Is small ship cruising here to stay?

Is small ship cruising here to stay?

The rise of mega ships, with their vast range of facilities and amenities, has undoubtedly changed the face of mainstream ocean cruising. Even river cruise ships are trying to get bigger and better with facilities such as enhanced spas, gyms, infinity pools and cinemas now being featured.

However, these cruising equivalents of floating cities are not to everyone’s liking and as a result small ship cruising is enjoying unrivalled growth in popularity. Operators like Noble Caledonia and Titan Travel are chartering some very unusual ships and selling them to their travel agent networks at high prices with high margins built in.

What defines a small ship cruise I hear you ask? Whilst there is not an exact definition it generally means a ship with a maximum of 60 people on board. These ships are often high-end in terms of quality and price and offer a much more intimate on-board experience and unusual itineraries to match. Being smaller in stature means the vast majority of ports and harbours are accessible and available to them. Excursions are often unusual and tailored for the market the ship are trying to attract. They are also normally included in the price so there’s no sharp intake of breath when the excursion price list is circulated.

Good examples of these cruises are found on the Amazon, along Croatia’s stunning coast and with unique experiences like The Boat Company in Alaska. All of these have a wide enough appeal to attract not only experienced cruisers but also new to cruise millennials looking for a mixture of adventure and eco-tourism. Therefore as agents I recommend you bring yourself up to speed with the type and range of small ship cruising available. It will help you overcome the objections to big ship cruising and open up a range of possibilities for your more established cruise clientele. A win-win situation.

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