Cruise holidays may have a reputation for only appealing to older generations, but new research by travel association ABTA has revealed that this is no longer the case.
The 2019 ABTA Holiday Habits report revealed that more than a quarter of 18-34 year olds surveyed have taken a cruise in the last 12 months.
That makes for an increase of six per cent – the largest growth compared to any other age group.
It seems that themed cruises are proving the biggest draw thanks to the varied itineraries which span everything from Northern Lights cruises to food-themed sailings.
In fact, food proved to be a favoured choice, especially for sailings which feature on-board cookery demonstrations and wine tastings as well as vegan and vegetarian menus.
21 per cent cited a wellness trip as being of interest, especially with activities on offer from yoga to massages and wellbeing workshops.
It’s no surprise that the best themed cruises are proving popular – even with some of the older demographics.
It does seem that there is more of an offering for those who looking for an action-packed cruise too.
For example, Virgin Voyages is tailoring its offerings on board first cruise ship Scarlet Lady to a younger audience; we’re talking vegan menus, drag-inspired brunches , rockstar-themed suites , and even an onboard tattoo parlour .
It’s not just themed cruises which are a hit.
The length of cruises is playing a role, with shorter trips between three to five days showing to be more popular with younger travellers.
(Although there are some dreamy longer cruises for the bucket list such as an epic 83-day South America sailing ).
ABTA suggests that mini cruises could be drawing in the younger crowds as they offer a ‘taster’ of what a cruise offers, plus there are increasing sailings tailored to a short trip such as retro themed parties and even floating music festivals.
Victoria Bacon, Director of Brand and Business Development, said: “The UK cruise industry has seen significant growth in recent years with a record number of passengers reaching over two million for the first time last year.
“As cruise operators have diversified and adapted to their customers’ needs there is now a greater choice of cruise trips than ever before.
“With the continued innovation of the cruise product there has been a noticeable boost in the number of young holidaymakers choosing this type of holiday.
“Whether it’s making the most of the on-board technology, taking part in adventure-based excursions or experiencing an 80s themed party at sea, there is an incredible range of options for both new and seasoned travellers to enjoy.”