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Millennials are still hot, but Generation Z is on track to make a dent in the cruise industry. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) predicts that 11 trends are on the ticket this year, and we’re here to break them down in more detail.
The trade organization’s 2019 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook predictions are gleaned from research, insights and, of course, travel advisors. A bonus finding: More than 80 percent of CLIA-certified advisors anticipate sales growth this year.
Instagrammable Cruise TravelThe millennial “pics or it didn’t happen” mandate seems to matter a lot when it comes to cruising, as nearly 351 million posts tagged #travel can pop up daily. Greater internet connectivity onboard ships makes it even easier for travelers to share their experiences. Both cruise lines and agents should be mindful of any and all Instagrammable moments so that clients can take full advantage of this phenomenon.
Total RestorationThe need for rest and relaxation remains one of the top reasons to take a cruise vacation, and cruise ships have gotten the message. To ease passengers’ stress, more elaborate wellness programs and facilities are geared toward rejuvenation, from brilliant spas to special diet menus. After all, there’s really nothing greater than enjoying a restorative body treatment before relaxing in a thermal suite.
Achievement Over ExperienceIn the same vein of capturing every experience is the increasing desire for an authentic one — particularly one that crosses off bucket list objectives. Thankfully, cruises can satisfy, whether it’s visiting the pyramids in Egypt or mastering cuisine alongside Le Cordon Bleu chefs.
Onboard with Smart TechSmartphones and smart watches have spawned equivalent onboard technologies. Wearable keychains, necklaces, bracelets and more make for a highly personalized trip. Smart-home-like tech enhances the overall effect onboard ships, with remote-controlled thermostats, switches and more.
Conscious TravelDiscovering destinations consciously means preserving them along the way — decreasing environmental footprints and benefiting local communities. Voluntourism is a way for passengers to make a difference once onshore.
Access is the New LuxuryLuxury cruise travelers who have been to the same places time and again highly value off-the-beaten-path destinations. Whether it’s the polar regions or the Galapagos Islands, exotic locales are now easily accessible via expedition cruises, many of which are quite luxurious.
Gen Z at SeaGen Z is on pace to supersede millennials as the biggest consumer generation in the next couple years, which will affect the cruise market accordingly. On the agenda for younger sailors are authentic experiences, as well as events such as music festivals at sea and other theme cruises.
Off-Peak AdventuresOff-season voyages are picking up steam. Even during colder months, desirable experiences can include seeing the Northern Lights on an ocean ship or European Christmas Markets on a riverboat. And depending on the itinerary, there are often fewer crowds in popular spots.
Working NomadsTechnologies are also ensuring that travelers can easily work while away. This allows a greater freedom to travel without the need to stay anchored to a terrestrial office desk.
Female-Centered CruisingWomen are traveling more, and catering to their needs are female-specific cruise itineraries focused around different interests, whether it’s excursions to feminist landmarks or community-themed sailings.
Going SoloSimilarly, the popularity of traveling alone has grown. To accommodate solo sailors, an increasing number of cruise lines are offering products such as studio cabins and waived single supplements.
The DetailsCruise Lines International Association www.cruising.org