Cruise

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Affiliate marketer earns a commission for selling cruises to potential customers and audiences.

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20+ Best Cruise Affiliate Programs and Networks [2023]

Do you have any idea how many people hop on cruise ships each year? Nothing less than 26M people from different parts of the world. This surely explains why the cruise industry generates more than $125B every year in revenue and this market is expected to grow even bigger soon because more people are choosing a luxurious life over their boring lives. This only means more money for the industry and more money for affiliates working in this niche.

Affiliates working in this niche can make up to 6 figures every month if they affiliate for the right affiliate program and that is regardless of the competition in this niche. We would be lying if we tell you that this niche is not a competitive one. The fact that most people consider cruise ships safe and as a means to escape from their day-to-day life makes whatever amount they spend worth it and affiliates in this niche are not joking with this opportunity to earn more money.


What Are Cruise Affiliate Programs and How Do They Work

Cruises are passenger ships that take people on vacations. They usually embark on round-trip voyages to various places and ports with passengers going on tours or shore vacations as the case may be. There are different cruises with numerous options that passengers can choose from and most of these are located on cruise websites. They come with different packages and of course, different registration fees depending on what luxury the pockets of customers can afford.  Most of these cruise ships carry a minimum of 1 000 passengers, and some carry up to 10 000.

With that being said, cruise affiliate programs can be life-changing programs for hardworking affiliates and the truth is, when you understand the basics of this niche with time, you wouldn't need to work hard, but smart. Just like every affiliate program you know, as an affiliate in this niche, you earn a commission for selling cruises to potential customers and audiences. And the result can be life-changing if you work smarter most of the time and not hard. The average amount an affiliate can earn for selling a cruise to a potential customer is $10. You can multiply this by 500 passengers and see what you get.

Being a successful affiliate in this niche means you need to think out of the box and that includes working with the best cruise affiliate programs you can find in the market. Since there is a lot you can choose from, set your standards high so that you can be well-taken care of in turn. After choosing the best cruise affiliate program, you will be provided with a lot of options for cruises, through cruise websites, that you can sell to potential customers. You can choose the best out of these cruises and advertise them smartly. Your monthly income after all these will determine if you are doing it right.


Payment Models in Cruise Affiliate Programs

There are 3 ways affiliates get paid in this niche: Revenue Share, CPL, and CPS. Let’s explain each of them here for this niche.

Revenue Share

RevShare is a payment model that allows affiliates to continue receiving a share of the money spent by their referral. Advertisers know how much they are to pay affiliates working with them through this payment model and the fact is, this payment model can set an affiliate in this niche up for life. The way this works is very simple. When you get potential customers with heavy pockets that enjoyed the services of the cruise you sold to them initially, chances are they will keep returning to the same cruise over and over again.

When that happens, you are only at risk of earning even more than you had expected because every time they come back to take a cruise, you get paid a share of the money they pay. Let's say for instance you have 5 customers that keep returning to take a 7-night Caribbean cruise that costs $969, with a 4% per sale, you should know how much you must have made by the end of the month.

Cost per Lead

CPL is a payment model that is not as significant as RevShare, even though it has its advantages. Programs in this niche that offer this payment model only need new customers to either register an account with them or subscribe to something, etc. As an affiliate in this niche, there are many ways you can get the attention of customers and convert them to leads. For example, some ships allow customers to register an account with them for future purposes.

This account can be used to update potential customers on new offers on new cruise locations or cruise discounts, etc. Since this is to the advantage of customers, it won't be difficult convincing them to register, If not for anything, to not miss out on special offers. The price for CPL varies with each cruise affiliate program, finding the best one should be your priority.

Cost per Sale

Another payment model that is offered by affiliate programs in this niche is CPS. The way this program works is you get paid when you successfully sell a cruise to a potential customer. Thankfully, there are different cruises you can sell to customers. From as low as $100 to as much as the luxury, their pockets can afford. The share of the money you receive is dependent on what flat rate the affiliate program is offering its affiliates.

CPS works the same way RevShare does to some extent. The difference between this payment model and RevShare is, with RevShare, you continuously earn a commission each time a user you referred comes back to take another cruise, but with CPS, you get paid once. And also, with CPS you get paid in flat rates, while RevShare is based on Percentages.


What to Consider When Choosing a Cruise Affiliate Program

There are many cruise affiliate programs you can choose from, but if you want to go for the best, then you should consider these before choosing any to be affiliated with.

