In the 1990s most passengers spent the majority of a cruise on the ship, but now they want to connect with destinations. Jo Rzymowska, managing director of Celebrity Cruises UK, says: ‘Europe and the Caribbean were the main routes; now Alaska and Asia are becoming popular.’
This is partially down to changing clientele. ‘While cruising initially appealed to the elderly, it now caters to families and honeymooners too.’ Next spring Uniworld will launch services exclusively for 21-45-year-olds. ‘Our guests are more active and looking for unique experiences. They don’t want to go on holiday to drop and flop,’ says Kathryn Beadle, Uniworld’s UK managing director. River cruise lines are sourcing more ingredients from local producers and are booming in popularity. According to CLIA, 632,000 UK and Irish holidaymakers took ocean and river cruises in 1997, with two million expected this year.