Think luxury cruising and you’ll conjure up images of mature travellers kicking off their retirement with a premium voyage around the Med. In recent times however, it may surprise you to know that sea-faring millennials are increasingly being drawn to cruise holidays. UK cruise retailer CruiseDeals.co.uk has seen a whopping 171% increase in millennials visiting their luxury cruise page in January 2018 compared with the same month in 2017.
What’s more, the latest report from the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) cites millennials as owning the highest share of the luxury cruise market, with 24% of those surveyed claiming to have been on a luxury cruise during the past three years. The same report suggests that the percentage of cruising millennials who ‘definitely will’ book a cruise for their next trip has risen from 63% in 2017 to 70% this year.
‘Millennials may not fit the stereotype of your typical cruiser, but the luxury market offers a huge range of benefits that are clearly appealing to this demographic’, explains CruiseDeals.co.uk representative Ian Crawford. ‘As the average age that people have children is rising, many millennials also have the level of disposable income that enables them to choose a luxury voyage.’
ABTA’s 2018 Travel Trends Report also comments on the rise in millennial cruisers, and attributes advances such as new technologies and lightning-fast Wi-Fi to the change.
As expected, leading cruise lines are competing to meet this rise in demand by launching a slew of new luxury cruise ships and itineraries. Fifteen luxury cruise ships made up the market in 2009, compared to the 32 vessels expected to set sail this year. In the same decade, the market capacity for the luxury cruise sector has risen 140% from a little over 203,000 in 2009 to almost 487,000 in 2018.
‘Luxury cruising and millennial cruising are two of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK cruise industry, so it’s not surprising to see such a strong correlation between the two,’ concludes Crawford. ‘The option to see and do new things and experience new places is hugely appealing to millennials and, naturally, luxury cruising allows them to do just that in style and comfort.’