They have always been associated with the grey pound, but now cruise ships are trying to attract a millennial crowd. Will smaller boats, late-night stop-offs and better brunches tempt young people on board?
aThink of cruise holidays and a whole host of images spring to mind. Endless buffets. Crushed velvet upholstery. Sex on the beach (the cocktail, obviously). His and hers dressing gowns. Jane McDonald. And, most of all, lots and lots of older people, from well-heeled fiftysomethings to time-rich retirees. Millennials? Not so much.
That may be changing, though. Last July, the Cruise Lines International Association revealed that the average age of cruisegoers had fallen to a sprightly 46, its lowest figure in 20 years. (In the UK, the number is a more mature 55.) While those figures may not seem particularly dramatic, they are nevertheless encouraging for an industry that has been largely reliant on the grey pound.