Commission Rate

The backbone of any affiliate program is the commission rate it offers to its affiliates because, with the wrong commission rate, affiliates won't consider promoting offers from such affiliate programs. Affiliate programs looking to have good leads and customers will offer good commission rates. Nonetheless, you will come across some affiliate programs in this niche with better commission rates than others, those should be the ones you make a pitch on. You will have a better chance of earning better income at the end of the month if you work with affiliate programs that offer a good commission rate.

Program/Product Credibility

Do not for once ignore the fact that you are dealing with human lives and so, you must consider the safety of the cruise you are selling to potential customers. Customers will be paying a lot of money for the services you are offering, you must as well consider the quality of the cruise website and the cruises there. You can search the cruise website name and read some reviews about it online from people who have used services from cruises there. Above all, making good research about a cruise affiliate program before joining places you at a knowledgeable advantage. Some forums to find good reviews are Quora, Reddit, or review websites in general.

Cookie Duration

One thing you must consider aside from program credibility is cookie duration. This has a direct advantage, as well as a disadvantage to affiliates especially if the cruise affiliate program gives only a few days for cookie duration. Cookie duration determines how long your referral’s data stays active on the cruise website before you get paid. For instance, when a customer you refer fails to perform any action within the cookie timeframe, then the referral will turn invalid on your end which means you won't be paid for that referral action in the future. We have seen cruise affiliate programs that offer a lifetime of cookie duration, while some offer just 7-days.

Minimum Payout

There are affiliate programs that insist on their affiliates reaching a certain amount of money before they can withdraw their earned commissions, this is known as a minimum payout. Another way to look at this is, you must at least have referred a certain number of customers to a cruise affiliate program you are affiliated with before you can cash out. Some of the affiliate programs in this niche are way too strict and the minimum payout is outrageous, while some are fair. Make sure to be affiliated with one that matches your preferences.

Affiliate Trackers

Affiliate trackers provide affiliates and affiliate programs the means to keep a fair track of the progress made on both ends. Affiliates can leverage this feature by keeping track of how many times their affiliate links have been clicked, and how many customers they have successfully converted. Affiliate programs can leverage this feature as well to reward hard-working affiliates with bonuses. Before choosing any affiliate program in this niche to be affiliated with, you should find out if they have this feature in place. This way, you will enjoy the full benefits of being an affiliate in the cruise niche and be updated all the time with your contribution to the program.

EPC

Just like affiliate trackers, EPC provides you with a means to keep track of your affiliate links and how much you have earned from an affiliate link. But, one thing that sets EPC aside from affiliate trackers is the ability to determine your potential earnings from a single affiliate link. Earnings per click are very easy to calculate. Take your entire earnings from an affiliate program and divide it by the number of clicks you have on your affiliate links. You will see the commission you are receiving from a program. Aside from transparency between programs and affiliates, you can use EPC to see if you are receiving good leads from an affiliate link. If not, you can change that product or the target audience with time.


Traffic Sources for Cruise Offers

With a lot of people choosing luxury these days, you can generate good traffic from many sources. Nonetheless, these are known to give good results.

Social Media

Social media provides opportunities for affiliate marketers to promote their offers to billions of users over the world and this has proven effective in the cruise affiliate market when it comes to generating unending traffic to affiliate sites. Let's take America for instance. 68% of people between the ages of 40 and 60 are active users of social media platforms. These are the types of people likely to take a vacation here and there. You can create a cruise page or group where you will target specific audiences by posting cruise affiliate offers with affiliate links that will lead potential customers directly to the cruise affiliate websites you are affiliated with.

All you need is a catchy name that represents your offers and you are good to go. Instagram and TikTok are such places where you can generate good traffic as well. You can carry your fans along via a live video, and take them on a tour of the cruise ship, showing the cabins and also services that they can expect when they register through your affiliate link. People love seeing before they believe. Showing them the safety measures taken to ensure they enjoy a safe sail and the means of entertainment like live music, casinos, dance clubs, and water slides to list a few, will get them to click through your affiliate link.

One advantage that these social media platforms give you is publicity. The fact that they get to thousands or millions of users in no time makes it easy to generate good traffic in no time. With billions of users online every day, there is no telling who your next customer is. You can always remain unique and try something different. Make a video of the beautiful places customers can see while on a cruise and see the result you will get at the end of the day. And when you deal with social platforms that do not accept affiliate links, you can use link shorteners, or link cloaking that is if you are an advanced blogger or willing to learn.

