As you browse the multitude of cruise sailings on the Cruise1st Australia website, we’d wager you don’t spare a thought for the person whose job is to sit down and create each itinerary from scratch (doubtless because you’ve been side-tracked by the wealth of great deals on offer). But creating unforgettable cruise itineraries that appeal to the masses is someone’s actual job, and we want to find out just how they go about creating such amazing sailings time and time again.
So, we ask — what makes a great cruise itinerary?
Convenience and Accessibility
Every cruise itinerary architect is tasked with trying to make each sailing appeal to a mass audience, so the first place to start is always with the convenience and accessibility of the starting destination. Create a cruise itinerary which starts at a port in the middle of nowhere, and it doesn’t matter how amazing the destination is — you’ll struggle to get bodies in beds. Cruise lines know this, and so always aim to commence each cruise in a major port city — Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane for example.
Choosing the Length
Traditionally, cruising has been associated with month-long trips that cost an eye-watering sum and are booked exclusively by wealthy retirees — but no longer. Now, cruise lines make 50% of their income in sailings of 7 nights or more and the other 50% in sailings of three to five nights — demonstrating the need for shorter cruise itineraries. Cruise lines normally create sailings of differing lengths which span a full cruise season, giving prospective passengers complete freedom of choice when booking the holiday that’s right for them.
Selecting the Right Destinations
Choosing the appropriate destinations visited during a specific sailing is arguably the toughest part of creating a new cruise itinerary, with many different factors affecting the decision-making process.
Major cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, P&O Australia and Carnival Cruise Line, tend to gravitate towards the already-established destinations when creating new itineraries, as they know these to be popular and can virtually guarantee bookings. Smaller, more boutique lines take a different stance however, favouring lesser-known destinations with added exclusivity over traditional tourism hotbeds.
To give each sailing real wow factor, cruise lines normally incorporate three to five port visits into an average weeklong itinerary. These destinations can be broken down into three categories:
Destinations: A destination port is when the immediate city or town is the main attraction for disembarking passengers, and no onward travel is required. Cruise routes normally feature one or two of such destinations, with a good example being Wellington in New Zealand or Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Gateways: A gateway destination is essentially a port near a city or town that isn’t quite on the coast, necessitating the need for onward travel by bus or rail. Cruise itineraries usually feature one or two gateways, with an example being Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam or Bangkok in Thailand.
Balanced Ports: A balanced port really offers the best of both worlds; they have the facilities and amenities to keep passengers busy, but their surroundings are also awash with things to see and do. Cruise itineraries normally feature one or two balanced ports, with an example being Auckland in New Zealand or Port Douglas in Queensland.
Now that we’ve dissected what makes a great cruise sailing — are you ready to book one? If the answer’s yes, head over to the Cruise1st Australia homepage to browse our latest deals, or call our dedicated customer care team on 1300 306 318.