Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gen Z sees value as key cruise attribute but cost keeps many away

CRUISE_Student_Universe.jpg
StudentUniverse, a Flight Centre Group company and the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace, examined the thoughts and behaviors of repeat and first-time young adult cruisers
Generation Z adults see value for money as the top appeal of cruising, but many are hindered by the cost.

A survey of US adults aged 18-25 by StudentUniverse, a Flight Centre Group company and the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace, examined the thoughts and behaviors of repeat and first-time young adult cruisers.  

StudentUniverse found that 42.1% of respondents have taken a river or ocean cruise as an independent adult, while more than half (57.9%) have yet to set sail.

Budget-conscious generation

With a majority reporting their household income at less than $50,000, this budget-conscious generation prioritizes experiences where their travel dollars can be stretched. According to 57.4% of respondents, the top appeal for taking a cruise is value for money, followed by onboard experiences (51.8%), all-inclusive amenities (51%) and visiting multiple destinations (50.6%).

To emphasize Gen Z’s price sensitivity, 60.2% of experienced cruisers and 75.5% of novices stated the high cost keeps them from booking. Other deterrents include safety concerns and the desire to avoid crowds, which were higher among those who haven't cruised before.

Most who've cruised want to cruise again

Among past cruisers, 51% are likely to book again with 39.4% very likely to do so. To increase booking propensity, StudentUniverse said cruise lines should be cognizant of Gen Z’s budget constraints as participants stated exclusive discounts for young adults and students (50.6%), flexible payment plans (49.4%) and discounts on flights to the port city (48.6%) would increase their inclination. 

Thoughts on solo travel

As solo travel continues to rise, StudentUniverse examined Gen Z sentiment toward cruising alone. The study showed those who have cruised before are more likely to set sail solo (62.5%) while fewer of those who haven't cruised would do so (30.8%). Despite the rise in female solo travel, 60.8% of young women stated they would not take a cruise alone. However, of those who've cruised, 61.6% said they would book a solo cruise.

StudentUniverse did not specify the number of people it surveyed.

The Boston-based company, with operations in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and the Philippines, negotiates with a network of global partners to offer exclusive pricing and terms for its members. StudentUniverse was founded in 2000 and was acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group in 2015.