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US cruise lines say domestic bookings are up in wake of pandemic, Ukraine war

March 08, 2022
3 min read
US cruise lines say domestic bookings are up in wake of pandemic, Ukraine war
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Demand for domestic cruises is up in recent weeks as a result of the waning COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's attack on Ukraine.

That's good news for small-ship cruise lines able to operate exclusively in U.S. waters.

American Queen Voyages -- which, in addition to ocean and Great Lakes cruises that call mainly on U.S. ports, operates river sailings that only call on U.S. ports -- said it experienced record booking numbers on Feb. 25, 2022, shattering its previous single-day record by 10%. The line also said it has seen a marked increase in travel agent inquiries about its sailings.

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"The resounding feedback from guests and our travel advisor partners over the past two weeks is that people want to cruise now, without complications and uncertainty, and our experience checks those boxes," American Queen Voyages Chief Operating Officer Shawn Bierdz said in a statement.

In response to the demand -- and to coincide with its 10th anniversary -- the line has added more voyages, including four new Lower Mississippi sailings in June.

A representative from the line indicated that the recent uptick is due to uncertainty in Europe, as cruise lines have canceled calls on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

American Cruise Lines -- which offers U.S.-only river and Alaska cruises -- has seen a similar trend and says travel always remains a priority for people, even during uncertain times.

"American Cruise Lines has seen an uptick in bookings and interest as COVID-19 cases have ebbed," American Cruise Lines President and CEO Charles B. Robertson told The Points Guy. "Demand for domestic travel has remained strong over the past week. American Cruise Lines has specialized in domestic cruising for over 30 years and we have repeatedly seen interest remain strong through periods of global uncertainty."

At the beginning of the pandemic, when the cruise industry was shuttered, domestic travel, such as road tripping and camping, was on the rise. Now that cruising has restarted, many travelers are eager to be back on the water while sticking closer to home, even as the number of COVID-19 cases decreases and vaccination rates climb.

Meanwhile, Pride of America -- Norwegian Cruise Line's Hawaii-based vessel and the only mainstream cruise ship able to sail exclusively in U.S. waters -- has delayed its restart until April 9, 2022, according to an update on United Cruises' website.

Featured image by Sean McVeigh
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases