The demand for cruise ship holidays may be on the rise, as many cruise ship companies have begun planning the release of new ships throughout 2016 and 2017. The largest ship planned is Royal Caribbean’s Oasis III with a passenger capacity of 5,400 and is expected to be taking bookings as of August 2016. Royal Caribbean and Viking Cruises have the most, new cruise ship releases this year, which suggests they may be growing their businesses or changing to meet higher levels of demand. In addition to this, it is estimated passenger numbers on cruise ships are set to grow through to 2017, as last year broke passenger number records with 23 million choosing to take a cruise ship holidays. According to a recent report from Cruise Lines International Association, the United Kingdom and Ireland continues to have one of Europe’s highest rates of market penetration for cruise holidays, and this may continue to grow in the future.
Cruise ship holidays may offer the opportunity to see many destinations and enjoy a high level of service without flying. They are essentially floating hotels which offer accommodation, dining and entertainment on board. Cruise ship companies continue to expand and diversify their ships in order to provide more and more services for travellers. This includes the creation of spas, beauty salons, swimming pools, water parks, as well as a number of bars, restaurants and shops. This may ensure travellers have a varied and memorable experience whilst onboard. The variety of things to do onboard may also open up the option of a cruise ship holiday to families with children, couples, solo travellers or older travellers, as there may be something for all to enjoy.
Royal Caribbean may be a popular cruise ship brand, which offers holidays around the globe from the Mediterranean to Alaska. Many of their ships include cinemas, a running track, casinos, rock climbing facilities, miniature golf courses and sports courts. The perks of taking a cruise ship holiday may be the ability to wake up in a different destination each day and have the opportunity to explore without bringing luggage. In many cruise ships offered by Royal Caribbean, accommodation ranges from spacious suites designed to be luxurious with exceptional amenities, to smaller more affordable cabins offering a sea view. These modern cruise ships have also embraced innovation, with many Royal Caribbean ships offering ‘virtual balconies.’ This is offered in all rooms without sea-facing positions and shows real-time footage from the deck. Many ships also provide a surf simulator called ‘Flowrider’ which allows participants to practice or experience what it’s like to surf. Alternatively, tourists may be interested in the skydiving simulator which is available on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum and Anthem of the Seas ships. The wide variety of activities may appeal to all types of entertainment seekers.
An alternative cruise ship company which focuses on a mix of cosmopolitan and smaller ports of interest is Viking Cruises. Viking Cruises are in the process of manufacturing two new ships to be released this summer. Their itineraries are designed to offer longer hours in ports than other cruise ship companies including late evening stays and overnights to take advantage of the nightlife. This may appeal to those wanting to immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations and spend more time off board. They offer cruises around the Mediterranean, the Baltic and Northern Europe as well as the Caribbean and North America, providing a variety of choices for potential travellers around the world.
The future of cruise ship holidays may be bright, as many cruise ship companies continue to innovate and create unique holiday experiences whilst offering the chance to visit top destinations. The wide variety of things to do onboard may further appeal to all ages and types of traveller.
How might cruise ship holidays evolve going into the future?