Safety concerns are preventing more than a third of American cruise ship passengers from ever getting off to visit ports of call, a new survey reveals.
A total of 34.3% prefer to stay on board the entire or majority of the time.
Safety concerns with the destination was the main reason cited for not wanting to disembark at the ports of call (36.2%).
This was followed by disinterest in the destination (17.7%), fear of not getting back to the ship on time (16.8%), inclusive food/drinks on the ship (9.4%), not having pre-booked a shore activity (8.3%), having visited the destination previously (6.8%) and lack of internet/mobile connectivity (4.8%).
The findings come from a poll of more than 1,500 US consumers by travel insurance firm Allianz Global Assistance
A quarter (25.5%) of Americans indicated they would be more interested in taking a cruise if it was themed – such as a music, food or pop culture cruise.
The majority of respondents (73.9%) preferred the attributes of a river cruise to ocean cruising (26.1%) citing reasons such as scenic view/ability to see the shore line (22.4%), shore excursions included in the price (13.5%), lack of waves (12.3%), easier to disembark/being on land every day (12.2%), smaller ships (7.6%) and more socialising opportunities (6%).
Adventure and expedition cruising is gaining popularity with an almost even split of respondents interested in taking the exploration route (48.9%) versus a sunshine cruise (51.1%).
Allianz Global Assistance USA spokesman, Daniel Durazo, said: “A big misconception we found in our survey was that many Americans (59.2%) believe their cruise line would be equipped to handle serious medical emergencies, when in actuality, cruise lines often require passengers to be transported to the closest medical facility for treatment.
“Often local medical facilities may not be equipped to handle major medical problems and some cruisers may need to be evacuated by air ambulance to the US for treatment.”