It seems we are a nation of cruisers. Over one million Australians, more than 4% of our population, set sail on the world’s oceans and rivers last year.
But what is it about cruising that we just can’t seem to get enough of? With more cruise lines bringing ships to sail Australian waters, we have seen newer, larger ships seducing us with new product offerings and services.
According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), the world’s cruise governing body, the world has taken to the water in record numbers with no signs of slowing down.
Over the next 10 years, cruise lines are investing a whopping USD$53 Billion into 97 new cruise ships.
“The cruise industry is responding to global demand and we are highly encouraged by both the short-term and long-term outlook,” said CLIA global President and CEO Cindy D’Aoust.
“From technological advancements and deployment of new ships to new ports and destinations around the world, the industry continues to respond to desires of today’s travellers resulting in steady growth and strong economic impact around the world.”
Ship orders for 2017 and beyond
This year will see 26 new ships introduced worth more than USD$6.8 Billion providing more than 30,000 new cruise cabins.
8 cruise trends and predictions
So, what’s in store for cruise fans this year? Here are our predictions for 2017.
1. New generation cruisers
Cruising is fast losing its ‘older crowd only’ status and reputation. Millennials and Generation X’ers are predicted to embrace cruises more than ever before.
Uniworld will introduce ‘U by Uniworld’ in 2018 targeting the younger generation and multi-generational travel for European river cruises.
2. Booking with a travel agent (like Well Travelled!)
Booking cruises can be a navigation nightmare. Want to book more than one cabin, even more of a nightmare! And what about flights to get you there? And the pre and post cruise accommodation, travel insurance, booking of specialty restaurants, shore tours; the list goes on.
A licensed and accredited travel agent (such as the friendly folk right here at Well Travelled!) take the difficult work out of a cruise holiday for you, so all you need to think about is what to pack.
3. River cruise increase
The rising tide of river cruising has seen more cruise-lings take the step up from ocean cruising, to river cruising. With 13 new river cruise ships entering service in 2017, this 7% increase in new vessels is required to meet the high demand.
Traditionally, river cruises are fully-inclusive of food, beverages and shore tours, making it a value for money experience.
4. Private island visits
Cruise companies are constantly on the lookout for a competitive advantage to lure loyal cruise customers. This year, expect to see more private islands and unique, off-the-grid destinations appearing on itineraries across the world.
5. New cruisers
The past 10 years has seen a 62% increase in cruise numbers and that level of growth is forecast to increase. But how does Australia compare to the rest of world? These statistics may surprise you.
6. Ports within driving distance
Driving distance to cruise ship ports has become an increasingly important consideration. Seventy-percent of non-cruisers believe the greatest benefit to a port within driving distance is the cost savings. While 75% of cruisers like the convenience of being able to drive to a cruise ship from their location.
7. Celebrity chefs
Get ready for more celebrity chef restaurants and guest appearances. In just a few short years, several permanent specialty restaurants have opened from some of the food industry’s biggest names.
Share by Curtis Stone can be found onboard select Princess ships; Salt Grill by Luke Mangan onboard select P&O Australia, Jamie Oliver’s Italian on select Royal Caribbean, and Todd English on Cunard to name just a few.
8. Expedition cruises
Like the rise in passenger numbers, so is the demand for new and interesting itineraries. Adventure travel is rapidly growing, with no shortage of adventure seekers looking to experience something truly unique.
These ships are generally smaller with less passengers allowing passage to remarkable locations not always available by the larger cruise lines.
For example, APT offer cruises in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, Antarctica is a bucket-list item for many, the Norwegian Fjords, Arctic Circle, Falkland Islands and the remote shores of Papua New Guinea are appearing more and more.
Are you ready to cruise into 2017? Call our cruise and travel experts at Well Travelled for cruise information or bookings today.