Cruising Trends: Millennial River Cruising, Luxury Adventure and More in 2018

From the biggest ships in the world, to hitting a new demographic in river cruising, here are the latest cruise ships you’ll want to get on. Plus a few Canadian specific cruises worth taking!

Millennial cruising includes drum circles with U by Uniworld.

 

The latest trends in cruising:

Healthy cruises: Forget gorging at the buffet and putting on those cruise pounds… a lot of cruise lines are offering healthy retreats with fitness classes, fitness focused excursions and wellness treatments. Celebrity Cruises offers “Mindful Dreams” — a wellness program with their onboard spa provider, Canyon Ranch.

Millennial river cruising: For the longest time river cruises have been a thing for your grandparents to do when they retire… but as millennials are coming into the travel spending market (and they are typically willing to spend quite a bit on travel), cruise lines are gearing specific itineraries for the millennial set (those who fall in that age range, but also for those who are just young at heart and not technically a millennial) with more adventurous excursions, bar hopping, silent discos and even yoga on the roof. U by Uniworld is a great example for this with the Europe’s only dedicated river cruise for millennials and the millennial-minded.

Cruise ships are going BIG. Cruise ships are increasing in size, holding not just more people, but everything from laser tag to race tracks, to bike lanes and more. And on the technology side, newer cruise ships are stepping up their game making sure you’re entertained in every possible way from apps to help make signing up for excursions easier to virtual reality on board. Norwegian and Carnival are launching their biggest ships this year.

Expedition adventures with luxury: If adventure is your name of the game, but you’re not looking to rough it per say, consider luxury adventure expeditions through Greenland, Antarctica, Alaska and more. Abercrombie & Kent lets you visit these kinds of destinations during the day, but then kick back in luxury at night with amenities like gourmet restaurants, heated pools, spas and steam rooms.

Classic cruising:

Cruises within Canada or leaving from Canadian ports usually offer an amazing mix of a few city destinations and a lot of incredible natural beauty.

East: Holland America Line has an east coast Canadian/New England 7-day cruise that will take you from Boston to Halifax, Charlottetown, down the St. Lawrence River and into Quebec.

Central: This Seabourn Cruise departs from Montreal, up the St. Lawrence and does a loop around Newfoundland, stopping in St. John’s, L’Anse aux Meadows and even hitting the French islands like St. Pierre et Miquelon.

West: This is the perfect way to see the icy beauty of Alaska! Princess Cruises heads out from Vancouver going north through Glacier Bay National Park and ending in Anchorage.

The ONE cruise everyone should consider…

I always say, book a river cruise (my top lines are Viking and AmaWaterways) to anyone asking about doing a cruise, and here’s why:

  • If you’re a first timer, don’t like big ships, or get a bit seasick, river cruises are easy on the body and can get you accustomed to cruise and boat life.
  • They go to vibrant, and cool destinations — whether that’s through the South of France in Europe (who doesn’t love wine, cheese and more wine?!), or cruising through rivers in Asia.
  • There are different levels of river cruises, not only for affordability, but also for age groups — cruise lines are now offering itineraries geared toward the 21-45 set, as well as the 45-75 set.