It seems that luxury cruising isn’t just for boomers anymore. Millennials and Generation Xers are discovering the value, the ability to personalize “just for me” cruise experiences, and the opportunity to venture to far-flung points across the globe in the lap of luxury.
In fact, millennials are seeking out luxury cruises at a record pace, with almost a quarter of those surveyed having sailed on a luxury cruise line within the past three years, according to Cruise Lines International Association’s 2018 Cruise Travel Report. What’s more, Cruise Planners, an American Express travel representative, posted an increase of 46 percent in luxury sales and a 61 percent increase in river cruise sales in 2018 over 2017, thanks in part to millennial passengers.
Among the most popular cruise lines are premier luxury lines like Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Hapag-Lloyd and Crystal Cruises, several of which boast unique offerings, including concierge services equipped to make the unexpected happen. Case in point: an off-ship excursion to an Elton John concert arranged almost at the last moment by a Seabourn concierge for one passenger.
New-to-cruise guests often seek out spacious suites, which are sometimes in short supply, and boutique luxury experiences. Azamara Club Cruises, which recently debuted its third ship, the Azamara Pursuit, offers a wide array of destination voyages. Oceania is known for its culinary excellence as well as its destination-focused itineraries, and Viking Cruises, not historically known for opulence, recently introduced Viking Orion, a new vessel featuring an ultra-sleek Scandinavian interior.
As more millennials clamor for shipboard adventure–active experiences with in-depth exploration–small-ship luxury lines like Windstar, SeaDream Yacht Club, and Ponant offer voyages to far-flung destinations such as the Northeast Passage, Antarctica, remote islands in the South Pacific, The Kimberley in Australia, the Indian Ocean region, exotic African ports, and the Galapagos Islands.
Not surprisingly, younger luxury cruise guests want ships to be environmentally responsible. They ask about recycling, whether plastic straws are still in use, and what the lines give back to save the seas and the destinations they visit–and cruise lines are stepping up their efforts to comply.