2018 Will See Cruising Get More Hip and Happening Than Ever Before
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These are really exciting times for the cruise industry which continues to grow at a strong and steady pace. There are eight spectacular new ships scheduled for launch in 2018, and the UK is getting very close to reaching its 2 million cruise passenger mark. Britain is the third largest cruise market in the world after the US and Germany, and as a result of increasing public frustration with airlines – from check-in IT glitches, bulk flight cancellations to flight company collapses – more people than ever before are looking at cruises as a great stress-free holiday option.
The average age of cruise passengers overall has fallen to its lowest for 20 years, and we predict that cruises will continue to prove a compelling option for millennials in the years to come – especially since so many cruise lines are now pandering specifically to meet their needs. Not only is there a significant growth in themed cruises, such as specialist food, health and fitness cruises, but cruise lines are also ramping up ship-based dance, trance and top DJ hosted music festivals – already popular in the US – for the benefit of a younger UK audience. In fact, cruise lines have even started to offer dedicated itineraries specifically for millennials, such as the world’s newest cruise line, U by Uniworld.
Cruise lines are also going to continue to roll out new on-board activities and programmes to appeal to the young, fit and active traveller. From go-karting, zip-wiring, surf simulators, rock climbing and even on-board skydiving, to the very latest health and fitness programmes – cruising is undoubtedly getting a bit trendier every year.
Cruise lines have not only made huge strides in technology and internet connectivity, which is so vital for a younger generation, so they can post their holiday highlights on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep ‘connected’ – but they are also starting to capitalise on the very latest technology trends to really enhance the customer experience and ensure cruising further appeals to all ages. We believe wearable technology will also take a strong hold next year, with Carnival and Royal Caribbean leading the way by recently announcing a program that enables passengers to do everything from getting food delivered to any part of the ship to making reservations instantaneously. Celebrity Cruises has even gone that one step further with plans to introduce a number exciting new innovations, including push notifications via mobile phone – which puts the concierge, ship map and daily event schedule in each guest’s pocket – and floor-to-ceiling windows that retract at the touch of a button, so your stateroom meets the sea. It really is an exciting time to be part of such a flourishing travel sector that continues to offer cutting-edge innovations that ensure travellers of all ages will want to keep coming back for more.