Cruising is a costly business. A friend recently signed up for a cruise and is gradually realising that it’s not just the cost of your cabin that’s likely to put a dent in your wallet. There are the clothes (what DOES one wear to dinner each night, how smart IS smart casual?), there are the tours, not to mention the tablet (well, it’s a camera, Kindle and wifi wonder in one easily transportable tool!).
BUT cruising is the future of travel, or so we’re led to believe, and rapidly becoming more affordable and attainable. The cruise industry is currently worth almost £2.5 billion a year to the UK economy, and creates more than 66,000. Forecast figures released last month by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) show that a record 1.79 million British holidaymakers took a cruise in 2013, an increase of more than five per cent on 2012. Six new ocean cruise ships worth £2.38 billion are launching this year, and the global number of cruise passengers for 2014 is forecast to be 21.7 million.
What is it that’s calling more of us to take to the high seas?
Industry experts tout cruising’s diversity as the key to the sector’s growing appeal. Cruise lines are investing in new, modern ships of all shapes and sizes, catering for all ages and offering amazing holidays to enticing destinations all around the globe. So whether you want to get up close to orca whales on an expedition vessel or simply wake up to a different view every day, the solution is a hop, skip and a sail away.
No longer just the preserve of wealthy retirees, cruise ships have something for everyone. From super-sized resorts with surf simulators and celebrity turns to luxury vessels with personal butlers, the world is your oyster when it comes to life afloat. Cruise holidays can offer access to a world of adventure, with opportunities to go hiking, diving or camping out in Antarctica.
Still not convinced? The worldwide web is rife with tips, forums and feedback on cruise holidays. And if you need further encouragement you just need to look to the weather…parts of the UK have had their wettest January since records began over 100 years ago, reason enough to discover a love of sailing. And don’t forget to ensure you are adequately covered for your trip with one of our specialist cruise policies.