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Small is the new big in cruising according to Australian cruise industry experts, writes JOHN ROZENTALS.

August 7, 2020 Cruise, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Small will be the new big in the post-covid cruise market, according to one of Australia’s most experienced small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, with more people drawn to the appeal of boutique, river and expedition ships carrying less than 500 passengers.

The Managing Director of Cruise Traveller, Craig Bowen, also said that post-covid, small ships will play a vital role in rebuilding trust in cruising.

“In the years ahead, travellers will increasingly value what ships don’t have rather than what they do have,” Mr Bowen said. “Smaller ships don’t have crowds, congestion, confusion, queues, delays in boarding and disembarkation, lots of noise, casinos, contests for deck chairs, large group excursions or a bewildering array of activities, shops and charge-on-entry restaurants.

“When cruising returns, more people will seek the space, freedom, simplicity, ease, tranquility, intimacy, friendliness, eco-sustainability and personal service that smaller ships offer as well as the advantage of accessing smaller, more remote  ports and sailing closer to wild scenery and wildlife. This trend was evident before covid-19 but after the pandemic subsides, the popularity of smaller vessels will accelerate and the recent, record rate of new builds of smaller ships will gather pace to meet the surging demand.

Craig Bowen: “In the years ahead, travellers will increasingly value what ships don’t have rather than what they do have.”

“By nature, small ships fill up fast so we always recommend advanced planning and early bookings, even for 2022 and beyond.”

Mr Bowen said Cruise Traveller’s bookings for 2021 product to the end of June, 2020, were up 31 per cent up on the same period last year for 2020 sailings, highlighting the resilient and growing demand for small ship adventures. He said Cruise Traveller had grown rapidly over 17 years to become Australia’s leader in the small ship market, representing 53 boutique, luxury, river and expedition cruising operators around the world.

“When enhanced, onboard health protocols are ratified, river and expedition ships will be the first to start sailing, with a handful already re-commencing operations around Australia and overseas.

Le Bellot.

“Before covid-19, ships were getting bigger and bigger but in coming times, more people will see small as the new big in cruising. For many, the smaller the vessel and fewer the passengers, the better,” Mr Bowen said.

“Small ships will be crucial to rebuilding trust in cruising, generally, but post-Covid, more people will appreciate the many benefits of boutique cruise holidays and this will prove a big boost to the small ship industry.”

Call Cruise Traveller on 1800 507 777 or visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au.

NOTE: Potential travellers should check the status of individual events and establishments with regard to the coronavirus outbreak.

Arctic cruising. Image: Dennis Minty.

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