Forums and Communities

Forums and communities are good places to target specific audiences with cruise affiliate offers. But there are many forums and communities out there, and while some of these are completely free to join, you will have to pay to join some of them. Nonetheless, it will be worth it if you play smart. Also, there are certain rules you must abide by if you join forums and communities intending to promote cruise affiliate offers. And the truth is, obeying such rules to some extent will be to your advantage because you will not lose your credibility.

For instance, some rules are meant to be broken, especially rules that are against posting affiliate links. Some forums will automatically detect your cruise affiliate links and deactivate them which will render them useless. The best way to bypass such rules is to use link shorteners even though you will have to check with the affiliate program if they allow it as some do not. Another means you can generate good traffic through forums and communities is by posting the URL of your affiliate landing page, one that you can use to easily redirect users to cruise affiliate sites once they land on it.

Cruise Website and Reviews

You can create a cruise affiliate website where you post cruise offers that potential customers can check out and click through to the cruise affiliate program you are affiliated with. The fact is owning an affiliate website gives you a lot of options on how to promote cruise affiliate offers and since there are different payment models in this niche, there are many ways you can monetize your affiliate website as it is. For instance, you can monetize your cruise affiliate website by earning through CPL. This means that for any lead generated through your affiliate website to the cruise affiliate program you are affiliated with, you will earn a flat rate that you can calculate using EPC, just like we have discussed.

You can also settle for writing cruise reviews. This method has proven effective in captivating the minds of potential customers. A lot of potential voyagers do not have a cruise in mind but they wish to board one. When such users do research and come across the cruise review on your affiliate website, they will not hesitate to check out the list of cruises you have reviewed especially if you make the review exceptional. Making a review exceptional is not complex at all but there are a few tricks that you can learn that will make a lot of difference between your cruise affiliate website and the thousands out there.

The important trick is to understand your audiences, and also your competition. You can even steal some ideas from what your opponents have online and build from there, making something creative. Reading ex-customers reviews online before writing yours is also another way to make your content stand out. When you compile raw reviews online that are different from what users normally see, you will get their attention and from there, you can convert them into leads and potential customers. And if you are daring enough, you can compare two cruises and bring out their Pros and Cons in your comparison article. It won't be an easy task but if you can do it, you will appreciate the result.


Tips to Promote Cruise Affiliate Offers Successfully

The competition in this niche might make you think that promoting a cruise affiliate offer is not going to be easy, but do not worry because that is what we are here for. Before we let you into this crazy market that is filled with competitive affiliates, we will give you a few tips on how to successfully promote cruise affiliate offers, regardless of the competition in the market.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Audience

You will find it quite easy to promote cruise affiliate programs when you familiarize yourself with your audience. There are many people with different social statuses and this means that they all have different pocket weights for instance sake. Targeting your audiences with cruises that they can afford will change the stats concerning the kind of traffic you receive on your cruise affiliate offers. And just in case you are wondering how to know who wants who, you can check what category of users search for specific cruises via your affiliate websites stats.

Keyword Targeting

Surely, a lot of people search for specific cruises that land on your affiliate website. And regardless of whether you have what they are looking for in the first place, or not, chances are you can convert them if you have the right content on site. This opportunity will only present itself when you have the right keywords embedded in your website and content as well. And the good news is that you don't have to go through complex steps trying to get the best keywords for your cruise affiliate websites.

There are online tools that can help you craft the best keywords for your cruise affiliate sites. All you have to do is choose some words that best represent your cruise affiliate offers and let these tools craft the best keywords for you based on what potential customers search for. The result will be thrilling. Your content will pitch to a targeted audience and you will see that your affiliate stats will continue to rise, increasing the number of converted leads through your cruise affiliate website.

Here’s a list of keywords good for targeting in the cruise niche: cruises, best prices for cruises 2023, cheap cruises 2023, Nile cruises, eastern Mediterranean cruises, super cheap cruises, western Caribbean cruises, boat cruises 2023, cheap last minute cruises all-inclusive, best cruise lines, book cheap cruises, world cruises, cruises 2023 deals, Silversea cruises, Seabourn cruises, good deals on cruises 2023, Florida cruises, mini cruises, and island cruises.

Paid Ads

Have you considered paying for Ads? If not, then you should. You will be shocked at the result. The profits will make you forget about promoting your cruise offers yourself and settle for paid Ads. There are many platforms where you can pay for Ads. In most cases, you can allow influencers to do the promoting for you and you can as well get platforms such as Google AdSense or Facebook Ads to run your cruise offer ads.

