However, there are a number of themes that we expect to dominate this year and beyond, from popular destinations to wider industry developments, so here are our top six trends for travel in 2022…
1. Mediterranean delights
Whether you're exploring somewhere new or revisiting a favourite port of call, the Mediterranean has a huge amount to offer for even the most well-travelled. With such easy access from the UK it is also a comforting post-pandemic destination. Many cruise lines enjoyed successful 2021 seasons in the Med, receiving glowing reviews from those who were lucky enough to be back on board. This year is already incredibly well sold and 2023 is filling fast, so if a break in the warm Mediterranean sunshine appeals it's best to book early to secure your preferred accommodation on your ideal itinerary.
2. Caribbean calling
Sunshine and beaches are a key motivation for many travellers, so island hopping around the Caribbean has always been a popular option. Southern Caribbean itineraries are particularly appealing, with subtle differences from island to island, depending on whether their former influences were British, French, Spanish or Dutch. Availability for the current season has been extremely limited, with flights and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays being particularly problematic. Many cruisers have been disappointed not to be able to escape our dreary winter to warmer climes this year (not to mention last year as well!) so 2022/23 sailings will be more popular than ever.
3. Expanding expeditions
The expedition cruise sector has been transformed in recent years, with a host of new ships allowing travel to the world's most extraordinary destinations without compromising on comfort. Combine this with the long-established trend for more experiential travel, accelerated by the pandemic, and it's clear these trips will be more popular than ever in 2022. Topping the list of must-visit destinations are Antarctica and the Arctic, with both experiencing a surge in bookings as people plan those once-in-a-lifetime trips. If walking amongst penguins, spotting polar bears and travelling in the wake of the world's most famous explorers has always been a dream of yours, now is the time to make it a reality.
4. New build news
New ships are set to dominate the headlines again in 2022, with a host of new builds entering service both this year and in 2023, including Silversea's recently announced 728-guest hybrid-powered ship Silver Nova. As new deals are signed, new enhancements announced, sea trials completed and ships delivered, you can expect to hear plenty of exciting news about new vessels across all sectors of the cruise industry.
5. Sustained sustainability
Last year's COP26 conference in Glasgow underlined the urgency of the climate crisis, and the cruise industry has extensive plans to propel us towards a carbon neutral future. This trend is baked into the development of new ship technology and is now a mainstream concern within the cruise industry, so you can expect the drum beat on this topic to become ever louder.
6. Appy travels
Finally, the use of technology in travel has accelerated during the pandemic. Vaccine passports, QR codes, online check-ins and cruise line apps are helpful for those who have embraced these new technologies, but a curse for those uncomfortable with modern gadgets. The dependence on smart phones for travel is only set to grow, and we recommend embracing its advantages. We'd be delighted to help you with this, so why not visit us at our comfortable offices just off Oxford Circus - we'll show you how to download all the apps you need and give you a quick overview of how they work.