Why Expedition Cruises are the Future of the Cruise Industry Post-COVID
Why Expedition Cruises are the Future of the Cruise Industry Post-COVID

With the global population still being unsure of when the world will officially open up again, many travellers are wondering when they will get to resume their adventures abroad. The answer is far from simple, and as you see now, many places are open for travel while others remain strictly closed. However, after the team at Itinza interviewed professional travel advisor Emma Cakmak from Passport to Travel who has 20 years of experience in the industry and specializes in expedition cruises, it became evident that the cruise industry will have a much different fate. Unlike many vacationing destinations that currently follow a trend of reopening, closing, and opening back up again, the entire cruise industry has been firmly closed during the pandemic. Travel advisor Emma Cakmak projects that expedition cruises will likely reopen first, since they host a small number of passengers and travel through remote regions. In addition, the Travel Market Report surveyed more than 750 advisors and more than half believe there is going to be at least a 10% to 25% increase in their expedition cruise sales for 2021. With this in mind, it may be wise for your travel advisory business to start thinking about planning expedition cruises for your adventurous, cruise-loving clients.

Small Size

Going on an expedition cruise is very similar to a regular cruise, however rather than hosting thousands of passengers, according to Emma Cakmak, “the size of the ship is much smaller and averages only about 200 people depending on the cruise”. Essentially, expedition cruise lines believe that a smaller ship and less passengers is considered optimal, as it allows for more activities, more intimate relationships, and a less chaotic atmosphere.

Emma Cakmak with her family during one of their travel adventures

Very Flexible

Unlike large, regular cruise ships that have very tight schedules, expedition cruises tend to follow a more relaxed approach and respond to changes in the weather and wildlife. For example, if there is a large group of penguins spotted in the distance, the cruise ship is able to deviate from its main course and get closer to the wildlife. This is the case because travellers who go on expedition cruises tend to put more value on adventure and sightseeing rather than relaxing by the pool.

Remote Locations

While typical cruise ships tend to make stops at large ports in major urbanized cities, expedition ships avoid these visits, and instead choose to stop at rural locations filled with nature and wildlife. Although many expedition cruises focus solely on the Arctic regions, many others can go to remote areas in locations such as the South Pacific Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and the African Ocean. Not only does this result in a more authentic experience for travellers, but it is also safer with respect to COVID-19 as there will be virtually no other people other than the cruise passengers and staff.

Emphasis on Education

Expedition cruises follow a very different engagement approach than average cruise ships, focusing more on education than providing entertainment such as casinos and performances. Even though there is the odd expedition cruise ship that prioritizes entertainment, most expedition cruises foster enlightenment among passengers by thoroughly explaining the nature and history of the areas explored. Many of these cruise lines also frequently host scientists, historians, and environmentalists.

Emma Cakmak with her family during one of their travel adventures

Environmentally Friendly Practices

With climate change and pollution becoming more of an issue each year, travelers who go on expedition cruises are not only going on an adventure but are also choosing the cruising method that has a smaller environmental footprint. Considering that the vast majority of expedition cruises value nature, your clients will notice that on their adventures there will often be no single use plastics and that the staff will be conscious of the environment throughout the trip. Provided that, this is another way that you can promote the value of expedition cruises to your clients who are looking to travel post-COVID.

Reach out at all travel advisor forum to share your thoughts with us and other travel advisors. Or for more blogs on how you can generate leads for your travel advisory business visit Itinza and sign up for our Travel Advisor Directory. But if you are looking for help in planning your next trip,   Emma Cakmak will always  make sure that your next trip turns out to be exactly how you imagined it.