For most people, the idea of taking a cruise is a future luxury – something they look forward to doing when they retire.
But that doesn’t stop 26 million people, from all walks of life, hopping on and off cruise ships each year.
This might be because taking a cruise is one of the safest holidays you can enjoy.
Which is why people are happy to pay anywhere up to $3,650 per person for a 10-day cruise.
And the above points explain why the cruise industry is valued at around $125 billion per year.
That’s also why we’ve put together a list of hand-picked cruise affiliate programs for you to promote.
Let’s take a look at how you can make bank from the cruise industry.
Cruise Affiliate Programs
- Royal Caribbean Cruises Affiliate Program
- Polynesian Cultural Centre Affiliate Program
- Orbitz Cruise Affiliate Program
- ROAM Luggage Affiliate Program
- Virgin Holidays Cruise Affiliate Program
- RoamRight Travel Affiliate Program
- Fugu Luggage Affiliate Program
- Dock & Bay Affiliate Program
- Allianz Worldwide Affiliate Program
- Way.com Affiliate Program
Royal Caribbean has been “… taking the extraordinary and making it ordinary” for millions of cruise passengers around the world for several decades.
The company operates 25 different ships that travel to over 250 different exotic and unique destinations.
In fact, Royal Caribbean is pretty much synonymous with the idea of luxury cruises, and recent innovations like their robotic bartenders bolster that image.
So you’re not going to have to invest much time in explaining who Royal Caribbean is to your audience.
Cruises obviously cost a lot of money, so how much money can affiliates make here?
You’ll probably notice that the commission rates are in British pounds, but don’t worry Royal Caribbean is an international program.
Customers spend an average of £1,254 for a basic cruise, and with a 4% payout affiliates stand to make £50.16 per sale.
But many cruises cost far, far more than the above amount.
Commission rate: 4% per sale
Cookie duration: 45 days
Polynesian Cultural Centre
The Polynesian Cultural Centre is situated in the town of Laie which was founded way back in 1865.
The goal was to provide a way of celebrating and protecting Polynesian culture, including its arts and crafts.
Students from local colleges began working here in 1963 to earn money for their education but to also spend time immersing themselves in their native culture.
Since then the Polynesian Cultural Center has become the most popular paid tourist attraction on Oahu, with 1 million visitors per year.
So anyone on a Pacific or Hawaiian cruise would most likely want to stop here and check it out.
All you need to do is make your audience aware of it.
Affiliates get paid 5% for sales on Polynesia.com and 7% for any sales made on shop.polynesia.com
What’s also interesting about their affiliate program is an average order size of $385, which means commissions of between $20 and $27 per sale.
If nothing else, this program makes an interesting add-on for any site with a travel, retirement or vacation audience.
Commission rate: 5% – 7% per sale
Cookie duration: 60 days
Anyone who has booked a holiday online in the last 15 years will have heard of Orbitz.
This price comparison aggregator became popular because it allowed visitors to find bargain-priced hotels and flights.
But they also offer to find deals on cruises for all the most popular destinations and routes, including world cruises.
The idea is that no matter what you need to book for your holiday (flights, hotels, cars, etc.) you can do it through Orbitz.
If you’re familiar with Commission Junction you’ll notice that Orbitz has a 5/5 ‘Network Earnings’ score, which means a lot of affiliate transactions are taking place.
For those of you who aren’t, stay focused on their EPC of over $100.
The downsides of this affiliate program are the short cookie duration, and that you earn varying amounts depending on what your visitors buy.
But for the purposes of discussing cruise affiliate programs, Orbitz pays $40 for every referred sale, which isn’t too shabby.
Note: Orbitz and Expedia are now basically the same company, just in case you were wondering why we didn’t feature Expedia separately.
Commission rate: 2% – 7%, $3 – $40
Cookie duration: 7 days
ROAM Luggage offers travel luggage with a twist – you can design your own.
What we really wanted to feature was an affiliate program for those massive Victorian-era travel chests.
But ROAM Luggage is actually better because you can design the luggage you want for your cruise, even down to a personalized monogram.
So not only will you look good, but you’ll never again have to wade through an endless ocean of identical black luggage looking for your bags.
You’ll be able to pick your luggage out on any baggage carousel with ease.
Bespoke luggage obviously isn’t cheap, which is why ROAM customers spend an average of $414, which means a $33 commission for you.
That’s for an average sale and doesn’t take into account the luggage shoppers who can and will spend thousands in a single transaction.
Plus, if they can afford a luxury cruise, it should be easy enough to “encourage” them to invest in some new luggage.
Commission rate: 8% per sale
Cookie duration: 30 days
Virgin Holidays is one of the many businesses run by philanthropist and billionaire, Richard Branson.
All of his business success had the most humble of beginnings – selling second-hand records after he dropped out of school.
Virgin has a reputation for treating its customers particularly well, which is kind of why we wanted to include this program.
It’s all too easy to sometimes forget that your visitors are real people, so you obviously want them to enjoy their holiday.
The 1% commission rate made us pause for a moment – can affiliates really make money promoting their offers?
