Survey reveals luxury cruise lovers are planning to head to sea on smaller ships
As travel restrictions start to lift and cruise fans look forward to the time they can sail again, a survey has revealed that nearly a third of passengers booking upmarket cruises are planning to downsize to smaller ships.
The majority of cruisers surveyed (56%) said they are planning to travel on a ship carrying 500 or fewer passengers, a 12% increase on those who favoured smaller ships before.
The findings have been revealed in a study carried out by Mundy Cruising, the UK’s oldest cruise specialist. The survey revealed that the company’s clients are bullish about their future travel plans, with the majority (63%) planning to cruise again in 2021 and a sizable minority (15%) hoping to return to the waves this year if possible. A further 20% plan to cruise in 2022 or beyond.
There was also positive news for river cruise lines, with 30% of respondents planning a river cruise for their next trip.
The main findings of the survey are:
- The majority of respondents (56%) plan to travel on a ship carrying 50-500 guests after coronavirus, compared to 44% who preferred this size of ship before
- Just 7% plan to travel on a ship carrying more than 1,000 guests in future, compared to 19% before coronavirus
- 11% expect their next cruise to be an expedition cruise
- 26% would consider a no-fly cruise from continental Europe, joining their ship by road or rail
Edwina Lonsdale, Managing Director of Mundy Cruises, said the results showed a renewed sense of optimism about the future of cruising which had been reflected in the company’s sales figures, with business last month up 63% compared to June 2019. She said many clients are opting for itineraries closer to home, with popular destinations including the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. More surprising is the demand for North America and the Caribbean, though this tallies with findings from the survey, with 41% of respondents prepared to consider a long-haul trip for their next cruise.
Mundy Cruising has specialised in small ship ocean, river and expedition cruises since 1970, and features lines that Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club and Silversea.
“We are buoyed by our clients’ confidence in the future and their excitement about cruising again,” added Edwina. “The cruise industry is leading the way in safe global travel, collaborating widely to ensure guests can return safely to their favourite type of holiday.”
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and SeaDream Yacht Club