Longer cruises are growing in popularity

New CLIA survey indicates that extended and world cruises are favoured by older passengers

Longer cruises are growing in popularity

By Rebecca Gibson |

Longer sailings, including world cruises of several months, are becoming increasingly popular among both retired and affluent travellers, according to a recent survey of travel agents by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

In 2014, more than a third of travel agents reported an increase in bookings of 14- to 100-day cruises, citing that many passengers were attracted by the ability to see multiple places without needing to visit transit many airports during their holiday. Longer cruises also offered travellers the chance to visit places around the world that would be difficult to visit on land.

Several of CLIA’s member lines will offer longer itineraries this year including Norwegian Cruise Line, which will return to South America for the first time in five years to offer 14-day cruises between Santiago in Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina onboard Norwegian Sun from November 2015 to March 2016.

Luxury line Crystal Cruises has a variety of 10-day or longer sailings on its 2015 to 2017 calendar including a 108-day Crystal Silver Celebration World Cruise on Crystal Serenity, embarking in January.

Carnival Cruise Line’s extended itineraries will sail from the US and include a 12-day Journey of Discovery cruise from Galveston on Carnival Triumph this March. On the West Coast of the US, Carnival Miracle will operate three 15-day roundtrips from Long Beach, California to Hawaii in October and November 2015, and November 2016. In March 2016, passengers can sail on a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise from Baltimore on Carnival Pride.

World cruise have also become increasingly popular in 2015-2016.

For example, Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa departed on a 115-day, 40-port voyage to five continents on 6 January, while Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper embarked on her 115-day cruise to 50 ports in 30 countries on 5 January.

All three Cunard ships will celebrate the line’s 175th anniversary in 2015 with world cruises. This January, Queen Mary 2 will embark on a 113-day voyage from Los Angeles, US, which will include calls at 54 ports in 29 countries in the South Pacific, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. In February, passengers can enjoy a 57-day Boomerang cruise on Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco, US, before boarding Queen Victoria in Australia. Guests on this cruise will also enjoy an eight-day land stay in Australia.

In addition, Holland America Line’s Amsterdam will offer a 114-day Grand World Voyage on Amsterdam, which is also available in segments, while Seabourn Cruises’ Seabourn Odyssey will sail a 34-day The Path of Galleons itinerary to Central and South America in March 2016.

Princess Cruises will offer ten-day and longer cruises, including a 40-day World Cruise Segment on Sea Princess, and a 111-day Full World Cruise on Pacific Princess. The world cruise will sail roundtrip from Los Angeles and call at destination on six continents.

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