Many people regard cruising as an outdated concept that is suited to a particular demographic.

The very mention of a cruise - to those who have never been on one - is likely to conjure up ideas of retirees quietly lolling away on a vast liner in the middle of the ocean. It is widely thought of as an unexciting and docile form of holidaying.

Not only is this far from the reality of cruising, but it is prompting cruise lines to strike out in a new direction, to attract a new wave of younger travelers, and the new face of cruising may surprise you.

Destinations

There are more far-flung regions and hidden gems of the world than ever that are now being navigated by cruise ships, which has given way to adventure-oriented cruising - quite the antithesis of the traditional perception. While the classic trips to the Bahamas and the Mediterranean are still as available and popular as ever, there are many new cruise offerings nowadays in terms of destinations.

Specially-engineered vessels have made travel to the harsher parts of the world possible, making Alaska, the fjords of Norway and other regions of the Arctic Circle accessible to thrill seekers. Smaller, more agile vessels are also beginning to explore the narrower waterways, from intimate tours of the Chobe River to the Amazon rainforest.

Cruise ships can take you in directions you never expected.

Activities

Advances in technology have enabled cruise lines to offer a much wider range of activities and excursions to their guests, so there are many more things to take part in than ballroom dancing and cookery workshops.

A host of water sports - from paragliding and scuba diving to jet-skiing and even mini submarine dives - are available on larger vessels in warmer climates, whereas Arctic expeditions offer chances to see and photograph local wildlife, ski, trek and even swim in the waters.

Cruises headed for the Amazon host once-in-a-lifetime tours of the rainforest and its unique bounty of animals and plants, as well as swimming, paddle-boarding and even piranha fishing.

Wherever you go, there is plenty going on to make sure you are never bored, and come home with plenty of unique memories.

Life Onboard

Facilities onboard cruise ships vary greatly, but always have plenty to offer to a wide range of tastes. Many ships are being either overhauled or newly designed to be contemporary, convenient and enjoyable.

Interactive services via tablets and touchscreens are becoming commonplace, as is Wi-Fi. Cinemas, theatres, holistic day spas and onboard activities like Segway riding and even ice skating are being incorporated into the design of cruise ships to make them more enjoyable to modern travelers, and more in keeping with what they have come to expect from their holidays.

The face of cruising is changing rapidly to appeal to a younger crowd who have never experienced travelling by ship, and this is expanding the possibilities of the cruise industry.

Take another look at cruise holidays - they are not what they used to be.

For more information visit cruiseline.co.uk

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