Travelers Responding to "Affordable Luxury" Cruise Deals in 2011 Need Stronger Insurance to Match Their Higher Level of Trip Investment

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Promotional discounts make luxury cruising more affordable in 2011. Economic recovery is steady, but not robust. Lines must keep cruise fares attractive as airfares keep rising. Premium and river cruises are squeezing the luxury market. Cruise lines have rerouted some Mediterranean itineraries due to Mideast unrest. But Travel Insured International® reminds cruisers to strengthen trip insurance when buying up to luxury.

Buying up to a luxury cruise means more travel investment to protect.

The year 2011, with economic recovery progressing at a slow jog dragged by fuel inflation, shapes up as a year of "affordable luxury" in cruise vacations, according to several cruise line marketers. A survey on luxury and river cruising released by the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) in the second half of 2010 found 79% of CLIA travel agents say luxury cruise clients are now "somewhat or much more motivated" by a cruise discount deal to book. Additionally, 85% of agents say river cruise clients, now a subset of the luxury market, are much more motivated by discounts to purchase. The CLIA report said "consumer incentives and promotions have made luxury cruising more affordable."

Cruise line executives, commenting to the McClatchy News Service in a February 2011 syndicated article ["Luxury Cruise Lines Sailing Smoothly Again"], said they continue to see plentiful discounting and "affordable luxury" in this year's market. Executives at luxury lines Seabourn and Silversea both said they are offering savings of up to 65% off brochure prices. "Luxury has never been more accessible," Seabourn president Richard Meadows told McClatchy's reporter. And Regent Seven Seas president Mark Conroy said his line, in lieu of discounting, is including free shore excursions valued up to $200 each.

Luxury cruise companies are squeezed at one end by river cruise lines, who are introducing eight of the 14 new cruise industry ships to the U.S. market this year. The river ships, at 250 passengers or less each, appeal to luxury travelers seeking small ships at lower premium fares than larger luxury ocean vessels. At sea, however, premium cruise lines such as Oceania, Celebrity and Holland America, are also squeezing the luxury lines with more luxury-type amenities on their larger ships, described by some as "luxury lite" because of their less-expensive premium prices than the luxury lines.

Strong Insurance for Buying Up to Luxury

Travel Insured International®, the travel industry's leading privately-owned insurer, reminds travelers that when they buy up to luxury cruising, whether for a special celebration trip, a dream vacation long saved for, or an impulse purchase for a deal too good to miss, they have more travel investment to protect than a mid-market or budget travel purchase. A minimum recommendation is a comprehensive Worldwide Trip Protector or Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plan for the broadest coverage available in a trip insurance plan. Both plans include up to full reimbursement of the prepaid, non-refundable trip cost for a covered Trip Cancellation, and up to 150% of prepaid non-refundable trip cost for a covered Trip Interruption. Both include a job termination or a layoff of the insured or his or her travel partner as a covered reason for Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption subject to one year of continuous employment at the place where the job was lost. Missed Connection, when a three-hour common carrier delay causes the insured to miss their luxury cruise departure, or an unforeseen itinerary change causes loss of a prepaid shore activity, is included. So are Trip Delay, Emergency Medical Expense and Emergency Medevac, Baggage Loss or Delay, and Travel Accident coverage. Airline Accident insurance and Rental Car Collision coverage are included in the Gold plan and are both options in the regular Worldwide Trip Protector.

Optional Coverage and Emergency Assistance

Whether a luxury trip has been planned as a special occasion or bought on an impulse, the purchase of stronger optional coverage can pinpoint the plan to your biggest personal risks to the cruise vacation. Cancel for Work Reasons, Sports Coverage, a Medical upgrade to higher limits, Airline Accident coverage and even Cancel for Any Reason are all available upgrades in the Travel Insured comprehensive plans. Additionally, the plans come with Worldwide Emergency Assistance features. Both plans include Medical Assistance, ID Theft Assistance and 24-Hour Concierge Assistance while you are traveling, while Political Evacuation and Business Concierge services are included with Worldwide Trip Protector Gold and added with a Medical Upgrade in the Worldwide Trip Protector.

A luxury cruise is the trip of a lifetime and travelers should take advantage of affordable luxury travel in 2011 that may be out of their budget once full economic recovery takes hold in the years ahead. But the trip of a lifetime also can mean making the travel investment of a lifetime. Travel Insured International® urges cruisers to add the right insurance plan to protect that investment.

About Travel Insured International®

Travel Insured International®, based in E. Hartford, CT, was founded in 1994 by the foresight of insurance industry executive Peter Gehris when he acquired the travel protection division of the Travelers Insurance Company. Coverage is underwritten by Arch Insurance Company (a Missouri corporation, NAIC #11150) with executive offices located in Jersey City, NJ. Arch Insurance is rated A (“Excellent”) for financial strength by the insurance rating service A.M. Best. Not all insurance products or coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Coverage is subject to actual policy language

Travel Insured International®
52-S Oakland Ave.
E. Hartford, CT 06128-0568
Contact: John Stone
Media Relations Manager

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