Luxury cruisers are also focusing less on stuff and more on experiences according to Mark Conroy the president of Regents Seven Seas speaking at the Luxury Travel Expo. Cruise guests are looking for more excursions and destinations as well as ways to learn while on board. On most cruises the opportunities to learn and experience new things are laid out for you nearly 24 hours a day.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is likely to meet their projected goals for 2009 and will have carried 300,000 more passengers than in 2008. I think this is because cruises fit this experiential travel model so well for the luxury traveler especially. You are provided with learning experiences on board that can be transformative as well as excursions to places you might not have visited otherwise. These are easily organized by ship staff in a way that would be difficult for a traveler on their own in a new environment. All of this with the comforts of a consistent accommodation and the familiarity of a ship you have become accustomed to over a few days.
This may be why cruise companies are doing well in this economy. Not just because of some of the cost savings of a cruise trip but because this fits in so well with the new goal to wring a life-changing experience out of every dollar spent on travel. Younger travelers are also seeking out cruises as a way to get the most out of their travel money spent. Why spend your time seeking out the best wineries in a new country when a river cruise can hand them to you on a silver platter?