Growth from the new-to-cruise customers is predicted to remain strong for 2017 (Image: Royal Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean International’s UK-based cruise ships are now welcoming first-time adult cruise passengers with an average age of 42 – 13 years younger than the industry average – according to new research. Two million UK passengers are set to cruise in 2017, while more than 10% of travellers are planning a cruise in the next year. Although the average age of British passengers taking cruise holidays has dropped to 55 years old – the lowest in six years – Royal Caribbean believes it’s the ‘Generation Thrill and Chill’ families who are leading this growth. Families now represent a quarter of Royal Caribbean guests.
“Over 1.9 million UK holiday makers took a cruise in 2016, and figures indicate similar growth in 2017,” said Ben Bouldin, managing director for Royal Caribbean International. “There appears to be three main triggers for why younger, new-to-cruise families are booking cruise holidays with us: the ability to visit multiple destinations, while also being able to relax and chill, and experience fun and adventure along the way. We call them ‘Generation Thrill-and-Chill’ and they now make up a quarter of all our guests in the UK.”
Royal Caribbean figures also show that in 2016, bookings for groups of friends and family accounted for 20% of the total number of passengers onboard and almost a third of those were first-time cruisers.
Growth from the new-to-cruise customers is predicted to remain strong for 2017 with nearly half of non-cruisers expressing interest in taking an ocean cruise.