The cruise passenger of 2019 will be seeking out wellness experiences, Instagramming on board, then looking for cultural experiences beyond sightseeing when docking at new destinations.

They’re going to be the top trends in cruise travel for 2019 according to a State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) this morning.

Let’s take a look in CLIA’s crystal ball and learn all about next year’s top cruise travel trends.
 

Instagrammable Cruise Travel

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Instagram posts are driving interest in travel around the world, so much so that on an average day, there can be close to 351 million posts with the tag #travel. With on board connectivity, cruise passengers Instagram feeds with diverse travel experiences both onboard and on land from several cruise destinations.
 

Total Restoration

Stressed out from fast-paced lives, travellers are seeking ways to check out from daily responsibilities and rejuvenate more than ever before. Cruise lines are responding by offering total wellness in the form of restorative spa experiences, on board oxygen bars, healthy menu choices for a wide variety of diets, and the latest in fitness innovations.
 

Achievement Over Experience

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Experiential travel has evolved into achievement travel as holidaymakers are looking for immersive, cultural experiences beyond sightseeing. Bucket lists have become more goal-oriented and cruise lines are meeting these demands. Passengers can conquer Machu Picchu or complete culinary workshops hosted by Le Cordon Bleu chefs.
 

On-Board with Smart Tech

Cruise lines have adopted wearable technology for cruise travellers—including keychains, necklaces, bracelets, and more—in order to provide a highly personalised travel experience while on and off the ship.
 

Conscious Travel

Travellers want to see the world in a conscious, mindful way. The cruise industry is more conscientious than ever, working with local communities to preserve their heritage and implementing innovations that decrease the environmental footprint of cruise travel. The industry is also working with destinations to bring the benefits of tourism to local economies while preserving local cultures, landmarks and environments.
 

Access is the New Luxury

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Travellers are setting their sights on destinations that were previously out of reach, some only accessible now by cruise ship. They want to be among the first of their peers to experience destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.
 

Gen Z at Sea

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Generation Z is set to become the largest consumer generation in the next two years—outpacing Millennials. Like the generation before, this age bracket prefers authentic experiences over material items and has an even greater wanderlust. The appeal of multiple destinations and unique experiences, such as music festivals at sea, is helping attract this new generation of cruisers.
 

Off-Peak Adventures

The off-peak season is rising in popularity, whether travellers are looking to escape the cold in a tropical place or embrace the chill in a new destination. Cruising offers some once-in-a-lifetime experiences during the colder months that include: excursions to see the Northern Lights, visiting a penguin colony, and touring European Christmas Markets.
 

Working Nomads

Combining work with leisure time is on the rise. Straying far from the notion of device-free travel, many modern travellers or “digital nomads” are opting for trips where they can work remotely which cuts down on time off and lost wages. With WiFi, desks and work-friendly cafes, travellers can keep up with work while enjoying a cruise holiday.
 

Female-centred Cruising

With the number of female travellers growing, many tourism and travel companies are creating female-centred itineraries based on interests and connecting women with other women. Female-centred cruises can create a female empowerment community at sea while allowing travellers to experience the world around them, as well as visit famous feminist landmarks.
 

Going Solo

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Image: Allen Taylor/Unsplash

With more Google searches for “solo travel” and “travelling alone” than ever before, travelling alone is rising in popularity. Cruising allows for solo travel without the worry of arranging a ton of details while visiting even the most far-reaching destinations and connecting with other travellers, forming community bonds and experiencing once-in-a-lifetime things.

The cruise industry is projected to continue to grow throughout 2019 with an estimated 30 million travellers expected to cruise, up 6% from 28.2 million in 2018. In the coming year 27 new ships are on order from CLIA cruise lines.

For the full 2019 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook findings, visit www.cruising.org.au.

What do you think of the findings?