For many, a cruise has long occupied a coveted spot on their bucket lists, often seen as an experience reserved for the privileged few.
But, according to Samantha Pillay, director of ekko, a lifestyle brand tailored for millennials, those days are giving way to a new era where luxury travel is becoming increasingly within everyone’s grasp.
“In the world of travel, accessibility is the true mark of progress. Cruise liners have created budget-friendly packages which become even more affordable when you have a share portfolio with a lifestyle brand like ekko, thanks to the great discounts they provide.
“These not only amplify affordability but also pave the way for a broader audience to take trips they never thought possible,” said Pillay.
She said millennials should consider cruise vacations because many cruise lines offer all-inclusive packages that include accommodation, meals, entertainment, and transport, which makes budgeting for a holiday much easier.
“Cruises also visit multiple destinations in a single trip, which means you get to see different places without the hassle of having to arrange accommodation and transport in each destination.
“The on-board activities, excursions and communal dining options make cruises a great way to meet new people,” said Pillay.
The ekko director said that modern cruises offer a broad range of activities, so there is usually something for everyone to enjoy, such as yoga sessions, fitness centres, spas, rock climbing, cooking classes, and so much more.
Therefore, while cruises might traditionally be associated with older generations, they offer many advantages that can appeal to millennials.
When it comes to cost, Pillay revealed that a typical cruise would cost around R9 000 for three nights for a couple and ekko lifestylers can choose from over 5 000 exotic cruise destinations that are perfect for young travellers looking to explore.
“Some of our most popular destinations include Portuguese Islands, Mozambique and even Madagascar,” she said.
Since ekko is a lifestyle product that gives its shareholders discounts and preferential rates on various services including dining, coffee, movies, spa treatments, South African resorts, celebrity villas, international resorts, cruises, tours, flights and car hire, they work with 12 premier cruise lines, including all major cruise lines such as Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises.
Pillay said that since its summer and cruise season, ekko shareholders can get up to 20% off when booking a cruise based on the standard online rates, which will vary according to the seasonal demand for each cruise and how far in advance the booking is made.
So to get the best price when booking a cruise, you would need to book it well in advance and out of season.
“For example, summer is the middle of the cruise season and close to winter is the beginning and end of the cruise season.
“Therefore, booking a Mediterranean cruise six months in advance close to winter will have a greater discount compared to booking a Mediterranean cruise one month in advance during summer,” she said.