The family cruiser is evolving. Be ready.

The family cruiser is evolving. Be ready.

To succeed, it is important to recognise that families come in all forms, with children of all ages; from toddlers to tweens to adults themselves

I have worked for the MSC Group for 16 years. During that time, I have noticed a significant shift in the family cruiser in terms of their holiday habits, propensity to cruise, and expectations.

Of course during high season, including public holidays, the family ratio is significantly higher, but the growth factor amongst this group is increasing year on year, especially amongst the repeat family cruisers and multigenerational families. From a business perspective, doing things right, matters, it makes a difference.

To succeed, it is important to recognise that families come in all forms, with children of all ages; from toddlers to tweens to adults themselves. Our feedback and that of the wider industry frequently comes back to the importance of a ‘shared experience’, one trip without complicated logistics but where everyone can enjoy the break individually and collectively. Marketing to this audience needs to be different, and educating the trade on the benefits of a family cruise to help convert land-lovers, and then the specifics of individual ships’ facilities to meet different families’ preferences, wants and needs, is important. Match the family to the right ship and itinerary and hope to lock them in for life.

For those new to selling family cruises, the research will expand your mind. From onboard zip-lines, interactive XD cinemas, onboard waterslides and 24/7 specialist paediatric telemedicine support, to dedicated children’s clubs, interconnecting suites and children’s sized bath robes.

Having recently entered the luxury space with the launch of Explora Journeys, the UK’s luxury family traveller is now firmly considering cruise. Be it an evolution of the family cruiser from contemporary ships, to the conversion of those previously considering luxury family destinations such as Mauritius. As a brand-new fleet, this is why we’ve the only standalone kids’ club in the ultra-luxury sector. Our research demonstrated the importance of flexible family time.

I have also witnessed a shift in those families previously only considering an ex-UK journey, to those now happy to do a fly-cruise, experiencing lesser travelled ports within established destinations but still within shorter itineraries.

For me, the sector needs to continue to be fluid and flexible in terms of family-friendly dining destinations, menus, ports and experiences. As this market become avid cruisers, the experience needs to evolve to continually meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

Antonio Paradiso is the Vice President International Sales, MSC Cruises and Explora

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.