PHOTO: Millennial cruisers. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
It’s official: millennials and men are more interested in cruising than any other travelers.
This is according to a recent Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook survey conducted for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in partnership with J.D. Power.
“CLIA highly values keeping a finger on the pulse of consumer cruise attitudes and preferences in order to create an ever-improving industry based on traveler feedback,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA, in a press release.
“The Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook plays a key role in helping us continue to adapt and appeal to every type of traveler with evolving business practices, varied cruise durations, and available destinations.”
Overall, 63 percent of participants had an increased interest in cruise travel during the last year, with millennials leading demographically. About 85 percent are from the group ahead of 64 percent Gen Xers and 40 percent Baby Boomers.
By gender, interest is up among 74 percent of men and 54 percent of women, with 71 percent of men claim cruising is their ideal form of travel in the next three years. Also, 62 percent of both groups prefer a cruise style of casual elegance.
Worth noting beyond the study, although millennials and boomers are neck and neck as far as who is taking cruises currently, the former might begin to overtake the latter in the near future based on upcoming interest alone. Also, while women are frequently the decision makers in a family, it would seem men are the ones more likely to desire a cruise vacation.
In fact, as a millennial man myself, I squarely fit within these latest findings as a frequent cruiser who only wants to go on more and more voyages.
The study also points out that those who have already cruised are nearly sure to do so again, with 80 percent expressing increased interest in a cruise over 50 percent of non-cruisers.
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The perspective holds that cruising is a better value than land-based alternatives too, given 57 percent of respondents consider cruise travel a great value versus 48 percent who consider the same of shoreside trips.
As for North American homeport options, 68 percent like being able to drive to a cruise ship, 64 percent appreciate not needing to fly and 57 percent relish cost savings sans flights.
Popular destinations remain in the Caribbean—with 36 percent preferring the region—and the Mediterranean, with 27 percent liking that area. The favored sailing duration regardless of where it goes continues to be a week among 33 percent of those surveyed.
Lastly, despite growing interest in river cruising, 34 percent say they desire an ocean cruise compared to 23 percent back in January. Perhaps the conclusion is that people would rather take an ocean cruise from closer to home than a river cruise abroad. Of course, it’s worth remembering that river departures are also available domestically.
Regarding some of the other data, it’s good that the Caribbean is so popular because the recently hurricane-damaged islands are indeed beginning to rebound—many quicker than initially expected. Thankfully, it is very easy to get to the region from North American ports in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and more without aforementioned flying.
It would also seem that cruises will only continue to get more and more casual as formality is considered increasingly passé.
Surely, the value proposition of cruising also remains the top selling point, one that can never be too frequently repeated. After all, only a cruise bundles transportation, accommodations, dining, entertainment and other activities within a singular vessel.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.