Small Ship Cruising to lead the way Back
By Dallas Sherringham
The “Cruise pause” has provided an opportunity for the small ship business to redefine itself before returning to local waters ahead of larger ships.
And the cruising public has backed up that positive approach with a 32% spike in bookings for small ship expeditions in 2021
Boutique and expedition cruise operators will become the first cruise sector to restart operations after Covid-19, according to Australia’s leading small ship cruise specialist, Cruise Traveller, which represents more than 50 boutique, luxury and expedition cruising operators around the world.
Managing Director of the Gold-Coast-based cruise wholesaler and retailer Craig Bowen said the expedition cruise sector had grown rapidly in recent years with a record number of small ships being launched and commissioned to meet surging demand and each showcasing eco-sustainable innovation the sector had become renowned for in the past decade.
Adventure Travel Industry
Mr Bowen said small ship expedition companies were more aligned with the adventure travel industry than the mass cruise ship sector and that the challenging events of the past few months had highlighted the many benefits of small ship cruising and the lower risk profile of smaller vessels.
“There is no doubt the small ship expedition market is resilient and keen to travel again,” Mr Bowen said.
“Cruise Traveller’s bookings for 2021 are 32% up on the same period last year for 2020 sailings. While most of our guests are keen to travel overseas again in the future, the number of small ship voyages around and close to Australia will soon rise markedly and this will help satisfy pent-up demand.”
Creative Itineraries Debut
Mr Bowen said while larger cruise ships had dominated the close-to-home market for many years, Covid-19 had prompted many of Cruise Traveller’s small ship partners to debut new and creative itineraries around the Australian coastline which were already selling strongly.
“Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a reboot of cruising, there are definite indications that close-to-home, small ship expedition cruising will be the first cruise sector to restart operations because of the smaller numbers of passengers involved and the sector’s ability to quickly and efficiently instigate new onboard Covid-19 health and safety protocols will help regain the trust of the market.
Stronger Than Ever
“Covid will continue to cause commercial pain but I believe our small ship industry will emerge from the crisis stronger than ever, with the sector benefitting from a bolstered appreciation of what makes small ship experiences different and special and what incredible travel adventures small ships can unveil for those keen to explore wilder and more remote destinations.”
Mr Bowen said as a leader and authority in the field, Cruise Traveller was perfectly placed to assist guests, travel agents and the cruise lines through a new-look restart of the small ship cruise industry. “Through this difficult period, Cruise Traveller has managed to retain our full product portfolio, relationships and team so we’re in a strong position to work with our partner cruise companies to get new and innovative product to the market quickly,” he said.
Mr Bowen said the high-end expedition cruising sector was also a lucrative source of new income for travel agents due to the increased value of bookings and the significant repeat factor.
Craig Bowen exploring on an Arctic Cruise
Home grown favorites like Murray Princess will be popular
Going ashore is a breeze on a Kimberley Cruise
Kimberley Cruising Will be Favorite when Cruising Resumes In Australia after Pandemic
We review a South Pacific cruise and find a ship full of pleasant surprises.
Carnival Spirit off Isle of Pines and passengers enjoying the sparkling waters.
Read on ...
Privately owned Conflict Islands have become a favourite stop in Papua New Guinea
Most business people one day dream of having enough money to buy a tropical island escape, but Australian business guru Ian Gowrie Smith went one better and bought 21 islands.
Cruise with Dallas ...
Why an Ocean Cruise?
Is it the ship or the ports of call? Maybe both!
For this time it was the ship …….
One of the most popular larger cruise lines for mature travellers is Holland America.
We sailed on the msVoledam, a long-time favourite with Australian passengers and we were not disappointed.
Read on ...
Europe and Mediterranean..
Is this the future of cruising?
I recently visited Hamburg for the very festive launch of MSC Grandiosa, the brand new 180,000 GT, 331m flagship of the world's largest privately-owned cruise line and screen idol, Sophie Loren, was on hand as usual for the ribbon cutting in front of the world's travel media and more than 14,000 travel agents.
Sail with Roderick Eime for the first cruise ...
An Added Touch of Class
Sleek and sparkling white, the twin ferries of the Silja Line are more like cruise ships than passenger/car ferries plying the pristine waters between Helsinki and Stockholm and vice versa.
John Newton stepped aboard Silja Serenade and spent two nights sailing between the Finnish and Swedish capitals.
Read the feature ...
THE VASA MUSEUM:
Must Visit When in Stockholm
By John Newton
Like the Titanic, the warship Vasa – the pride of the Swedish Navy's fleet – keeled over and sank on her maiden voyage.
Discover more ...
Alaska, USA and Caribbean....
I do like to be aboard the Seaside
Cruise expert, Roderick Eime, travels to Miami to inspect one of the newest and largest cruise ships in the world. The MSC Seaside has certainly set tongues wagging.
But I was intrigued with this vessel, particularly as it was the first in a brand new class of advanced technology ship from this ebullient Italian family-owned shipping and cruise line.
The maiden voyage ...
Small luxury cruise ships....
The most unique wildlife cruise in the World
The Galapagos Islands can lay claim to be the greatest natural wildlife region on earth and every adventurer should plan to visit the region at least once in their lifetime.
You go to the Galapagos not just to observe, but to immerse yourself in the wilderness. Explore on ...
