Marcella Rappoport, a Virtuoso travel advisor in New York, recently planned a Caribbean cruise for a family celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. “They chartered a ship and invited the people who married them, and the people who were at their wedding,” she recalls. “There were 420 people on board. They brought a rock band and a couple of singers they liked, and a chef from their hometown of Chicago. The mother wore her wedding dress and they had vow renewals.”
Family Vacations: A Growing Trend
The 2013 Virtuoso Luxe Report found that family and multigenerational travel are big trends, with river and luxury cruises taking the next two spots. The report also found that spending time and reconnecting with loved ones were among the top reasons motivating travel. Not surprisingly, Virtuoso travel advisors have seen a lot of crossover in these trends, with more people booking multigenerational cruises over the past three years.
Kimberly Wilson Wetty, a Virtuoso travel advisor in New York, notes that cruise lines have been quick to cater to this growing audience. “New builds that have come out in the last five years have more family suites and connecting rooms than ever before,” she says. “If we look at the luxury market, they have all created more children’s programs, which allows for multigenerational travel.”
Family Vacations Perfect for Diverse Interests
Cruising lends itself well to family vacations that need to take a range of ages and interests into consideration. “It’s the convenience of being able to travel together, of only having to unpack once, and experiencing a variety of destinations together as a family,” says Vanessa Bloy, director of public relations for Paul Gauguin Cruises.
“Imagine the challenge and cost of going to multiple destinations by train or plane with the whole family,” adds Camille Olivere, vice president of sales for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Guests can go off for the day, onboard or ashore, and do what they like. Then they can get together for dinner and talk about their day. They don’t have to be together every minute.”
“My family did a cruise in Alaska where we landed on a glacier and did dog-sledding, but the musher was part of the Iditarod,” explains Wetty. “He walked us through on a map how far they have to go, and really made the story come to life for us.”
The lesson stuck. “We did that trip four years ago,” Wetty recounted. “My daughter is now in third grade. They were studying the Iditarod, and she remembered. She brought in our photo album and talked about it.”
Book Family Vacations with a Virtuoso Expert
Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for more information on booking the cruise of a lifetime, including special values for family vacations available only to clients of Virtuoso agencies. To find a Virtuoso advisor, visit www.virtuoso.com.