Millennials are flocking to cruise itineraries in greater numbers.

There’s an old saying that cruise holidays were for the “newlywed or nearly dead”.

While that may have applied in the 1970’s, take one cruise today and you’ll see that is a long way from the truth. Now, the myth has been shattered further after some independent industry research went a long way to confirming what we already knew – cruise travellers are getting younger with more Gen Y and Millennials embracing the concept of the sea holiday.

The new “Cruise Travel Report: Attitudes, Behaviors and Travel Preferences of Cruisers and Non-Cruisers” further solidified a trend which has been developing over the past few years, even in Australia. As far back as 2012, that year saw 47% – nearly half of all Australians taking a cruise – as being under 50. Most of this figure – 25% were people under 40 and over the next two years, this percentage of younger guests grew to 27.5% and hit 30% in 2014.

Young people and young families are readily discovering the value in taking a cruise holiday.

On a global scale, the report found the typical cruise group included more than two children and reflected the same trends – nearly half of all groups taking a cruise took children under the age of 18 with them.

Millennials have been dubbed as the new “Cruise Generation” which according to the report, labelled cruising as being better than a land-based holiday, an all-inclusive resort, escorted tours, house rentals and camping. It found nine out of ten travellers within this generation window who had taken a cruise before said they would take another one in the near future.

The destinations visited by cruise ships were a major factor in attracting young travellers, the report said.
The destinations visited by cruise ships were a major factor in attracting young travellers, the report said.

Other reasons for the resurgence of the “Cruise Generation” included:

  • A desire to do new things: Nearly 90% of those studied in the report said cruises served as a better way to completely disconnect and relax, compared to a land holiday.
  • Booking in advance: Cruise travellers generally booked their ocean holiday between four and 18 months ahead of departure, whereas more than half of those who preferred to remain on land for their holidays were last-minute buyers, confirming things less than three months before setting off.
  • Seeing the world: This was an area where both cruisers and non-cruisers were in agreement. Nearly seven in ten of cruisers said the destination was a major factor in deciding which cruise they wished to take. Cost and value were the next most important elements which played a part in the planning process.

Cruise industry advocacy body Cruise Lines International Association said the report was a positive outlook for the holiday style and also indicated that “it may only be a matter of time before non-cruisers try out a cruise”.