Cruises are the Latest Millennial Travel Trend

Millennials are America’s largest, most diverse living generation. 80 million strong, these young adults are reshaping the travel industry. Traveling is a necessary part of life for many of these young adults born between 1980 and 2000. And with an open-minded, increased interest in travel, they’re more likely than any other generation to take trips of all kinds—including the latest Millennial travel trend—cruise vacations.

We suggest some of the best cruises for young adults, including some insight on who Millennial travelers are and what experiences they’re ultimately looking for.

85% of Millennials have shown an increased interest in cruises

Millennial Travelers At-a-glance

If you’re a Millennial, chances are you want to spend your hard-earned money on authentic, meaningful travel experiences that align with your values. And oftentimes you don’t have weeks of vacation to burn at once, so you want to maximize your time away from work with “must sees” and “must dos” within a short timeframe. Moreover, while traveling, most young adults want to stay digitally connected to share trip highlights with family and friends, often in real time.

97% of Millennials post their travel experiences on social media while traveling, at least once per day.

As a Millennial, you’re more inclined to seek advice through social media and online reviews before booking your trip than any other generation. Whether it’s ensuring that your hotel will have reliable wifi, or that your travel itinerary is culturally immersive with as many top-rated local experiences as possible—your expectations are becoming an industry priority.

Here are some quick stats on Millennial travel habits:

  • 72% of Millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than material things.1
  • 80% of Millennials want to discover and learn about a place through local experiences. 2
  • 50% of Millennials are parents, and many want to take non-traditional family vacations. 2
  • 60% want to stay connected while traveling and will even pay for reliable wifi.2
  • 85% of millennials shop around for the best deal before booking travel. 2
  • 87% of young adults look for travel inspiration on social media. 2
  • 75% of Millennials want to travel abroad as much as possible. 2

Also read: 9 Best Travel Apps for Finding Things to Do on Vacation

So how do all of these stats align with cruising coming up as a growing Millennial travel trend?

See all of our cruise articles

Millennials’ Increased Interest in Cruise Travel

With 32% of Millennials having already taken a cruise in the last five years, many young adults are opting for the straight-forward, often all-inclusive form of travel—but not without letting their travel needs be heard by brands worldwide. Millennials are becoming more sophisticated travelers, banishing the stereotype of being low-budget backpackers who stay in hostels, to holding their own as seasoned international jet setters. A common thread heard throughout the travel industry is that these young adults are also shunning mass tourism for more customized itineraries beyond traditional, one-size-fits-all tours and activities.

On the other hand, many travelers regardless of age desire comfort and convenience, and Millennials seem to like the idea that cruises are transportation and accommodation in one. The appeal of leaving your bags unpacked the entire trip has caught on, and cruise lines are highlighting this as they expand their offerings.

Cruise lines are innovating to fit in with the Millennial crowd, and many have invested in revamping their brands to offer the best cruises for young adults. The stereotype that cruises are only for older adults are becoming a thing of the past, and these days, cruises are now as diverse as any other types of travel.

With more Millennial-friendly options and prices that are often all-inclusive, young adults are now booking cruises at a higher rate than their generational counterparts.

Also read: 8 Strategies to Help Millennials Afford Their Travel Dreams

Best Cruises for Young Adults

Cruise lines wanting to cater to the next generation of cruise vacationers are tapping in to common Millennial travel expectations, hoping to be a top cruise choice for young adults.

Virgin Voyages

Richard Branson’s new brand, Virgin Voyages, wants “people who’d never dream of going on a cruise ship” to join them on their upcoming adults-only ocean voyages with the concept of “curiosity is more important than an itinerary” and “interactions matter more than transactions”.

Disney Nostalgia

And classics like Disney Cruise Line have been a mainstay in the cruise industry, along with being a young adult favorite, offering nostalgic Disney experiences and top-rated entertainment. Read more on why a Disney Cruise is not just for kids.

Uniworld Cruises

In a targeted effort to become one of the best cruises for young adults, Uniworld Cruises created an entirely exclusive line just for Millennials—U by Uniworld. This new cruise line offers Europe river cruises with Millennial tastes in mind: modern aesthetics, environmentally responsible, free wifi, late-night onboard activities, and onshore activities that start after brunch. Designed for Millennial travelers wanting a more intimate cruise experience with a local vibe, U by Uniworld also offers livelier, shorter trips that bring guests to the heart of many popular European cities. Millennials with limited vacation time who want to see multiple cities and countries while meeting likeminded travelers, may discover that river cruises are great alternative to land travel abroad.

Also read: How to Choose the Best Cruise Line for You

The Value of Travel Insurance

When young adults travel it often involves adventurous itineraries, often abroad. But how many Millennials have actually invested in travel protection—for every trip?

We suggest travelers of all ages ask themselves “Can I afford to lose my trip investment?” If not, then it’s probably wise to consider travel insurance. And, trip cancellation coverage is just one of the many benefits that come with a plan from Generali.

There is value in travel insurance, especially for well-planned trips like cruises. Here are a few ways travel insurance can help:

  1. Emergency medical evacuation: Do you have an extra $50,000 laying around in case you need medical evacuation from a ship? Although most cruise vessels have onboard medical staff and a clinic, they are not equipped to handle more serious medical issues.
  2. Continue your trip: Let’s say you’re on a shore excursion and you’re injured in a car accident. Trip Interruption coverage can reimburse you for out-of-pocket transportation costs to get caught back up to your trip as planned after your interruption, or to get you back home if you have to end your trip early.
  3. Lost or stolen wallet and passport assistance: Travel insurance can help if your wallet or passport is lost or stolen. Our services can assist with cash advances in emergencies, help contacting an embassy and Identity Theft Resolution services if needed.

Read more on why travel insurance is a smart addition to your cruise investment.


Travel insurance for cruises and more
Average Customer Rating: