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With summertime just around the corner, it’s time for many consumers to start thinking about summer holidays. And while cruises are often associated with senior consumers, new research from Mintel reveals that cruise holidays are now appealing to younger consumers too – with almost half (40%) of young Brits between the age of 15 and 24 considering taking a cruise in the future.

Furthermore, while only a minority (4%) of 15-24s have ever been on a cruise (compared to 32% of their older counterparts aged 65-74), up to 40% of 15-24s see cruises as a good way of visiting and exploring different destinations, while over a quarter (28%) think they are a good place to meet new people.

Tom Rees, Senior Travel and Tourism Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Young adults like the idea of an adventure at sea and the house party atmosphere of an onboard holiday can appeal to many young package holidaymakers as a change from resort-based trips. The key is getting the product right. Given the market trend towards shorter cruises departing from UK ports, short themed breaks or even floating music festivals, promoted through social media, can be a way to attract a younger clientele.”

Overall, while consumers have cut down on spending in the current economic climate, it looks like the luxury cruise market has been immune to recession. Indeed, it seems Brits have pushed the boat out with ultra-luxury cruises, with the market showing a volume growth of 8% year on year to 2011 and 40% over the past five years (2006/2011).

The sea cruise market as a whole, also gave a positive performance, growing 41% in volume in the past five years (2006/2011) from 1,2 million to 1,7 million trips. In terms of value, it increased by 57% between 2006 and 2011, in a context that saw the overall overseas holidays spend declining by 9%. The cruise market was valued at