Cruise is a booming industry with record numbers of British passengers choosing to cruise and more interestingly younger and younger people choosing to cruise.
The average age of the cruise passenger from the UK and Ireland it is 55 years, whilst globally it is just 46 years old. This is a combination of more families opting to cruise and an increase in younger couples. There are a number of reasons for the lowering demographic;
In recent years the cruise line have realised the importance of the family market and changed their ships or built new ships specifically for this market. 15 years ago the thought of a rock climbing wall or ice skating rink on a ship had never been heard of. Ships offered wonderful restaurants, theatre shows and spa’s none of which were places to entertain the children.
Now the choices are endless, and with cruise lines also offering baby food and nurseries for babies and a plethora of kids facilities and clubs with disco’s until midnight, parents and children of all ages can enjoy their holidays either together or on different parts of the ship knowing that everyone is being cared for, is entertained and is safe. The main cruise lines for a great family holiday are Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC, Princess and P&O.
Others cruise lines such as Celebrity now offer sleek and modern ships to appeal to the younger couple. Real grass lawns, frozen martini bars and sushi restaurants all attract customers away from land based holidays and on to ships.
An increase in mini cruises has opened up a world of ‘party’ or ‘celebration’ cruises with 2 or 3 night cruises being a huge favourite for hen parties, 40th and 50th birthdays and 3 generation families celebrating Nan and Grandad’s big wedding anniversary. Surprisingly though, P&O at the end of last year made the move to ban fancy dress and slogan t-shirts from their ships in an attempt to limit the party atmosphere on the mini cruises, so it will be interesting to see the impact of this.
Cruising has also started to offer more themed cruises too, with mass appeal to younger customers. 15 years ago you could maybe do a specialist golf cruise, or a gardening themed one. In recent years there have been a Star Trek themed cruise, a ‘Back to the 80’s’ cruise featuring Kim Wilde, Tony Hadley and ABC and for the real cool kids, a dance festival cruise headlined by Tinie Tempah.
Cruising really has got something to offer for everyone. There are still traditional ocean liners offering art deco ballrooms and dinners in cocktail dresses, for those that would like them but the industry now offers so much more. Isn’t it time you looked at taking a cruise?