Lifestyle Cruise ship holidays are becoming more popular among millennials. Source:

Published on October 18th, 2018 | by Jerry Doby


From Poker to DJs: How Cruises Are Becoming Popular with Millennials

Cruise ship holidays are becoming more popular among millennials. Source:

Cruise ship holidays are becoming more popular among millennials. Source:

Cruise ship holidays are a long-loved tradition among many. Endless buffets, lounging on the deck, cheesy parties every single night. But for a long time, it’s mostly been the older generation taking cruises. Now, that’s all changing. Lately, millennials have been jumping on board to enjoy the fun. Everything from traveling around a whole island in a day to the jumping parties, cruises are starting to appeal to the younger generation more and more. But why is this, and what are they coming for? In this article, we’ll be looking at this further and seeing just what is making millennials crazy for cruises.

Music-related Cruises are Making a Splash

One of the reasons for the rise of millennials on cruises is the boom in music-related cruises setting sail. It’s no secret that millennials love a music festival, with over 14.7 million having attended at least one music festival before. Combining music with travel is a winning combination. In fact, there are more and more cruise companies which only accept younger passengers, with U by Uniworld taking on passengers aged between 18 – 45 years old.

Many of these ‘youth’ cruises take short river trips around Europe and usually stop off in party cities like Amsterdam. Budapest and Prague. But some are taking it even further. Mad Decent Boat Party takes their passengers from Miami to Mexico in an epic four-day fest of sun, fun and musical madness. It’s quite literally a music festival on a boat and features big names like G-Easy, Major Lazer and Mø.

Anchored is another music-themed cruise which is marketed more like a festival than an actual cruise. They featured acts like Deadmau5 and Benny Benassi, turning it into a full-blown EDM cruise. Along the way, it takes passengers to party destinations like Barcelona, Ibiza, and Palma, so party goers can catch the sun as they dance to their heart’s content.

Music-themed boat parties across Europe are very popular. Source:

Music-themed boat parties across Europe are very popular. Source:

Poker Cruises are a Big Hit

Casinos have always been a big hit when it comes to cruises, with pretty much every kind of cruise ship, big and small, having a casino on board. They aren’t just popular with the older generations; millennials are enjoying them too. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a total newbie, the tables on poker cruises welcome everyone to play. Whatever your game is: 7 card stud, Omaha hi, or the classic Texas Holdem, you’ll find it on board a poker cruise. It’s a great form of entertainment and it’s a great way to practice your poker face and get better at forming a winning hand.

One of the most appealing aspects of poker cruises is that they go all around the world. Unlike a lot of music festival cruises, you aren’t limited to a few days around Europe. You can choose from a week or two in exotic locations like Cuba or New Zealand. They’re often pretty cheap as well and players stand to win some great prizes when they play. They’re popular with people of all ages, and millennials are joining in too. 

Poker cruise operators often see repeat customers year after year. There’s often great banter among players and many become close friends during the experience. Whatever kinds of poker you enjoy playing, a poker cruise is a great way for people to get better at their game, meet new friends and even win some money.

Poker cruises are popular among all ages. Source:

Poker cruises are popular among all ages. Source:

Why The Sudden Hype?

Now that we have looked at a couple of examples of popular cruises for millennials, we have to wonder, why now? What has inspired the sudden hype and made cruises cool again? With the rise of themed cruises, it’s shown that it’s not necessarily cruising itself that’s popular, it’s the events on board. Regular cruise ships are still popular among families and baby boomers, but instead of the younger generations coming on board with their parents, they’re booking with their friends.

There are a few reasons for this. One is due to the fact that cruises, even non-themed ones, are cheaper than most resort holidays. If you were to book a multi-destination resort holiday over the span of a week or two, it would cost an absolute fortune. But on a cruise, the costs are reduced by comparison. Knowing that you’ve paid for your accommodation, travel, food, and entertainment at one time, millennials can relax and party away without worrying about running out of funds.

The average age of a cruiser in the US is around 45 (or 55 if from the UK), but the latest boom in millennials is bringing it lower. Themed cruises have made the cruise industry more appealing to millennials, but it’s not just the party animals who go on cruises. Those who enjoyed cruising with their parents when they were younger are also likely to book again as adults.

More millennials are jumping on board cruise ships. Source:

More millennials are jumping on board cruise ships. Source:

Whether you want to party or play poker, there’s something for everyone on a cruise. For a long time, millennials haven’t been too interested in jumping on board, but that’s all changing now. The industry is seeing a resurgence and themed cruises are paving the way. Is it a fad or are millennial-focused cruises here to stay? Only time will tell…

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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