Australia is one of the biggest cruise hubs in the world and now it seems Aussies have fallen more in love with the idea of being onboard a boat than being on land.
A survey of 2700 Australian travellers conducted by InsureandGo revealed that 54 per cent would rather go on a cruise than travel on land.
Not surprising, perhaps, is that the preference for cruising was strongest amongst travellers 55 and over.
Cruising has come a long way. Globally, the industry is worth $5.3 billion, with technological advances on vessels that enhance the cruise experience.
Not only are ships more comfortable and onboard facilities exceptional, but the entertainment options are staggering. You can skydive, paraglide, rock climb, surf, dive or waterslide on many modern vessels. You can see a stage show, circus show, magic show, ice show, cabaret show, rock show or comedy gig; you can drink at a different bar or lounge on each night of your cruise; dining facilities are first-rate, many featuring menus from the world’s top chefs and the shopping, gymnasiums, pools, spas, learning centres and health facilities are as good if not better than most you’ll find on land.
No wonder then, that the number of Australian cruise passengers has quadrupled since 2008. Last year alone, 1.3 million Australians hit the decks of a cruise ship and set out to sea.
“Travellers have realised that cruises give them more time for rest and relaxation and enable them to travel to multiple destinations without repacking and booking into a new hotel each time,” said InsureandGo Managing Director Raphael Bandeira.
“Cruise ships also offer travellers everything they need in one place – whether it’s different restaurant experiences across various cuisines; games and fitness facilities; spa and shopping experiences; entertainment; and kids’ areas as well as adult-only areas.
While the survey showed a promising trend for the future of cruising in Australia, it also revealed how much people fear the most common negative events that could happen onboard.
The strongest fear response was to an onboard medical emergency or developing seasickness and gastro – both at 72 per cent. Second, at 69 per cent, was the chance of an onshore incident in a foreign country. Third was lost or stolen baggage at 60 per cent – same for mechanical failures at sea. Missing a port was the least-feared event at 45 per cent.
“For cruises, it’s important that travellers purchase tailored cruise insurance to ensure they receive cover for potential incidents that are specific to cruising,” said Mr Bandeira.
What do you fear most about cruising? Have you been on a cruise? Would you prefer to cruise over a land holiday? Or would you like a combination of both?
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