What we will like you to take note of if you plan on considering this method of promoting is to ensure you create the best Ads so that you can easily get leads through them. An advantage you expose yourself to when you use this method is a targeted audience. There are settings that you can leverage to customize the audience for your Ads. When you use these tools well, your Ads will be displayed to interested users only. Paid Ads will serve well for CPL as well if you create the best Ads.

Engage with Your Community

There is nothing impactful like carrying everybody along. This has worked in many cases and it has proved effective in affiliate markets as well. You can create polls with cruise options and let your fans decide on which one is the best. Make sure that the options for the polls are cruise affiliate offers you are promoting so that you can easily refer to them by redirecting them to cruise affiliate websites in the comment section.

You will need to remain active on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok, for you to engage well with your community. A community is something you can create on any social media platform you prefer and promote your cruise affiliate offers to potential customers there. Consider engaging them with free informational posts as well. Your priority should be to earn your community member’s trust because that will make converting easy from there.


Case Studies

In this section, we'll go through some of these successful affiliates in the cruise niche so you can learn from their tricks and follow what works for them best.

Case #1: CruiseHive

CruiseHive is the first cruise blog on our list that works with affiliate offers. Let's just say that they make about $1M to $2M a year from ads and affiliate marketing. The most important thing about CruiseHive is that they have topics on cruise and cruise tips and all sorts of other things related to cruising. But if you're too interested to know, here are some of the topics they write about: Cruise news, cruise tips, port tips, cruise deals, tours, cruise stores, etc.

This is a very important thing to note because as we have mentioned before, one of the most important things for gathering enough traffic to drive affiliate offers in the cruise niche, or any other niche for that matter, Is creating a Complete encyclopedia of all the information your audience is going to need about a certain topic, and that is exactly what CruiseHive is doing.

If somebody searches on Google for the best cruise line, they will find CruiseHive. But then, they will be needing some other information regarding different tips for choosing cruises, different things to keep in mind while going on a cruise, etc. So then they can search around the CruiseHive website and find their information. That is exactly how a lead is made.

If you want to make successful leads, you need to give all the information about cruises that your audience is going to need so they will be coming back to your website and checking your affiliate offers.

Besides the fact that they have a lot of articles reviewing cruise ships or cruise lines, they also advertise or promote offers of different programs on their menu. This helps any new visitor to the website see the affiliate offer right on the top of the website and there is a good chance that they might actually click on it.

Case #2: Cruzely

Cruzely sits on the second spot on this list with about 350 000 monthly visits. Obviously, the most important thing about this blog, which is similar to the first one, is how they have articles on several topics, including ports reviews, lines and cruise reviews, and cruise tips and packing. Just like the first block, they also have recent news about cruising. But one important thing about Cruzely is that they use more affiliate links and offers on their blog than in the first case.

Obviously, the most profitable part of their website is the part where they review cruise ships and cruise lines. This part includes reviews on different cruise lines or cruises, including honest opinions, experiences, and some tips for travelers.

One important tip about the cruise niche that you should keep in mind is that a lot of people want to go on a cruise, but they don't have the money. That is why if you come out and introduce some cruises that are very cheap, there's a good chance that people will be interested in them. That is exactly what Cruzely is doing. They have different sections marked with cruises under $300 or cruises under $500, which include some good cruise reviews for people who want to experience some of the luxuries on a budget. Needless to say that these sections get a lot of attention.

Below we can see an example of one of their product review articles. In such articles, they introduced the cruises along with their prices and some benefits. They also shortened their affiliate links, even though they have their affiliate disclaimers on the website.

A great way to get a lot of attention quickly in this niche is to write cruise reviews with attractive headlines and titles. For example, “Best Cruises Under $100”. Even if they are not entirely true, they will attract lots of attention/


Conclusion

For you to be successful as a cruise and travel affiliate marketer, you must understand your audience, know where to find them, and also what kind of cruise they are likely to register on. Sometimes, having a lot of people to promote cruise affiliate offers to does not do the trick entirely. There is a chance that targeting only a few audiences with a cruise offer they can't resist will leave you with good commissions at the end of the day.

As we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to work hard always, working smart will give you good leads, as well as potential customers, and the best way to meet up with this, is to be familiar with your audiences. Also, we specifically included the section for things you must consider before choosing an affiliate program in this niche so that you will not get into any contract without fully understanding what you are signing up for. Good luck.