said Joshua Smith, founder and travel designer at global citizen flights, A travel company catering to the millennial generation. “I’m seeing more and more companies offering niche cruises, like groove cruise music festivals or small boutique cruises to target younger millennials. It’s been successful.”
River cruises, which are offered on much smaller ships that usually hold fewer than 200 guests, are especially popular with beginners looking to distance themselves from the crowds during peak travel seasons, particularly in Europe. Kristen Chambers, a 42-year-old book editor from Boston, booked an eight-day appointment Uniworld A river cruise to Burgundy and Provence in June to celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary.
“We’ve been traveling all over Europe by plane and train, but we wanted to try something different, a little out of the ordinary,” Chambers said. “I’d never go on one of those giant ships that carry thousands of people, but I’ve always wanted to try a river cruise—it just feels more elegant and quiet.”
The couple indulged in a luxury room with a balcony, costing $14,000, with food, drinks, and excursions on the beach. “We’re not going to spend a lot on a one-week vacation, but we’re making up for the years we didn’t travel during Covid,” she said.
Nora Hope, 20, took a much bigger cruise to Greece with her family last year, sailing on one of Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, the Odyssey of the Seas, which holds more than 4,000 passengers. Her parents were desperate for a family vacation after two years of pandemic restrictions, and after researching options on various Greek islands, they decided a cruise offered the best value and the least hassle. They spent a total of about $4,300 for their one-week all-inclusive vacation, staying in two oceanfront rooms.