Carnival-Owned Line Sees Busiest Wave Season in 10 Years

The Carnival cruise brand Cunard Line sees its strongest start to Wave Season in the last decade as bookings increase.

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Cunard reports it’s the busiest Wave Season for the cruise line in the past decade. The British-based cruise line, that’s owned by Carnival, has seen strong booking momentum across 2023 and 2024 sailings, with summer itineraries and Queen Anne’s maiden season proving particularly popular with guests. 

Cunard’s Wave Season promotion runs from January through March 2023, and it’s clear that guests are looking forward to stepping back on board both in the UK and worldwide.

Record-Breaking Bookings 

Cunard’s Wave Season has been a major success for the luxury brand. The Carnival-owned cruise line has seen a significant increase in bookings during the first week of January, surpassing any equivalent period in the last decade. 

This strong booking momentum continues across 2023 and 2024 sailings, with summer itineraries and Queen Anne’s maiden season proving particularly popular among guests.

Queen Anne Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Cunard Line

In a statement, Carnival UK president Sture Myrmell said: “Following two of our strongest booking periods in 2022, we have seen unparalleled bookings during the start of Wave. We’ve increased our marketing investment significantly, including the use of TV advertising for the first time as we reach and appeal to new audiences.

“It’s clear that guests are looking forward to stepping back on board both in the UK and across all our global markets,” Myrmell added.

Cunard’s Wave Season promotion has been effective in attracting cruisers to book their next vacation, and for a good reason. Cunard runs three special promotions that offer guests additional onboard credit of up to $500, $510 to $1000, and more than $1000 on select voyages. 

Voyages, where guests can get more than $1000 on onboard credits, include a 53-night Sydney to Southampton Centenary World Voyage onboard Queen Victoria sailing on March 1. 

Other voyages include a 68-night Sydney to New York cruise onboard Queen Mary 2 and a 23-night transatlantic crossing that sails from New York to Canada, the UK, and ends in Hamburg, Germany. The entire promotion runs across various worldwide itineraries of varying lengths. 

A Busy Wave Season for the Industry 

It’s more than just Cunard that has experienced a busy Wave Season. Other major cruise lines have reported record-breaking bookings as well. 

P&O Cruises reported its biggest-ever booking day during the Wave Season of 2023, with four of its five biggest booking days during the beginning of January. The UK-based cruise line operates two Excel-class cruise ships and offers guests £500 of onboard credit available for select departures through April 1, 2025.

P&O Arvia Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: P&O Cruises / James Robinson for Christopher Ison

AIDA Cruises, another Carnival Corporation brand, is also experiencing the most successful start-of-year booking weeks in its history, with record bookings for 2023 and beyond. 

The cruise line caters to a German audience and has some of the newest ships in the Carnival Corporation, including AIDAnova, the first-ever Excel-class LNG-powered cruise ship, and AIDAcosma, its newest excel-class ship. Both ships are 183,858 gross tons and have a capacity for 5,252 guests at double capacity.

Read Also: What is Wave Season for Cruises and When Is It?

Wave Season is the period of time when cruise lines offer their best deals and promotions to entice travelers to book their next cruise vacation. 

This period typically runs from January to March and is considered the prime booking season for cruises. During this time, cruise lines offer a wide range of discounts, promotions, and incentives to attract travelers to book their next vacation.

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