Thursday, 11 February 2016

Luxury liners make the biggest waves as more Irish choose to cruise in 2016

Luxury liners make the biggest waves as more Irish choose to cruise in 2016

January 2016 has been a good month for Irish travel bookings and sales are up as much as 46% for some agents with many holidaymakers cruising the luxury end of the market. Irish cruise specialist e-travel.ie says almost 58% of cruise sales are for four-star ships and 35% for five-star ships but the luxury cruise liners are fast becoming the preferred option for customers.  However, as the purse strings are loosening and luxury is back on the bucket list, enduring lessons learned during the recession mean that value for money is still a priority.

The world has changed. Tastes have changed. Modern luxury is airy spaces with all the right, tasteful details, restaurants where the design is just as important as the cuisine, intuitive service with a keen eye for detail, and doing as much or as little as you choose.  Cruise ships are often referred to as floating hotels and in some cases they are more like floating cities. You can choose the massive ships like Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas which can carry almost 8000 passengers and crew, or a smaller intimate river cruises which carry less than one hundred passengers.

Key statistics:
·         $26bn is the global value of preliminary ship orders until 2022
·         35,000 passengers from Ireland are expected to cruise this year
·         23m passengers worldwide are expected to cruise this year
·         22 ocean, river and specialty cruise ships will hit the water in 2016
·         49 is the average age of a cruiser today
·         62% of cruisers want super-fast wifi
·         Eight more ships are scheduled to arrive in 2017, another eight in 2018, and six in 2019.
·         The order books are already filling up for 2020 and 2021. Among them, three for Richard Branson’s Virgin Cruise Line, and three luxury vessels for the fast-growing Crystal Cruises.

According to latest figures by leading Irish cruise specialist e-travel, 42% of Irish cruisers are now under 40.  This represents a 20% increase since 2014 and shows the rapidly changing profile of cruise passengers from Ireland. The average price paid in 2015 for a fly cruise package was €1476 in 2015 versus €1383 in 2014 and stateroom sales breakdown to approximately 65% balconies, 28% inside and 7% ocean view.  So far in 2016 the trend seems to be upwardly mobile to the 5 and 6 star luxury liners like Celebrity, Silversea, Cunard and Crystal Cruises.



Established in 1997, e-travel is now one of Ireland’s leading independent travel agents, specialising in cruising as well as flights, long-haul and online bookings and are the only 100% Irish owned and managed online agency in Ireland.  Imagine the spectacular glaciers and silent fjords of Alaska, paradise on the Caribbean coasts, the cultural splendour of European cities on a Mediterranean Cruise or broaden your horizons even further to destinations such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand with exiting itineraries departing from the Middle East and Far East. e-travel’s award winning team offer expertise and advice, early booking discounts, onboard credit, champagne in your cabin and lots more!  The e-travel Cruise department can be contacted on 01 4081999 or www.e-travel.ie

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