The cruise sector is undergoing both change and development.

Many brands are emerging with new products that are technology-focused. Türkiye, being a significant player in the travel market, is also rapidly growing in this sector.

In the past, there was a fixed profile of travelers who preferred cruises in the Turkish market. However, in recent years, with changing habits and preferences, the number of people choosing cruise travel has increased. Post-pandemic, expectations from cruise companies have also changed. Hygiene measures, high security, and digital solutions offered by brands have convinced travelers while also making it easier for sales channels.

Turkish travelers are now becoming very familiar with cruise ships. Just as they meticulously research their destination before traveling, they also thoroughly examine the services and products available on the ship. The interest that started with tours of the Greek Islands has now created a crowd that wants to travel almost everywhere in the world, including the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and the Fjords, the Canary Islands, the UAE, the Caribbean, Japan-South Korea, and more.

The role of tour operators in increasing demand and interest by preparing Turkish-guided packages to different destinations has been significant. The opportunity for all-inclusive accommodation on cruises, waking up in a different port every day, traveling without the hassle of packing and unpacking, and enjoying a variety of entertainment options each day, has changed the age profile of those traveling by cruise. So, it’s fair to say that the perception of 'cruise tours are for the elderly' has been shattered.

It wouldn't be wrong to say that there's been a paradigm shift in the Turkish market. The younger cruise crowd shows which packages and products are gaining interest. For cruise operators, this paradigm shift is very valuable. Services that were previously overlooked on ships are now becoming a marketing force. A category of travelers who scrutinize closely is emerging in the cruise sector. In other words, cruises have become more popular than before.

Cruise passengers now recognize brands, routes, and of course, ports. As they become familiar, their expectations increase. In this context, cruise companies are also increasing their investments to expand product variety. This represents another aspect of the paradigm shift in the market.

I will continue to analyze the cruise sector from this corner.