While numerous changes to cruise industry trends can be expected as we progress into 2020, three of them are particularly noteworthy.
Domestic (U.S.) Cruising Is Currently Fashionable. There’s been a surge in interest for domestic cruising, with venues such as the Great Lakes enjoying particular popularity
The Great Lakes are a series of freshwater lakes that span the U.S.-Canada border, making them an easily accessible cruising destination from both countries. A number of U.S. cities serve as ports, including Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, among others. These cities are experiencing a rebirth that is well worth exploring – Detroit, for instance, has a gorgeous waterfront and pier area, a lovely art center that’s experienced a renaissance, and beautiful churches and architecturally significant buildings.
Expedition-Class Ships “Scale Down”. A new generation of yacht-like expedition ships is hitting the high seas – a cruising niche that is flourishing. Simply put, seasoned travelers are looking for unique, intimate destinations, access to which must be made by smaller cruise ships able to navigate these smaller bodies of water.
Cruise lines offering such vessels include Crystal, Celebrity, Ponant, Scenic and Emerald Waterways (among others).
Larger Ships Are Also The Order Of The Day. Many of the cruise lines are employing a “bigger is better” philosophy, building ships rivaling their on-land counterparts’ finest amenities.
An example is Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas that debuted as the world’s largest cruise ship in 2018. It features robot bartenders, a water slide with a 92-foot drop, and a nine-story zip-line. However, Royal Caribbean is continuing with their bigger-is-better concept with their construction of a new ship, the Wonder of the Seas, scheduled for a maiden voyage in 2021. This is Royal Caribbean’s fifth Oasis Class ship and will feature the line’s seven-neighborhood concept and promises to offer the ultimate in features and amenities.
Cover photo: Scenic Eclipse, Outer Hebrides, Courtesy Scenic