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Celebrity Flora LUXURY CRUISING Pleasure crafts


New ships, new destinations, new brands – cruise expert Sue Bryant shares the latest from this growing sector


At the recent launch of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ ultra-luxurious expedition ship, Hanseatic Inspiration, chief executive Karl Pojer made an interesting point. “Luxury has changed from ‘having’ to ‘being’,” he commented. Speak to anybody in the luxury cruise industry and they’ll agree. Luxury is no longer about consumption;


it’s about authenticity and experience, and cruise lines are increasingly responding to this trend. Clia’s global Cruise Travel Trends 2019 report states: “Experiential travel has evolved into achievement travel as vacationers look for experiences beyond sightseeing. Bucket lists have become goal-oriented and cruise lines are meeting these demands.” And the UK travel trade agrees that the


wealthiest travellers are not afraid to push boundaries. “While we’re not seeing the average age reduce, the mentality of today’s 60-year-old is someone in denial about


The mentality of today’s 60-year- old is someone in denial about their age and up for all sorts of activity


their age, and up for all sorts of activity,” says Edwina Lonsdale, managing director of Mundy Cruising. While Brexit may have dented consumer


confidence in the UK, the outlook for luxury travel globally is positive, according to Clia UK and Ireland director Andy Harmer. “In 2018, the market was valued at $891 billion and is expected to grow by almost 8% between 2019 and 2026,” he said. Cruising is part of this. A dozen ships in the ultra-luxury sector are launching in 2020 and again in 2021. Every established luxury cruise line is building new ships, as are several new entrants to the market. This year’s big launch was Scenic’s 228-berth


Scenic Eclipse. Setting sail after numerous delays, it looks like an oligarch’s yacht and offers a new level of indulgence in adventure cruising, with 10 dining choices, two helicopters, a submarine and all-suite accommodation.


60 ASPIRE NOVEMBER 2019


aspiretravelclub.co.uk


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