A third of potential passengers see cruises as being too expensive.
The findings from Mail Newspapers research released at the ACE Selling Cruise Conference prompted industry speakers to redouble efforts to promote the value of cruise holidays.
Hurtigruten UK managing director Kathryn Beadle said; "The message is not getting across enough. Destination is also a key driver that we need to explain better."
She also called on agents to face the issue of safety head on while also explaining the breadth of cruise ship facilities and entertainment.
The Mail research found that 34% of potential cruisers thought cruise holidays cost too much, against 20% of non-cruisers and 10% of regular passengers.
Of those who would consider a cruise, a good deal or offer was the top priority followed by the right destination.
Destination, company or brand and the cost of cruising were seen by consumers as the most important factors in selecting a cruise, the poll found.
Beadle presented a cost comparison between an 11-night Canary Islands cruise in November and an equivalent land-based holiday with Tui which showed the total cost of the cruise at £1,329 against the resort-based trip at £1,505 due to the added extras involved.
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