variant, we are encouraged that preliminary studies suggest it is less dangerous than the Delta variant and our purchase activity was not negatively impacted by the news,’ said Michelle Fee, founder and CEO of Cruise Planners. ‘In fact, last week’s purchases were up 35% compared to the same week two years ago.’

While Europe cruises continue to be Cruise Planners’ top destination and key driver of sales, both Alaska and the Caribbean have seen increased activity in the past two weeks. Europe cruise purchases are up 26% compared to this same time in 2019, and mark elevated performance in the past six weeks.

Alaska 2022’s hot destination

Cruise Planners called 2022 Alaska cruises ‘the hot destination’ with sales doubled over the same week two years ago.

The Caribbean is making a comeback and, for the first time in many months, outsold European cruises in the past week.

In addition, Cruise Planners reported demand for luxury travel has been solid and clients are continuing to buy world cruise cruises.

The booking window is also lengthening, with one in 10 bookings for 2023 departures. 

Cruise Planners is an American Express Travel Representative with a nationwide network of 2,500 franchise owners.