open it up in a couple of areas.” With so much to consider, what

are the ground rules in selling a multigenerational break?

w PLAIN SAILING? Ocean cruise lines have been capturing the family market for some time now, kitting out ships with climbing walls, kids’ clubs, zip lines and more, but now, even river ships and lines that don’t boast the bells and whistles are looking to get in on the act. A-Rosa offers free sailings for

under-15s on all departures and all itineraries, with one child cruising free for every full-paying adult. There are no set dining times and with more kids’ clubs available this year – at Easter, autumn, Christmas and new year, plus its first kids’ club on the Seine – the line has family cruisers firmly in its sights. It seems to be working, with 1,600 children sailing in 2016 and 2,000 last year. UK and Ireland head Lucia

Rowe says: “Multigenerational holidays are definitely on the rise at A-Rosa. A holiday on the river is not necessarily what many agents or customers think of for a family holiday, and cruise operators and agents need to work together to change perceptions and prove this type of holiday lends itself

We need to prove a holiday on the river lends itself perfectly to all generations travelling together


Bridge visit, Cruise & Maritime Voyages

BELOW: Butlin’s, Minehead

perfectly to all generations travelling together.” Ocean lines that have

traditionally appealed to mature cruisers are also expanding their family offer, while still preserving an adult-only atmosphere outside school holidays. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines last year added a Little Skippers play area on four ships, while Cruise & Maritime Voyages found its trial of two multigenerational cruises last year was so successful that it has eight planned for 2018. Magellan and Columbus will sail to Amsterdam during the Easter holidays, to the Norwegian fjords in spring half term, and to Spain,

Portugal and Gibraltar in summer. Head of trade sales Lisa Jacobs

says: “Although we essentially operate adult-only ships, many of our guests tell us they would like the opportunity to take children and grandchildren. There are no specific children’s facilities on board; the emphasis is on family fun with all the generations joining in.

“Multigenerational cruises

present agents with a fantastic opportunity to encourage existing cruise customers to bring the family, thereby increasing the size of the booking and commission earnings.” Children’s fares start at £99 when sharing with two adults.

w HOME FROM HOME Three-generation breaks can also be an excellent addition to a family’s main summer holiday, which is where a UK short break, avoiding the hassle of an airport, can come in.

Ramp up the nostalgia factor

by recommending Butlin’s; grandparents might even remember their own childhood holidays here, since the first resort opened in Skegness in 1936. It looks different these days, but that classic combination of old- fashioned seaside entertainment – Mr Men and Little Miss, Danger Mouse and pantomime Cinderella Rocks are all on the books this year – plus crowd-pleasing eateries serving fish and chips or

roast dinners will appeal to young and old. Suggest spacious lodgings such as the new West Lakes Chalet Village at Minehead, where chalets hold up to eight, with a living room and large kitchen. Sister brand Haven can also

provide space for large families to stretch out: Beach House Rentals at Perran Sands include a private hot tub with sea views, outdoor veranda with barbecue, sun deck and private garden – though grandparents will still find a way to reminisce over their past caravan holidays when they see other holiday homes on site.

w STORY TIME That sentimental side might also help sell a hotel or theme park break, as grandparents relish the opportunity to share in the magic while kids are still young enough to believe. The Fairytale Forest at

Efteling Theme Park Resort in the Netherlands is a prime example, telling the stories of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm to charming effect. There are newer, flashier attractions elsewhere in the park for teenage siblings in need of rides and rollercoasters, but the gentle, low-tech forest ticks all the boxes for younger children. They must be doing something right, as 10% of visitors last year were aged 55-plus, and with easy transport (including by car

8 February 2018 55

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