Why is cruising such good value? - Luxury Travel Magazine

Why is cruising such good value?

By: Vanessa Williams, Issue 44 – Spring 2010
(Sydney to Singapore)


Passengers wave goodbye to the crowd as the horn bellows and the ship leisurely pulls out of dock, sending a ripple of waves in its wake. For those on board there are none of the restrictive seatbelts of air travel or the narrow hallways of trains. And on a cruise, getting there is more than half the fun. Throughout the journey as the scenery changes and new ports are reached, there will be no packing and unpacking of suitcases. And the only problem anyone will have with directions is working out how to get from their stateroom to the restaurant for dinner.

With some cruise lines, port taxes, meals, drinks, entertainment, activities and even tips are all included in the upfront cost of a cruise. It’s easy to work out a per day cost to compare to other forms of travel. Even with the most luxurious cruise lines, it quickly starts to look like very good value with no compromise on luxury standards. Keep in mind though, most shoreside excursions are not included in the price.

Let’s do the sums. Silversea is known as the most all-inclusive of all the cruise lines, offering all-inclusive fares so let’s use their cruise as an example. For the 15-night cruise from Sydney to Singapore on its 2011 calander, fares start at A$6,643 for a Vista Suite per person based on double occupancy, and include port charges and baggage handling fees. Also included in the price are complimentary beverages, in-suite beverage cabinet, open-seating dining, in-suite dining, a complimentary shoreside Silverseas event, all entertainment such as concerts, shows and lectures, roundtrip transport into town and gratuities. The price per night comes to A$443 per person. If you took the same route by flying and staying in luxury hotels, once you combine air fares, transfers, hotel accommodation, fine dining equivalent to the standard you would enjoy on the ship, drinks with meals, mini bar and the cost of any activities or entertainment your daily spend would be well beyond that.

Just why is luxury cruising such good value? It can only be that prices are driven down by healthy competition among the luxury cruise lines with cruising also becoming increasingly popular. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year reported that the Australian cruise industry achieved record figures last year, and the number of Australians taking a cruise rose 11 per cent to 366,721 passengers. Sarina Bratton, Founder and Managing Director of Orion Expedition Cruises based in Australia confirms this. “Globally, cruising is a supply led industry. The industry continues to outpace the growth of all other segments of the travel and leisure industries. Over the past six years Australia has seen the industry grow well, with a good mix of new product style, offerings and price points. Differentiation of product helps the industry appeal to more consumers.”

So can the industry keep up with the demand? Sarina certainly thinks so. When asked why the percentage of Australians taking cruises keeps rising, she answered, “Growth in quality ships being positioned in Australia and growth in the different styles of cruising.”

The cruise industry is determined to give people what they want in terms of entertainment and locations, and according to the statistics, it’s undeniable that Australians do indeed find it worth the cost.

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