Cruises continue to be one of the most mysterious and complicated travel niches. Meanwhile, the cruise market is growing everyday, and in this article, we’ll talk about boutique cruises. Who is the target audience, how such cruises are different from cruise liners, and how to sell them in the most efficient way.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), in 2018, 28.5 M passengers took cruises, which is 7% higher than in 2017, even though the overall growth of the tourist industry was only 6%. Mediterranean cruises had an 8% increase in popularity through 2017-2018, and the Caribbean cruises grew by 6% (in 2018, the number of passengers exploring the Caribbean sea was 11.3 M). More and more people prefer traveling up to seven days rather than longer trips.
What are boutique cruises
Boutique cruises are organized on mid to small sized sailboats, which can house up to 300 passengers. Despite their small size, yachts have all the necessary equipment and resemble cozy hotels.
Advantages of boutique cruises in comparison to cruise liners
- Small number of passengers. A liner can host from two to six thousand travelers. On the flipside, with a boutique cruise, you can choose a small boat for eight people only. Some passengers want to go on a trip with their friends and family, or they simply don’t like when there are too many people around.
- Less time at sea and more interesting stops on the way. A giant liner normally sails for two to three days without stopping, while a yacht stops every day in a new place and sails only for five to six hours in a row. Thanks to that, you can see many more things during the trip and enjoy both the nature and sights.
- Liners can only stop in big ports usually situated outside of a town. Yachts, on the other side, dock in areas close to the city center and walking areas, so that travelers can have enough time to explore a new city.
- Cruises on a liner imply activities only aboard the vessel, while on a yacht, you’ll be closer to nature: Swimming, diving, jet skis and other pastimes.
- Boutique cruises have a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere. There are thematic cruises as well. Yoga, diving, fishing, surfing, walking, cycling and other themed activities during the stops. Also, you can take any excursion around the next town, massage, live music, quad bikes, culinary workshops, aquatic sports and more.
HopaYacht affiliate program
Join the HopaYacht affiliate program and get 50% of the advertiser’s revenue on each booking.
Hopayacht.com is a boutique cruise booking platform that partners with Global Yacht Rentals, a world-leading boutique cruise and yacht charter information provider. The HopaYacht website is translated into five languages.
Cruise types and the target audience
1. Cabin Charter: Booking one or more “rooms” on a yacht.
It is a good option for one to four people, and is especially popular with guests 30+ years old. The average booking is 1,500 euro per person.
- HOPABY — North Dodecanese, Greece
- Dream 60 — Maldives
- ALISA, Croatia
- M/S Arca, Croatia
- MS Galileo, Greece
- SV Sea Pearl, Seychelles
2. Crewed private yacht: Perfect for a family or a group of friends.
The target audience is mostly people 45+ years old. Quite often, these cruises are booked for celebrating a 30/40/50 year birthday. Also, this option is popular for corporate parties. Normally, yachts for such cruises include two to eight cabins. The average booking is 1,000+ euro per person.
- Dalmatian Islands — Dubrovnik-Split — 7N — Adriatic Pearl, Croatia
- Dubrovnik — Split — 9N — Angelica, Croatia
- Athens — Athens, 7N, Matina, Greece
- Athens — Athens — 7N, Greece
3. Bareboat: Sailing without a captain.
This experience suits sailing enthusiasts with a skipper license or travelers who want to go with their own itinerary. The average booking is 200 to 1,000 euro per person.
With HopaYacht, travelers book “rooms” and entire yachts equally often. Clients are happy with the services provided and their traveling in general, and 50% of them come back, but not necessarily every year in a row.
Affiliate tools and content
According to HopaYacht, their service is popular with clients from Europe, United States, Australia, and Russia. The world statistics on cruises reports that 50% of travelers come from the United States and Canada. But their popularity is growing everywhere in the world. This niche is promising, so consider introducing your readers to the world of cruises, because they might not have even thought about such trips.
HopaYacht affiliate tools only include links and banners for now, so it’s better to focus on producing video content and articles.
What to talk about
1. What are boutique cruises? You’ll need a lot of information to introduce this new recreational option:
- What do yachts and rooms look like?
- What is the price of a cruise and what is included in the price?
- What do you need while on a cruise and what clothes should you take?
- What do you need to know about the life on a yacht?
- Can you get seasick?
- How does a cruise work? Where to go first and how to get onboard if you’ve purchased cruise tickets online.
- Are there any activities to enjoy on a yacht?
- Is it better to book a room or gather a group of people and book an entire yacht? How big should a yacht be for a comfortable travel and when it is better to buy only a few rooms?
2. Information on popular destinations. Once you’ve answered the basic questions, people will start asking about the details:
- How much time will a yacht stay in the sea and in a port?
- What ports will it stop at?
- What sights are available to visit during the stop?
- What to do if you are late for a cruise.
- Whether the cruise includes city tours or it is better to buy them in advance.
- How to get to the boarding point.
3. Finally, you can talk about the possible complaints for cruises:
- Traveling on a yacht is not as expensive as it might seem. Even if a holiday package or an independent trip to Europe are cheaper, the experiences cannot be compared. In addition, not everyone is after a cheap price, many people want to try something new and unusual, so the price is not a key element.
- It is possible to go with your children. How to prepare for a trip, what to take on a boat and how much will it cost.
- How to get a skipper license and go on your first trip. Meanwhile, enjoy a cruise with your friends to find out more about yachts in general and explore itineraries.