Royal Caribbean ‘confident’ young people will switch to cruises

Royal Caribbean is hoping to convince more young people to switch from Airbnb and package holidays with its latest campaign.


Cruises have gone through a ‘revolution’, with the age of their average customer falling from 50+ to 40+, according to Royal Caribbean.

Mario Bounas, director of marketing at Royal Caribbean International, claims the cruise ship industry has doubled in value since 2002 and that 1.7 million Brits have taken a cruise holiday in 2016.

To tap into this rising demand, Royal Caribbean’s latest campaign shows wild swimming next to a waterfall, sunbathing on a beach and ‘surfing’ on board one of its ships. It has featured these activities to cater its cruises to a younger audience, which may want the choice of both adventure and relaxation from their cruise holiday. The ads will be rolled out on TV, VOD, radio, digital and social from 26 December.

“There are a number of reasons our audiences have changed. The product itself has become more fun,” says Bounas. “Before people would have gone for package holidays but now people are considering cruises as an opportunity to travel to more destinations and take part in the most amount of activities.”


Bounas says the brand’s cruise experience has evolved by adding activities such as 4×4 excursions and kayaking, which allow it to target “adventurous Airbnb types” and those traditionally more comfortable with package holidays.

Segmentation is also reflected in the new TV campaign, which will feature various ads that are broken down to target different demographics including single mums, backpackers and couples.

Despite consumer concerns around how the government activates Brexit, Bounas is confident Brits will still spill out on cruises in 2017. “I’m inclined to say Brexit will mean more people will look for package holidays for extra value in 2017. It’s clear people still want to go on holiday but [the one caveat] is travel brands have to really prove their value,” he adds.

“We’re confident a lot of marketing activity can justify to Brits what we offer [on cruises] is just as extraordinary as a package holiday.”

Hide Comments1 Show Comment
  • Matt Bowden 30 Dec 2016 at 12:18 pm


    The problem (if you want to compete with Airbnb) is the UX & CX of booking a cruise.

    The “younger generation’ that they are coveting want a frictionless experience and want things on their terms.

    Cruises are great (btw) but adding a few waterfalls to your TVC isn’t going to get people over the line.

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