Younger generations take to the seas as cruise bookings surge

Cruising is attracting a new wave of young travellers. Leading travel retailer reported a 94% increase in web visits to their family cruise page in the first half of 2016 from the year before – and the surge in interest is also having a significant impact on booking numbers.

There is an ever-increasing variety of amenities on board, as popular cruise lines seek to dominate this growing market. Royal Caribbean®’s newest offering, Harmony of The Seas®, is the largest cruise ship in the world and plays home to over 5,000 people.

Officially launched in May, the participation age for some activities starts at just six months and there’s a great choice of on board experiences to discover, from high-octane water slides to a retro gaming arcade.

“What many people don’t realise is that cruising continues to be very much at the forefront of the travel industry in terms of technology, design and the range of experiences available,” explains representative Ian Crawford. “It’s a stress-free way to travel for all the family and modern ships are helping to dispel the myth that cruising only appeals to older travellers.”.

Alongside the increase in ship size, some popular cruise lines now offer themed holidays, many of which have been designed with the intention of appealing to younger travellers. Popular themes include Star Wars, NASCAR and 80’s pop. Fans of hit TV show The Walking Dead may even be interested in the ‘Walker Stalker’ cruise, where passengers are invited to snap a selfie with some of the series’ biggest stars.

The range of technologies and experiences available on board also has the potential to draw in a greater number of multi-generational families, as older, more experienced cruisers take to the seas with their children and grandchildren.

The number of searches for the term ‘family cruises’ has risen by 40% year-on- year according to the latest Google Trends. It’s a statistic that is supported by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), who recently reported that the total number of cruisers under the age of 26 has risen by 46% year on year.

Gone are the days of struggling to seek out child-friendly attractions and places to eat while abroad, as popular lines compete to offer a wide variety of onboard experiences that are sure to keep everyone entertained. With such an impressive array of full board deals and drinks packages on offer, it’s no wonder that cruising is becoming such an attractive option for travellers of all ages.

“On many ships, the holiday begins after check-in,” continues Crawford. “An increasing number of all-inclusive packages are allowing parents the rare opportunity to relax and unwind while on board, leaving the finer details up to the staff and crew.”

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