THE FALKLAND ISLANDS:
A must-see destination on your Antarctic journey
Join John Maddocks as he wonders at nature and isolated islands.
The black-browed albatross sweeps low over our heads, landing rather elegantly beside its nest, a solid pillar of mud set in tall tussock grass. It joins hundreds of other nesting albatrosses on the steep slope that leads to a dramatic cliff edge on West Point Island, our first landing place in the Falklands.
Explore nature ...
Sandip Hor on his maiden voyage on MSC Opera
It’s almost midnight in Havana. I am standing at the top deck of MSC Opera with a ‘mojito’ in my hand to bid good bye to the Cuban capital. Soon the horn blows breaking the night-time silence and the vessel begins to roll on.
Sail on ...
The Kimberley's premier sightseeing trip
Michael Osborne takes a helicopter ride into the unspoilt wilderness of the Kimberley
Recently I had the chance to sail on a Coral Expeditions ship as a guest of Christian Fellowship Tours, sailing from Darwin to Broome along one of the most wondrous coastlines in th Sail the coast with us ...
River cruises around the World...
CroisiEurope opens up the Loire River to cruising
Two hours southwest of Paris, the Loire Valley presents France’s finest chateaux and vineyards in surroundings so picturesque they are World Heritage listed by UNESCO.
CroisiEurope, the Strasbourg-based French river cruise line who are represented in Australia by Cruise Abroad
Read on ...
Symphonie and the Capitals of the Danube The Beautiful Blue Danube
With the crack of a whip, the dynamic riding skills of Hungarian horsemen thrilled the crowd in the old wooden stand, providing one of the highlights on a 1000-kilometre cruise along Europe’s second longest river – the Danube. Join John Newton on another CroisiEurope cruise ...
THE LOIRE RIVER:
A Visit to France and the Loire River with CroisiEurope.
It’s known as ‘The Royal River’ – and, as features editor, John Newton, found out on a leisurely and romantic cruise along its legendary dazzling landscape, the Loire River in France lives up to its name. Join John on the cruise ...
Riverboats and French Cuisine
There’s no doubt about it. The riverboats of a bygone era that slowly – very slowly – made their way down Europe’s iconic waterways have not only picked up speed but a wave of high-class new vessels have entered service – and, according to John Newton, upended the traditional notion that a river cruise is one big snooze. Read on ...
By Managing Editor Dallas Sherringham
Kimberley cruises could lead the relaunch of Australian cruising as the Covid 19 Restrictions ease.
Coral Princess Cruises Broome to Darwin adventure would be ideal because it is strictly domestic and visits only isolated areas. Hopefully it all gets up and running soon.
Another ideal small ship adventure I recommend is the Captain Cook Fiji itineraries. They are perfect for those who prefer small ship cruising. (See my review below)
CAPTAIN COOK CRUISES FIJI:
Cruising aboard the 'Friendliest Ship in the World'
Dallas Sherringham finds that going on a luxury voyage aboard Captain Cook Cruises Fiji is like going off to explore Paradise with a group of close friends aboard your own super yacht.
The cruise staff and crew aboard their superb ship Reef Endeavour are quite simply the friendliest people I have ever had the fortune to travel with in my time as a travel writer. I recently went on a seven night voyage to eastern and northern Fiji to explore the cultural and colonial history of the islands. Go straight to the feature ...
Multi Generational Cruising is great for families
Take the grandkids
As a travel writer and photographer I love cruising, but recently I had the chance to undertake a cruise that was completely different, a cruise our family had talked about for years.
Finally it happened. We booked a 10 day cruise on Carnival Spirit Set sail for the Pacific ...
Ancient encounters along the Kimberley Coast
Aboard a converted pearl lugger in Australia's Kimberley, Roderick Eime explores some of the world's oldest landscapes in Australia's North West
Go to the adventure ...
For US – Mature Travellers
We won’t admit this (in public) but as we mature we tend to drop a few things and a very expensive drop would be our mobile phone. It might survive a dry fall, but if into water! ….
Seaquatix is a waterproof case for phones and valuables that allows you to take photos and videos underwater straight from your phone.
Get the pic and save your phone ...
A life on the ocean waves – is the only life for me.
As a young lad growing up in the then fishing village of Watsons Bay in Sydney, where my grandfather and uncle were fishermen, I developed a love of the sea. But being a genuine red-head my complexion and the sun burn prevented me from spending too much time pursuing my dreams.
During my forties, I discovered cruise ships! Now THIS IS the life for me. Cruise on ...
Cruises we recommend...
Dreaming of Tropical Paradise with Paul Gauguin Cruises
What do the ‘Islands of Tahiti’ inspire in you?
Well, our dream came true! Following an invitation from Paul Gauguin Cruises to select from one of their multi-award winning cruises, we selected the 14-day cruise from Papeete to the Marqueasas
Join us on an adventure of a lifetime, sailing the islands of Tahiti ...
PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES ANNOUNCES 2021 VOYAGES IN TAHITI, FRENCH POLYNESIA & THE SOUTH PACIFIC
Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is pleased to officially announce its 2021 voyages, which feature popular favourites along with a new 11-night Tuamotus & Society Islands itinerary and 12- and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands sailings. Plan ahead and don't miss out ...
This river cruise takes you through the land of kilts and cabers
Read on ...