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News Article

Cruising isn’t just for retirees

Millennials are the biggest growing market for cruises

Data collected through Mintel reveals ‘over the next five years the number of cruise holidays is forecast to grow faster than the total number of overseas holidays.’ With over 2 million British and Irish passengers embarking in a sea cruise in 2019. The 2019 sea cruise market for the UK and Ireland is estimated to be worth £3.2 billion. This is 10% of the UK’s total holiday spend, which is forecasted to be £32.1 billion.

The research collected by Mintel suggests that 46% of Brits say they are ‘interested in taking a sea cruise in the next five years’. A quarter (26%) of those interviewed had already been on a cruise.

Marloes De Vries, Mintel Travel Analyst, said: “Over the coming years, the UK cruise market is expected to grow at a faster pace than the total overseas holiday market. Growth is expected to be fuelled by an increasing number of cruise choices, modernisation of existing ships, and the large pool of people who are considering a cruise holiday. Consumers are becoming more open to experiencing things they have never done before. For many, a cruise holiday offers something different and special, which adds to the appeal. Given most potential cruisers have not experienced this type of holiday before, brands offering specialist knowledge and advice have a great opportunity to engage with this audience.”

Younger generation

The research reveals millennials are most likely ‘to be interested’ in going on a sea cruise. Of those asked, some 38% of those who are ‘interested in taking a sea cruise in the next five years’ were aged 16-34, while 34% are aged 35-54 and 28% are aged 55+, reports Mintel.

Younger travellers also to wish to stay more connected on their cruise, with 42% of millennials in the survey, saying free wi-fi would encourage them to pick one cruise holiday over another.

Marloes continues: “Cruises were once thought of as the preserve of retirees, but there’s now plenty of potential to tap into a younger generation of cruise goers…the fact that younger people aged 16-34 expect far fewer products/services to be included in the price for a cruise holiday presents an opportunity to offer this group more flexible price tiers.”

“Millennials who are interested in cruises say they like being able to visit many destinations without having to pack their bags, and to make the most of their journey while they are travelling,” says Marloes “there is a need to show off. Many will still have friends who haven’t been on cruises. It’s new, and undiscovered.”

The complete package - on board experiences

With cruises, travelling to the destination is an experience within itself. Guests are provided with entertainment, fine dining and sports facilities. Many millennial guests enjoy the on-board experiences as much as the destination, often sharing their experiences on social media. According to Mintel, ‘some cruise lines have already introduced more activities to attract a younger audience such as rooftop BBQs and tattoo artists’.

Other cruise ships run immersive theatre evenings, social boardgame nights, party rooftop barbecues, educational technology lectures and cookery classes using ingredients sourced by passengers in local markets at destinations – all of this combines to make a cruise personal, memorable and Instagram-able!

When searching CABI Leisure Tourism for ‘cruise and (young* or millennial*)’ retrieves 66 results.

To read the full press release follow the link:

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