CruiseTravel agents see a hike in interest from new-age cruisers in search of adrenaline-packed activities.

New-gen thrill-seekers look to churn the cruise recovery wave

Cruise lines are adjusting to the changing demographics and new demands of cruise passengers.
Cruise lines are adjusting to the changing demographics and new demands of cruise passengers. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International

There’s a new wave of cruisers that is driving the revitalisation of the cruise industry in a post-Covid world. They hold very different expectations to cruisers of the past, and the onus is on cruise lines these days to refine, strengthen, and add on unique and adrenaline-pumping activities to cater to these new-age cruisers.

According to Alicia Seah, director of marketing communications at Dynasty Travel, while “in pre-pandemic times, 70% of our customer base comprised passengers aged 45 years and above," the post-pandemic world has seen cruise passenger demographics shift toward the younger spectrum.

“Millennials, aged 25 to 34, and young families now make up for 40% of our market share,” Seah shared.

This shift in demographics can be attributed to a number of factors. The stereotype that cruises are only for older travellers is fast becoming a thing of the past, especially as major cruise lines are dedicated to revamping their brands to offer the best cruise experiences for young adults, and travel agents are more active in marketing these thrilling new activities.

The Icaros flying simulators on board Dream Cruises create immersive adventures for guests.
The Icaros flying simulators on board Dream Cruises create immersive adventures for guests. Photo Credit: Dream Cruises

Steven Ler, executive director, and head of travel of UOB Travel Planner, said: “With all the new activities the cruise lines have come out with, we have to change mindsets by showcasing the exciting things onboard which are suitable for people of all ages, which include Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) skydiving simulator, Dream Cruises’ virtual reality wonderland and Broadway-style shows.”

Adrenaline-filled activities for thrill-chasers

Today's cruise lines resemble theme parks which are able to offer a plethora of thrilling rides and activities to cruisers. They can now race friends in go-karts, plunge down extreme water slides, strap on a bungee cord, practice surfing, go ziplining or ride a rollercoaster in a VR motion simulator —all without leaving the ship.

RCI is slated to introduce a wider range of activities and experiences to Singapore onboard the Spectrum of the Seas in 2022. Designed with young Asian cruisers in mind, the line-up of extreme activities includes virtual reality bungee jump, surf simulator, sky diving experience, laser tag, fencing and more.

Safety first, pleasure second

Despite the demand for action-packed activities and adventures, safety remains every passenger’s top priority when it comes to booking cruises.

“Two of the most important information cruisers looked and asked for were if full vaccination and tests are required and what are the safe measurement practices on board the cruises,” Jeremiah Wong, senior marketing communications manager of Chan Brothers Travel said.

Likewise for UOB Travel Planner, Ler mentioned that customers want to know about the “safety measures cruises are taking, preventive measures, and what are the protocols in case of confirmed cases onboard”. Ler added that cruisers also look at Covid-19 insurance coverage, flexible cancellation or refund policy and all-inclusive experiences.

Seah from Dynasty Travel echoed the same findings about cruisers needing to be assured that “safety hygiene protocols are in place” before they make a booking.

“More awareness of safety measures, and booking and cancellation policies of the cruise lines will encourage more confidence from customers in cruising and ultimately, conversions into bookings,” Wong said.

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