The cruise industry shunned the stigma that voyages are reserved for the 50+ age demographic quite some time ago. Now, leading lines are reinforcing their relevance by focusing their attention on millennials. In a bid to attract the next generation of holidaymakers, cruise operators are rolling out multi-million-pound tech upgrades, including lighting fast Wi-Fi across entire fleets.
A tech savvy spotlight
Royal Caribbean, Carnival and MSC are among the keynote companies vying to attract tech savvy millennials, with exciting new on-board features, categorically challenging the perception that cruises are for older travellers.
With Harmony of the Seas now operational, Royal Caribbean is at the forefront of the pack when it comes to plotting a course for the digital age. The US$1.5 billion vessel is the epitome of modern cruising, with Royal Caribbean chief executive Michael Bayley describing the ship as a “small city”. He’s also confirmed that thanks to a kaleidoscope of futuristic features, the ship boasts intrinsic millennial appeal. Think robotic bartenders, ultra-high definition screens and a host of other innovations.
“We’ve got the fastest internet at sea. We want to get millennials travelling with us, so it’s important our Wi-Fi is lightning fast. The ship has a dedicated satellite on it at all times, so they can download and stream while they’re away.”
What millennials want…
Carnival is another line with millennials on its mind, debuting a crew of anthropomorphic robots with the ability to read human emotions. Stein Kruse, chief executive of Carnival’s Holland America brand maintains that following “years of communicating and selling to baby boomers,” the line is refocusing its attention on understanding the innate needs of millennials. The line’s three-storey IMAX cinema reflects this new attitude, as does the introduction of a UV penetrable domed space where passengers can build a sun tan, without enduring sea spray or wind. Hello sexy, sun kissed summer glows!
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises has just signed an exciting new deal with Samsung that will see its ships equipped with smartphones, TVs, Bluetooth and even a 120m-long LED screen.
“We have two republics of cruising; the first was something boring for old people and now there is a new republic, a revolution,” explains Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman for MSC.