DETROIT, MI – What are the trends in cruising for 2016 and what can we expect from the industry? CruiseCompete has insider knowledge about emerging travel trends, thanks to countless hours of research and to the thousands of consumers who provide feedback on their cruise travel experiences and desires.
With this information, plus their expert knowledge of the industry, the cruise specialists at CruiseCompete, (who provide on average a million quotes a year,) are able provide insight on cruising trends. Below are the trends the cruise specialists at CruiseCompete are seeing:
1. USA river cruising steams (and cruises) ahead.
American Queen Steamboat ships and American Cruise Lines’ small-ship cruising along the inland waterways and rivers of the United States will be more popular than ever. Beginning in 2017, Viking Cruises will operate two ships on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, joining American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company. These two new Viking ships are the first of six Viking plans to roll out on the Mississippi over a three-year period – a monumental deployment by any standard.
2. The hottest destination? Cuba, Cuba and Cuba!
Since the U.S. and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations, many people are booking cruises to Cuba based on pent up demand. Largely unchanged since the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s, and under strict embargo by the U.S. since, a visit to Cuba shows a world largely without commercial advertising, where classic cars are the most popular means of transport. A number of lines are now including Cuba on their itineraries, including:
Star Clippers: 7 Night Cuba roundtrip from Cienfuegos
Crystal Cruises: 7 Nights – 7301 – Yucatan Discovery
3. Less is NOT more, more is more: All-Inclusive is becoming the industry standard.
Across the board, cruise lines are going more and more all-inclusive. Although this trend began with the Ultra-Luxury sector, due to consumer demand more and more of the lines are following suit. It’s time to bid adieu to out-of-pocket expenses. An all-inclusive cruise allows you to sail in style and leave your wallet in your cabin.
4. Family and multi-generational cruising make multi-room suites the hottest (and hardest to book) onboard accommodations.
Cabins designed for families, such as Royal Caribbean’s Family Connected Junior Suite with Balcony and Norwegian Cruise Line’s The Haven 3-Bedroom Garden Villa are booked way in advance. What do these suites have to offer that make them so desirable for family travel?
• Royal Caribbean’s Family Connected Junior Suite with Balcony has special layout that has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a balcony for all your family needs, sleeping 8 to 10 guests. This suite is 575 square feet with a balcony of 216 square feet.In the coming year, Royal Caribbean is also debuting their Royal Suite Class accommodations on Oasis Class and Quantum Class ships, starting May 2016. These Royal Suites will include expansive accommodations designed for a larger group of guests- and with plenty of included amenities.
Royal Suite Class Oasis Class
Room Occupancy Quantum Class
Royal Loft Suite 6 6
Owner’s Loft 4 4
Four-Bedroom Family Suite 14 –
Grand Loft 4 4
Sky Loft Suite 4 4
Two-Bedroom AquaTheater Suite 8
• Norwegian Cruise Line’s The Haven 3-Bedroom Garden Villa luxury suite boasts three separate bedrooms and three full bathrooms plus a half bath. There is a private garden with hot tub, outdoor dining area with terrace, dedicated concierge service, and butler service 24 hours a day. The 3-Bedroom Garden Villa sleeps up to 8 and is up to 5750 square feet.
These suites represent some options available for family travel- but these, and similar accommodations on other cruise lines- are in high demand. So if your family wants a true family experience sharing quarters, book early!
5. The world at your fingertips: an expansion of Internet and technological conveniences.
Royal Caribbean will roll out high-speed “Voom” service to all its Caribbean based ships by mid-2016. This service will allow passengers to surf the internet quickly and also use services like music streaming sites and Face Time. This trend is widespread, with more Wi-Fi and apps at sea across many of the lines.
6. Mysteries of the Orient: Asia cruises are in demand.
The mystery and beauty of Asia are calling. Public demand for these exotic cruises are on the rise. From the serenity of ancient temples, to the distinctive culinary flavors, to the thrill of shopping in the lively open-air markets, cruisers long for the combination of exotic sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. The cruise lines hear these requests and are responding. Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises and Star Cruises are putting new ships in Asia – and Asian river cruises are on the rise, too.