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Can cruise services satisfy Chinese outbound travelers? An importance–performance analysisThis study aims to explore tourists’ satisfaction with cruise services and the gap between expectation and satisfaction, focusing on Chinese outbound tourists traveling to South Korea. Using a mixed-methods approach, in-depth interviews were conducted to summarize items of cruise services for measurement; importance–performance analysis was performed to simultaneously examine the matching degree between tourists’ perceived importance and performance. Tourists’ expectation is measured by the side of importance, meanwhile, performance represents their satisfaction. This study suggests that cruising is an important way for Chinese tourists to travel abroad, and tourists were generally satisfied with the services provided by immigration, customs, and the cruises. However, a gap remains between the perceived expectation and satisfaction. In terms of cruise service, the most important item was the good language and communication skills of the staff, and the most satisfactory performance was the effective boarding service. The biggest gap was observed in the effective service of handling ticket bookings, cancellations, and confirmations. The results of this study can provide insight into enhancing cruise services and marketing, specifically for companies working with the Chinese market.