In the wake of the third anniversary commemorating the sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012, Cruise.co.uk unveils its first Quarterly Cruise Comparison (QCC), the first section which reveals modern consumer habits and indicates the most in-demand destinations for 2015.
Partly owed to the number of rejuvenating on-board activities available such as rock climbing, yoga classes and fitness spas, plus an increase of disposable income, the company found that the average cruise age has dropped from 60 in 2004 to 55 in 2014, suggesting that cruise holidays are no longer exclusive to retirees.
Showcasing their passion for adventure, half of cruisers (53%) in a survey of more than 1,000 forum members claim they tend to travel to new destinations because they like seeing undiscovered places. However, revealing just how powerful the relationship between consumer and cruise liner has become, almost a quarter (30%) of respondents showed they are creatures of habit, stating they only travel to destinations that their preferred operator travels to.
Looking at the regularity with which dedicated cruisers go on cruise holidays, 85% revealed they travel once every year, with a quarter of those polled (26%) claiming to have been on between six and ten cruises in their lifetime. A fifth (21%) claimed to have been on more than 20 different cruises.
Comparatively, the cruisers of 2004/05 booked an average of 218 days in advance of their cruise experiences, whereas the cruiser of 2014 booked their holiday an average of 168 days ahead of their departure, revealing that modern tech savvy cruisers now keep their eyes fixed on the horizon for the best deals.
The company's managing director, Seamus Conlon, said: "As the cruise industry continues to innovate and expand to a wider audience, it’s interesting to see that the average age of the British cruiser is decreasing year-on-year, as the industry continues to cater more and more to a progressively younger audience.
“Each cruise experience is unique and specific to particular types of travellers, which is why we thoroughly recommend people take their time to consider which cruise is for them. This perhaps explains why many tend to travel on cruise liners they trust and have enjoyed in the past, but clearly there is a significant rise in the number of people interested in travelling to new destinations as more and more become available.”
The poll also revealed that the most anticipated destination for cruisers to visit in 2015 was the Far East, which took a 27% of the most popular destinations this year. A quarter (25%) claimed they were most excited to visit Alaska in 2015.
In terms of river cruises consumers most anticipate in 2015/16, almost half of respondents (46%) claimed the Danube was at the top of their list, followed closely by 36% who said the Rhine.