Michelle Malcolm Michelle Malcolm

New trends as luxury cruise keeps growing

A consumer night held by a niche cruise agency last week highlighted some interesting trends in the luxury cruise market and also provided extra evidence that the sector is going strong.


Michelle Malcolm, managing director of Auckland’s Quay Cruise (a sister brand of Quay Travel) says the agency attracted about 60 clients to a luxury cruise evening. This was about twice the number that attended a similar event in March. ‘The demographic was still (mainly) the over 60s,’ says Malcolm. ‘However, we did have some clients in their 40s there and we are seeing families book luxury cruises as an option in Europe.’


Malcolm says ‘niche’ agents are the way of the future and clients want to deal with experts in the area of travel they are looking at. ‘That could be a cruise expert within an agency of course.’ Malcolm says Quay Cruise, which is relatively new on the scene, is about to increase the size of its team (a new person starts there at the end of the month) and its marketing budget. ‘I definitely think that luxury cruise is growing as the baby boomers are retiring with money to spend. Luxury cruising represents fantastic value as most things are included.’ She says last week’s event featured presentations on Ponant, Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn, as well as specials on Crystal and Silversea. ‘Alaska seemed to be the talk of the evening from our clients. While it has been on the radar there does seem to be increased interest in this region. ‘Ponant was also a hit in terms of cruise product that clients were not that familiar with.’