Cruising in 2018: CLIA’s CEO spotlights her 3 favorite trends

Editor’s note: Amadeus is pleased to share a guest blog from Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). With cruise season in full swing, Cindy shares her favorite trends setting sail this year.

cruise trends

Travelers around the world are falling in love with the experience and convenience of a cruise vacation. When you only have to unpack once but get to visit several destinations in one cruise, you see more of the world and spend more time with loved ones on your vacation. While we are seeing many trends for this year, I’ve picked out a few of my favorites trends that have already begun to set said this year:

Skip-gen cruises

As a grandparent myself, I have loved seeing this trend really come to life. Cruise lines cater to skip-gen cruising in the same way they cater to a variety of cruisers, offering diverse itineraries and on-board activities that are tailored to the guest profile and preferences. Many grandparents want to travel with their grandchildren, but travel can be challenging. A cruise is stress-free, a great value and fun – making it the perfect option for grandparents to create special memories with their grandchildren.

Millennials take to the rivers

I went on my first river cruise last year and absolutely loved it. And while I’m not a millennial, I can confidently say that my daughter is and would be the perfect fit for a river cruise. Millennials thrive on customization and value, making a cruise vacation a perfect fit for this demographic. River cruises are a great way to travel to parts of the world that aren’t accessible to ocean liners and make it easy for millennials who want to immerse themselves in smaller destinations. I anticipate river cruising will continue to attract first time and millennial cruisers in the years to come, not only in Europe, but in other parts of the world.

Cruise travelers come from around the world

One of my favorite things about working in this industry, is how truly global we are. The past few years we have seen a steady shift in where passengers are traveling from – it’s no longer just an American vacation. We are also seeing strong growth in China, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia. One million or more cruisers came from these countries in 2016, and we expect these numbers will continue to grow. We are also seeing massive growth in the Asian cruise market. Asian cruise passengers predominantly cruise within Asia on short sailings, making it a promising market for cruise lines looking to branch out into new regions since the interest is already there. Cruise travel to Asia is growing rapidly with 35 cruise lines having an active presence in the region last year. Asia is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Cruising in this region includes more than 204 destinations across 17 countries, making travelling by cruise ship one of the easiest ways to see multiple destinations throughout Asia.

What other trends do you foresee for 2018? Let us know!

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