As the summer holidays draw to a close, many families are looking ahead to plan the next year’s getaway. It’s no secret that planning a family holiday can be extremely stressful, particularly with more and more brits being able to afford to go abroad instead of the traditional UK ‘staycation’. It comes as no surprise that the popularity of cruise holidays continues to rise among brits, with a 5% increase from 2012 to 2013 according to The Telegraph. In face of huge competition from airlines, we explore why cruises are so popular.
Why Cruise Holidays Are On The Rise
Ease of Planning
Probably the number one factor in choosing a cruise holiday is the ease of planning in comparison to traditional holidays. Instead of booking flights, sightseeing trips, and air travel separately to find the best deal, cruises offer a compromise between an all-inclusive luxury hotel and a backpacker’s exploration. When travelling between destinations, there are a wide range of high-quality entertainment options on offer, and sometimes famous chefs working in the restaurants, where staff speak the language and are trained to cater for dietary restrictions.
Range of Routes
The world’s oldest cruise operator is P&O, which began carrying passengers in the 1840s on short tours around Southampton’s coastline. Since then, many more operators have launched and the competition between them is staggering, with routes available to nearly every corner of the world – if it is accessible by boat, there’s a cruise route. However, all routes are designed to maximise visits and sightseeing, and so will usually chart around the coast of a continent, such as Scandinavia, Mediterranean Europe, South America, or South Asia; or offer island hopping such as in the Caribbean.
Typically a cruise holiday will last one or more weeks, depending on the route, although it is possible to connect between liners for an extended stay or a world tour. This makes it particularly advantageous for graduates or retirees looking to see the world on a gap year. Mini-cruises are becoming increasingly popular for holiday makers unable to commit to a long stay for work or reasons – think of it as a cross between a city break and a spa weekend. A mini cruise is typically a stay of 2-4 nights on a standard cruise liner, with all the luxury amenities, food, and sightseeing opportunities you would expect from a standard cruise, sometimes with party or hen/stag do options available from specialist operators.