Travelzoo has released findings from its annual survey conducted over National Cruise Week, revealing that whilst cruise is becoming a popular option for younger travellers, cruise companies can and must do more to highlight dining options and time in port in order to attract this demographic.
The research revealed that 56% of those under the age of 44 are currently considering cruising as a holiday option, but that variety when it comes to dining is a top priority when considering booking a cruise.
Two thirds of potential cruise customers under 44 said they would dine in a ship’s ‘speciality restaurants’, even if it incurred a supplementary charge, compared with less than half of those over 65. For those over 65, a quarter said they would never frequent restaurants requiring a supplement.
The younger crowd also said they would be looking for more time in port to enjoy local cuisines. Of those under 34, 95% said they would be interested in sampling cuisine off the ship. However, in terms of destination, the findings were remarkably similar across all age groups, with the Mediterranean and the Caribbean being the two most popular.
The company's cruise deal expert, Raphael Giacardi, said: "It’s important that cruise companies explain what their cruises have to offer very clearly – highlighting longer time in port and dining options on board when seeking to appeal to the younger end of the market.
“Whilst the younger crowd may initially seem more relaxed with their spending, on closer inspection it becomes clear that it’s still the over-65s who are spending more on the overall cost of their cruise - opting for longer, higher-priced cruise itineraries and then being more frugal once at sea. The thing to bear in mind is that the experience each end of the market is looking for is quite different - not all cruise virgins are created equal.”
Findings from the survey also revealed that more than half of all respondents over 65 would pay £1,100-£3,000 per person on a cruise, compared with 17% of those aged between 25 and 34. For those under 34, the ideal length of a cruise is between five and ten days - in keeping with their typically busier lifestyles and careers.