What cruises could look like by 2026

People who work in the travel industry love making predictions — mostly about where we’ll travel to, what we’ll be doing and how we’ll be communicating with our friends and family. Future trends in travel indicate that people are increasingly seeking experiential travel — whether that be adventure holidays, mingling with the locals or venturing off-the-beaten-track.

But what about niche sectors such as cruising? We all know that cruise lines now appeal to all types of holidaymakers — but what if we look at how this sector will develop in the next 10 years?

CruiseDeals.co.uk did just that, surveying a series of leading industry figures to find out how cruises could look in 2026.

The predictions have been surprising, with augmented reality, booming Asian sales and trips to Antarctica all on the horizon.

Cruise trends

Other conclusions from our survey include:

  • Cruise liners look set to welcome younger generations of tech-savvy travellers, bringing virtual reality, drones and video games to cruise ships

· Cruises in Asia will dominate the UK cruise market, with China predicted to generate the most medium to long-term growth

  • Ship exteriors to become giant floating advertising hoardings
  • A range of new experiences will be available on board, including Segway rides, floating garden centres and state-of-the-art fitness suites

For cruisers setting sail in 2026, there looks set to be a host of features on board that haven’t yet been discovered.

The rapid modernisation of cruise ships and an increased focus on new and emerging technologies also looks set to attract a new generation of travellers, with families and young couples predicted to play an increasingly central role in the future of the industry, according to a leading representative of CLIA, the cruise industry’s trade organisation.

Futurist Thomas Frey predicts that the introduction of video game tournaments, floating garden centres and drone training facilities are likely to occur, while CruiseDeals.co.uk representative Ian Crawford, says: “Perhaps the most exciting thing of all will be the modernisation of cruise ships and the introduction of new technologies; something that we hope will continue to drive millennials towards cruising.”

From gourmet cooking classes to virtual reality headsets, the overall conclusion from the data is that nothing is impossible within the cruise industry.

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