With the launch of Silversea’s newest ship, Silver Nova, and Explorer Journeys Explorer I, research indicates smaller luxury ships are about to replace the suite class on larger cruise lines. The luxury cruise industry is set to launch 29 new ships between 2023 and 2028. The industry has shown further signs of rebounding in 2023, with half of 2023’s new ships being smaller, more opulent cruise ships. But can upscale luxury vessels compare to a suite on premium lines?
Luxury Cruising is the New Suite Class Trend
It’s a common misconception that smaller luxury cruise ships come at a more significant price point, and yes, some itineraries are more costly. But cruisers can often access similar, if not less expensive, fares on smaller luxury vessels. This explains why Oxford Economics describes luxury cruising as “The New Gold Rush,” showing three times more growth than the rest of the luxury travel industry.
Premium Suite Class vs. Luxury Ship
A suite on a premium cruise line offers extensive facilities on some of the largest ships in the world, with the added luxury of top-class experiences. Wonder of the Seas offers all the fun attractions onboard and a dedicated suite section. These mega ships with a suite class provide an elevated suite experience with extras, such as a butler, priority dining, a suite lounge, and alcoholic drinks.
The Luxury Travel Market Report from Grand View Research highlights the key factors driving the luxury travel market growth include “the increasing spending by elite travelers to visit unexplored destinations and gain new experiences.” Luxury cruise ships are known for offering the highest standards, opulent design, first-class service, and amenities.
Live a Life of Luxury
Do the extras included in a luxury cruise fare give small cruise ships an advantage? The Cruise Industry News 2023 Luxury Report reports the luxury cruise market is growing. It is projected to carry just over 1 million guests this year, up from more than 600,000 cruisers in 2019 and projecting 1.5 million passengers by 2030.
Those opting for luxury cruises can expect more for their cruise fare, including all-suite ships, concierge service, gourmet dining, and beverages (which often include alcoholic drinks).
What Gives a Premium Cruise the Edge?
Large sports areas and facilities such as surf simulators and skydiving are essential for some travelers, which gives an edge to premium cruise lines such as Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Their ships are huge and bustling, with many offering a suite area retreat with upscale service, dedicated sun decks, and dining options.
The Premium or Luxury Debate
What’s clear is that there is a luxury cruise experience for everyone, and it’s here to stay.
Whether it’s a pumped-up, mega-class ship or a luxury suite cruise, travelers have more options than ever. This choice will only grow as more passengers book small luxury cruises.
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Sarah Christie is a craft, food, cruise, and family travel blogger Extraordinary Chaos, Cruising For All and Mini Travellers. Known for her unique perspective and ability to find beauty in chaos, Sarah designs and creates craft projects as well as creating recipes for people who want to cook from scratch the easy way. Whilst also exploring family travel and how to navigate it.