Cruise Line Product Differentiation Practice: A Cluster Analysis Approach

  •  John Kuwornu    
  •  Richard Rosecky    
  •  Crystal Ellis    


The cruise business is a big one. With 67 cruise lines that operate 224 ships, just about every combination of
ship descriptions can be found. The cruise business has served an estimated 90 million passengers. The purpose
of this article is to demonstrate the ways cruise lines and their ships can be differentiated. Using data from
Ward’s compendium, cluster analysis is used to determine how these ships differ from each other. The analyses
reveal six clusters by which the cruise lines differentiate their services. These results have implications for the
marketing of services in the cruise line industry.

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