While the cruise industry is expected to rebound from the pandemic, the features of the cruise value offering that once appealed to the market and cruise specific consumer behaviour have changed. This project employs a choice experiment to determine how COVID-19 has influenced 808 consumers’ preferences for and trade-offs between specific aspects of the cruise experience across four different COVID-19 scenarios. Such insight is highly valuable for cruise organisations seeking to better understand the evaluative criteria by which their consumer segments are now guiding their decisions. Theoretically, we test how Protection Motivation Theory affects preferences under different risk scenarios. Practical contributions include a need to revise marketing communications, promotions, and service to emphasise COVID-19 safe measures, outdoor cabins and cancellation refunds, and that adjustments to targeted cruise packages are needed based on age and cruise experience among segments. Our research is the first to examine preferences of cruise consumers adopting choice modelling method. We find that
overall, while the way people travel has changed, the underlying preferences of travellers in this market is largely unaffected by a simulated evolving risk profile presented.