Research by Princess and Costa Cruises has identified new trends among passenger age groups that can help agents identify the right ships for clients.
While multigenerational families and older couples are still the lines’ most popular cruisers, agents are seeing the emergence of a new, younger middle-class.
Director of Southeast Asia of Princess Cruises, Farriek Tawfik of Princess Cruises says the research is extremely valuable for travel agents.
“We are witnessing a greater demand for cruise travel from the new middle class who are more discerning. They demand more customised services and facilities for a unique cruise experience.
“They are drawn towards Japanese-infused features onboard the Diamond Princess.
“As a result of the rising middle class in the region, we have also seen an uptake in bookings from our guests in Singapore and Southeast Asia for the Alaska and Mediterranean itineraries.
“Our middleclass guests love seafood, which is served at our specialty restaurants.”
For multigenerational families, Mr Tawfik said the length and destination of cruises is a major factor, especially when parents are travelling with the elderly and infants.
“Large family groups prefer short-haul trips that last four to seven days. They are also keen on cruising on larger ships, as they want to try the onboard facilities and entertainment,” he says.
“Due to the limitations that come with travelling with the young and old, multi-generational families prefer itineraries within Southeast Asia since the destinations are closer to home.”
Mr Tawfik says young couples prefer intimate holidays where they can enjoy spa treatments as well as healthy meals.
“Young couples onboard Princess Cruises opt for rejuvenating activities where they may enjoy each other’s company without distraction, such as escaping to The Sanctuary for an afternoon of tranquility and attentive services.
“A big portion of our younger guests prefer healthy dining and enjoy indulging in new culinary experiences. Whilst relaxing at The Sanctuary on deluxe chaise lounges and child face towels, the health-conscious can stay energised with light smoothies, refreshing lettuce-wrapped spring rolls and other healthy treats.”
A spokesperson from Costa Cruises says their passengers are usually from the middle-class or upper class, who enjoy a European experience, but their new middle class clients are very particular.
“In this emerging market, cruising is a fresh and unique experience for many travellers and there are a lot of young first-time cruisers who are keen to discover and explore cruise holidays. They demand the best ship with the most outstanding offerings in terms of services, food and entertainment programs.
“The line provides a unique ‘Italy at Sea’ concept that gives our guest a rich and immersive experience in Italian culture – from hospitality, to cuisine, to art. The growing interest in Costa’s Italian style of cruise holiday from our Asian guests is well received.”