Once considered to be the type of holiday only enjoyed by retirees, cruise has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past few years, demonstrating its suitability for travellers of all ages. In fact, the number of passengers carried by the cruise industry has grown steadily year-on-year and, according to Statista.com, is expected to exceed 24 million in 2018.
There are now cruise holidays available to suit a variety of interests and preferences. Here are a few of the most popular to be sure you have on your books:
1. Family cruise
Cruise ships make a wonderful playground for families with young children or teenagers thanks to the range of inter-generational facilities many of the family-friendly lines have on offer. Some of the highest rated cruise companies for families include Disney Cruise Line with its packed programme of activities for children, Norwegian Cruise Line with its youth programmes specially tailored for specific age groups, and Royal Caribbean which offers facilities such as ice skating rinks, swimming pools and basketball courts.
2. Luxury cruise
World-class wining and dining, spacious cabins with private balconies, a higher staff-to-passenger ratio than other types of cruise – these are just some of the elements that sell luxury cruise to holiday-makers. Some of the most popular lines specialising in the luxury experience include Seabourn, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas Cruise – the key is to offer that perfect all-inclusive experience teamed with personalised timetables and attentive staff who are trained and prepared to ensure that each passenger's expectations are exceeded.
3. Single cruise
Travelling solo appeals to a significant number of holiday-makers and a specially tailored single cruise programme offers the perfect chance to meet new people as well as retreat for some quality time alone. Thomson Cruises, Crystal Cruises, P&O Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are a few of the big names that offer activities, single cabins and reduced single supplements that make travelling solo a breeze.
4. River cruise
River cruising is an appealing option for those that prefer to avoid the rolling waves of the ocean, and the trend is on the rise. Last year, the number of UK and Irish travellers choosing a river cruise hit a record high at 150,300 - a 10,000 passenger rise on the year before - whilst CLIA Europe VP Operations Andy Harmer cited the ever-increasing choice and diversity of itineraries as one of the main reasons for this meteoric rise.
5. Themed cruises
Travellers can combine a special interest with life on the water by opting for a themed cruise. Whether it's fine food and wine, classical music, cooking or ballroom dancing, there is a themed cruise out there to suit. However, it is also important to be aware that many themed cruises do not take over the entire ship, ensuring there is plenty to offer to passengers with different interests.
If you're a travel agent and you've realised that cruise is becoming a huge holiday trend, you can now sell cruise trips to your customers with our market-leading cruise platform. We have links with all the major cruise lines, allowing you to offer your customers the very best choice when it comes to selling cruise.