But there are two factors to take into account here. The first is that the average cost of a Virgin cruise is about £2,500, but people pay up to £45,000 for a world cruise package.
The second factor is that Virgin Holidays pay up to 2%, so 1% isn’t your maximum rate.
So your commission for referring customers to Virgin Cruises can be as little as £25, but as much as £225, per sale.
Commission rate: Up to 2%
Cookie duration: 30 days
RoamRight was a major travel insurance underwriter for other companies before they launched the RoamRight brand in 2012.
In an ideal world, you’d never need any type of travel insurance.
But it’s only when people lose their luggage or have a medical emergency overseas that they realize the value of having at least some coverage.
What’s interesting is that tens of millions of tourists vacation abroad each year without any travel insurance.
But many countries are now insisting that visitors to their country must have travel insurance as part of their condition of entry.
So that includes tourists on cruise ships, which means there’s a pretty big market out there waiting for you to tap into.
Affiliates promoting the RoamRight travel insurance program can expect to earn roughly $41 per sale, based on a 15% commission rate.
But that’s based on an average order size/basic plan, and not when a customer signs up for something like their Elite travel insurance coverage.
And you also get a 365-day cookie to work with.
Note: RoamRight won’t accept coupon or discount sites as affiliates, or anyone not using their own domain name e.g. yoursite.wordpress.com.
Commission rate: 15% per sale
Cookie duration: 365 days
Rollux Travel tackles one of those age-old problems every tourist has experienced at least once – how much luggage to bring with you on vacation.
You know exactly how much space you need for your own clothes and other personal items.
But how can you judge how much space you’ll need for all those amazing gifts you find in different ports around the world?
And that’s why Isaac Atlas (perfect name for this niche) and David Lifshitz teamed up to create expandable luggage, and the Fugu brand was born.
Selling Rollux luggage to your audience should be pretty easy – they buy a carry-on case that can then expand to hold everything else they buy while abroad.
And with an average order size of $444, and a 10% commission rate, this is a program worthy of adding to your site’s portfolio.
Commission rate: 10% per sale
Cookie duration: 90 days
Dock & Bay
Dock & Bay is the first affiliate program we’ve promoted who made a successful appearance on Dragon’s Den (the UK version of Shark Tank) i.e. they got cash.
More specifically, the founders, Andy and Ben, who decided to reinvent the towel.
And that’s how their quick-drying beach towel came to be, but they also manufacture hair wraps, swim shorts and ponchos.
These are ideal for use on cruise ships because they’re extremely compact and they dry in almost no time at all.
Plus the person using a Dock & Bay product has the added hint of prestige of being an early adopter of the brand.
Believe it or not, an affiliate program that predominantly sells towels has an EPC of $75 and an average order size of $50.
This might be caused by Dock & Bay being a relatively new brand, but that’s all the more reason to capitalize on this opportunity right now.
We just wish they offered a 30-day cookie instead of their current 7-day offer.
Commission rate: 5% per sale
Cookie duration: 7 days
Allianz Worldwide Care
Allianz Insurance first opened the doors of their Berlin office for business in 1890.
Modern tourism, as we know it, really only started in the 1950s and has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the decades since.
Allianz acquired Elvia Travel Insurance in 2000, making them the leading supplier of assistance insurance (health, travel, breakdown,etc.) in the world.
The international health insurance coverage they provide is aimed at people who might be spending several months overseas, on a cruise, for example.
Basically, it ensures that you’ll receive the best medical care possible if you need it, regardless of where you are in the world.
Their EPC of €370 comes as no surprise because most financial, banking or insurance affiliate programs will typically have higher-than-average EPCs.
And if you have the right audience you can make €10 – €50 per sale or a flat €10 per lead generated.
This is a pretty niche program, best suited to people going on world cruises, but there are tens of thousands of new vacationers in that market every single year.
Commission rate: €10 – €50 per sale, or €10 per lead
Cookie duration: 15 days
The last thing you want to have happen is to not be able to find airport parking before you jet out to start your cruise.
But with Way.com you just type in your departure airport and it shows you what parking is available, including the daily cost:
This isn’t exactly revolutionary, but based on their ShareASale ranking a lot of people are using this service.
In fact, they’re so busy being successful that their “About Us” page is about 20 words in length.
But we don’t care about their copywriting skills – we just want to know how much they’ll pay an affiliate for referring a new customer.
The answer to that question is 10% of all sales, with a typical commission payout of $6.78 per customer.
Yes, that’s a small amount, but remember Way.com is generating a lot of transactions on ShareASale, so affiliates are definitely making money with them.
Also, this is the type of affiliate program where it’s about the quantity of traffic and not quality.
Commission rate: 10% per sale
Cookie duration: Never expires
So there you have it, our top 10 cruise affiliate programs.
Yup, we did some thinking outside the box here, but we’re never going to “recommend” affiliate programs that promise a lot…but deliver nothing.
After all, the reason you got started in affiliate marketing is to make money.
Oh, you’re not sure how to actually get the ball rolling with this affiliate stuff?
Well why not sign up for our free training session – we show you the 5-steps to building your own authority site.
Yes, you have our word we won’t try to sell you anything.