With Christmas just round the corner, what are top luxury cruise trends for 2018? We pick the top six trends for next year.
1. Enriching healing and wellness experience
Rejuvenation, wellness and spa at sea are hot.
As a record 1.3 million Australians take to ocean cruises, more are looking to recharge themselves both physically and mentally during their voyage.
Cruises with wellness and “personal healing” have special appeal to passengers recovering from a long illness, those dealing with personal grief or divorce.
Among the cruise lines which will introduce new holistic wellness programs next year are Regent Seven Seas combining low-impact activities with new revitalising treatments on board its Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s Exploration, Transformation, Mindfulness voyages which are conducted with Exhale Spa brand and Silversea Cruises’ new wellness regime in association with Zagara Beauty Spa which allows guests to “personalise’’ the spa experience.
2. More adventure and expedition cruises
Expedition cruises are another hot trend especially itineraries which sail to Borneo, the polar region and the Galapagos. Silversea’s Silver Cloud will be launched as a expedition ship to cruise the polar regions, French luxury Ponant will introduce two explorer-class vessels, Le Laperouse and Le Champlain next year to be followed by another two in 2019 and Crystal Cruises will have its first purpose-built, expedition-style Crystal Endeavour sailing the polar regions next August.
3. Its skip-a-generation holidays
Instead of multi-generation families holidaying together, skip a generation cruise is another emerging trend with more grandparents taking their grandchildren on epic holidays and leaving their parents behind. It might be an expedition cruise to celebrate a graduation or birthday.
4. Cruises dedicated to food and wine
Specialist food and wine river cruises are a big lure for foodie aficionados who also like to learn the tricks of the trade from celebrity chefs. Seadream Yacht Club will partner Schug Carneros Estate Winery of the Sonoma Valley in California for a wine-themed cruise while AmaWaterways will offer more than 50 wine-focused cruises hosted by North American winemakers. Select sailings of Silversea ships offer L’Ecole Des Chefs by Relais & Chateaus – a high end cooking school concept including knife skills workshop, sommelier pairing and slow food experience.
5. Rise of millennial cruisers
More younger travellers are cruising with the launch of U by Uniworld which targets nightlife-loving millennials aged between 18 and 40. Ships include international DJs, cocktail mixologists and adventurous excursions including rock climbing and whitewater rafting.
6. More immersive shore excursions
Cruisers are also attracted by more immersive shore excursions which will be another hot trend for 2018. They want to immerse themselves in the local culture when the ship calls at different destinations. This could range from attending the Monaco Grand Prix, truffle-hunting with trained dogs in the Slovenian countryside or snorkelling to harvest pearls in Tahiti.