Under 35s driving cruise ship resurgence

One in four Australians plan to go on a cruise this year, with younger people the most likely to set sail, a new survey has revealed.

The figure is more than three times that of last year, representing a much-needed recovery for the cruise industry which struggles with its reputation for being an older personsā€™ holiday.

According to a survey by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia released on Monday, 35 per cent of Millennials and Gen Z plan to cruise this year, compared with 18 per cent of over 65s.

The Forumā€™s chief executive Margy Osmond, said cruise ships offer value for money, at a time when particularly younger Australians are struggling with the cost of living.

ā€œAny misconception cruises are only for retirees and families is outdated,ā€ she said.

ā€œFrom Michelin-star restaurants and yoga, to tattoo parlours, free Wi-Fi and other services for remote workers, thereā€™s something for everyone.ā€

Among the companyā€™s now catering more directly to young people are Sir Richard Bransonā€™s Virgin Voyages, which docked in Sydney last year ahead of its inaugural summer sailing season.

More than a quarter of Australians are also ā€œcruise curiousā€, according to the survey, meaning they are considering taking a cruise for the first time.

Just over 30 per cent of people said they have been on a cruise before.

North Queensland topped the list of most popular Australian cruise destinations for 2024, followed by Tasmania and Sydney.

ā€œItā€™s a great result for North Queensland tourism operators, who lost revenue from the devastating floods and cyclone over the Christmas and New Year Period,ā€ Ms Osmond said.

ā€œThe region is well and truly open for business and still the most appealing destination for cruise holidays.ā€

For overseas destinations, New Zealand was the most popular for 2024, followed closely by Europe and the South Pacific, including Fiji and Vanuatu.


Duncan Murray
(Australian Associated Press)


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