(10:30 a.m. BST) -- The variety of cruises on offer, such as expedition, themed and wellness as well as a wider choice of itineraries and length of cruises, is attracting more young people to cruise.
The number of 18-34 year olds who have been on a cruise has grown more than any other age group in the last 12 months, according to ABTA’s latest Holiday Habits report.
More than a quarter (28 percent) of 18-34 year olds have taken a cruise -- up six percent on last year. By comparison, the number of those aged over 65 who have been on a cruise (38 percent) is up just two percent on last year.
"What’s been interesting in this year’s survey is that all the predictions about younger people cruising are now coming true," a spokesperson for Abta said.
"All the work cruise lines have been doing to attract younger cruisers -- the tech, the shorter cruises, the themes – are bearing fruit.”
The market overall is showing growth, too, with one in 10 people going on a cruise in the past year and one in seven (14 percent) planning to go on a cruise in the next 12 months -- both up two percent on last year. A further 60 percent of respondents are interested in taking a cruise -- up from 58 percent last year.
Cruise and stay holidays are also proving popular with 25 percent of respondents saying that type of cruise would interest them.
Overall, when respondents were asked “have you been on a cruise?” 22 percent responded: “Yes -- and I want to again," which is three percent up on last year. By contrast, when asked the same question, a third replied: “No -- and I have no intention of going," which is down by three percent from last year.
The length of cruise trips is another important factor for holidaymakers. Shorter trips are more popular with younger travellers, with 33 percent of 18-34 year olds interested in a three to five day trip, up 11 percent.
Additionally, more cruise lines are catering for passengers who enjoy a shorter trip, including retro-themed parties and floating music festivals.
Tech such as fast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth speakers and USB charging ports is also appealing to younger cruisers.
Other findings include:
- Twenty-seven percent of 25-34 year olds would like to take an expedition trip.
- A fifth of 18-34 year olds keen to try a wellness cruise.
- Twenty one percent of 18-34 year olds opted for food-themed cruises.
- Among the older age groups, people aged 55-64 are most likely to opt for a cruise exclusively for adults, while half of those aged 65 and over are interested in river cruises; second in popularity to an ocean cruise (64 percent).
- Older age groups prefer a longer trip, with 40 percent of those aged 55 and over wanting a 14-day cruise, compared to 34 percent on average). Seven days is the most popular cruise length across all age groups (45 percent).
- A total of 2,043 people were surveyed over the period from July 2018 to July 2019.