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Think you know Cruising? Think again!

Prefered destinations have changed

Once upon a time, it seemed that the Mediterranean and Caribbean were the only cruising destinations available, but nowadays every corner of the globe is a potential cruising spot. With ice-breaking polar yachts, little shallow-bottomed cruisers able to sail into hidden lagoons and river cruises to the heart of cities across the world, almost nowhere is off limits on a modern cruise holiday. Cruise lines today are able to offer even more varied itineraries, and therefore, even more exciting and adventurous opportunities. Destinations such as Alaska, the Norwegian Fjords, and the Galapagos islands have become increasingly popular, showing that cruisers want more than just to top up their tans. When out in the wild, the modern cruiser wants to get stuck in, spot exotic wildlife against a backdrop of stunning scenery, and maybe even try a bit of canoeing or snorkelling to get up close and personal. Not only this, but they love trying local cuisines, exploring winding alleyways, and gazing at the architecture in some of the world’s most iconic ports – from Reykjavik in Iceland to Ketchikan in Alaska. In our survey, an amazing 40% said they had been on a ‘cold cruise’, and 29% stated that they wish to go to the Fjords, Baltic, or Canada and Alaska in the future. It’s possible that the availability of these new cold destinations - as opposed to the warm Mediterranean or Caribbean - has gone a long way towards attracting younger guests onboard.


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Typical reasons to cruise have changed

In the early days of cruising, it cost a small fortune to cruise for just a few days in the Mediterranean. Nowadays, however, there is a wide range of deals and options to suit cruisers from all walks of life; from month-long world cruises in expensive yachts to no-fly trips for a week or so. Our survey unearthed that cruisers want more than simply to drink cocktails and lounge around the pool, as they explore the oceans from Asia to the Americas, as well as classic destinations such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. 28% of participants said that culture was the most important thing on a holiday, while 46% said the ports of call were the highlight for them. In addition, 69% said they love to self-explore and 28% preferred to be shown around local sights by an experienced tour guide. This interest in embracing and getting to know various cultures, highlights the fact that today’s cruise is not just about the ship itself. On the contrary, it’s about the new and exciting places that can be seen all over the world and all the incredible experiences that await. Modern cruisers are making the most of the possibilities that come with this style of holiday. How else is it possible to see a different country every day but only have to unpack once? Only on a cruise!


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The onboard experience has changed

Whether you prefer the traditional cruising experience with scheduled dinners in your Sunday best, or freestyle cruising where the ship is like an open, floating city you can stroll around at your leisure, there’s truly a style of cruising for everyone. You usually spend the majority of your time onboard, so it’s fitting that there’s plenty to do so that your stay is the best it can be. As a result, innovation is the top of most cruise lines’ agendas. From virtual reality balconies and outdoor cinemas, to cruise lines having their own private paradise islands, many would say that cruising has always been at the forefront of new innovations when it comes to travel. Cruisers don’t just want a game of shuffle board on deck and to send a postcard home anymore. As our survey showed, with 25% saying onboard activities and entertainment were at the top of the list of what’s important on their cruise, the modern cruiser wants to try their hand at sky diving and surfing simulators, while being able to keep on top of emails and share photos with loved ones back home. Surprisingly, for all the millions invested in improving cruisers’ experiences and activities onboard, a massive 61% said free Wi-Fi was the greatest cruising innovation. Then again, those roaming charges are a pain!


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Cruising hasn’t always been the accessible yet luxurious holiday it is now. Once upon a time those fortunate enough to be able to afford a cruise were committed to a lengthy voyage, which included a high proportion of sea days, and all for a sizeable sum of money. Today the reality is quite different. With more options in the way of fly cruises, mini-cruises, and sailings from the UK, it’s never been easier to find the perfect cruise for you.

In addition to ease of travel, cruising has hugely changed in a number of other ways, not least the onboard experience. While traditional features like set dining times, welcome parties, and dance classes remain steadfast, there are a whole host of new activities and facilities for guests to enjoy. Innovations like F1 simulators, laser tag and the sky ride are attracting families while on-board casinos, night clubs and beautiful spa facilities are popular among younger generations. In fact, more and more stag and hen parties are even booking cruises nowadays! Check out how cruising used to be before en-suite bathrooms and top-notch restaurants were the norm.


As our survey shows, there’s more to modern cruisers than people playing shuffle board and putting on dickie bows for the captain’s dinner.

Here are six REAL cruiser profiles as taken from our data (9,000 people took part in our  survey).

The question is; which type of cruiser are you?

which cruiser are you