Clear Sailing Ahead With TRAVELSAVERS Canada

Demand for cruising is making waves and TRAVELSAVERS Canada is offering insights into some of the trending immersive cruise ship experiences to watch in 2024.

From onboard luxury offerings and curated cultural experiences to exploring nature and wildlife on a grand scale, the cruise industry is evolving. New massive ocean liners and small ships alike offer premium accommodations onboard and off-ship — for families, adventure seekers, retirees and young explorers. Whether it’s an activity-packed itinerary for a multigenerational family vacation or a laissez-faire romantic voyage, these cruises take guests to new places — both virtual and real.

Jane Clementino, Senior Vice President and General Manager, TRAVELSAVERS Canada, observed that: “Our affiliates tell us their clients yearn for heightened immersive experiences, and modern-day cruise ships are making a big splash offering authentic Japanese teppanyaki dining experiences where dishes come to life right before your eyes, hit Broadway musicals like MAMMA MIA, and glacier excursions by helicopter in the remote area of Taku Glacier and River north of Juneau, Alaska, to name a few.”

According to Statistics Canada, cruising popularity continues to increase among Canadians with 39.7% more cruise vacations taken in 2023 in comparison to 2019. Heading into 2024, the segment is predicted to expand as consumer demand keeps growing.

Allan Brooks, National Director of Market Sales, Canada at Celebrity Cruises, pointed out: “We’ve seen record-breaking sales across the board, surpassing our 2019 bookings with a spike in our more exotic and unique itineraries in recent months.”

For families planning a cruise, they can elevate their night out at the AquaDome or watch all-star performers at the Absolute Zero Ice Arena on a Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas cruise ship. Kids can join a nautical camp at sea program on a Celebrity Cruises ship. Ride a pedal-powered suspended bike, SkyRide high above the sea or partake in a real-life Family Feud™ game on a Carnival Cruise Line ship.

A first-of-its-kind Royal Caribbean adventure is arriving in 2024, as Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will provide an adventure for the ages with a kid-approved sprawling aquapark, a pool just for grownups, plus plenty of bites and next-level nightlife to bond over.

Lisa Connell, Director of Sales at Royal Caribbean International, said: “Royal Caribbean is known for the best family cruises with extraordinary activities and programs for all ages. We are seeing record breaking growth and multigenerational travel skyrocketing.”

In Europe, river cruising continues to raise the luxury standard with slower-paced, culturally rich immersive experiences.

Faith Sproule, Owner of Niche Travel Group Inc., a TRAVELSAVERS affiliate, said: “Board a river cruise, unpack once, indulge in fabulous food and wine, and enjoy the ease of hopping on and off the ship at your leisure. River cruising is a more relaxed way to explore Europe, avoiding the crowds and experiencing intimate local traditions.”

In the spotlight is a cruise along the Danube River with AmaWaterways during the festive winter season, experiencing Christmas market tours in five European countries while sipping hot mulled wine, eating gingerbread cookies and shopping for hand-crafted gifts.

Seasoned travellers exploring pristine areas of the globe are discovering engaging experiences on board today’s expedition cruises.

Kristin Erz, Sales Director, Hurtigruten Expeditions, points out that: “Once upon a time, expeditioners had to sacrifice certain comforts, settling for porthole windows, shared bathrooms and confined spaces.”

Erz continues: “Today, Hurtigruten ships offer a premium onboard experience including guest cabins with private balconies and outdoor hot tubs. They are also equipped with highly experienced expedition guides and access to purpose-built expedition equipment like kayaks and underwater drones.”

Hurtigruten Expeditions offers an itinerary that sails through the Northwest Passage and travels along the same route as Sir John Franklin’s Expedition. Guests can also learn about life in the High Arctic with Canadian Inuit Cultural Ambassadors.

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