Jump on board popular holiday
THERE was Noah's Ark, the Mayflower, Titantic, then the Queen Mary 2 and of course the Loveboat.
For centuries we have used boats, ships and cruise liners to travel to destinations to new lands or to take a well deserved holiday.
With the cost of living rising every day going on holiday is last on the list of things to save for.
But thanks to the increased popularity in cruise holidays and their affordability and all inclusive budget, more Australians are jumping on board.
Cruise1st general manager Lance Batty has worked in the tourism industry for the past 15 years and said there were many cruise holiday styles from those suited for families to the luxury options such as a private yacht.
He said because people work long hours people want a holiday where they are taken care of and don't have to worry.
"You only need to unpack once, and typically meals and entertainment are included in you fare making budgeting easy, and service is excellent," he said.
He said today's world class cruise lines were now as dazzling as the ports they sailed to.
"Voyager of the Seas, travelling to Australia later this year, has a ice skating rink onboard, a rock climbing wall and entertainment options ranging from kids clubs up to formal dining evenings for the parents.
"People now pick their ship, for its features, before they pick their itinerary."
When it comes to the increased popularity of cruising holidays the main draw card is that it is affordable and all inclusive.
"On the main family orientated cruise lines, expect to have all meals, children's activities and most onboard entertainment included in the price.
"Compare that to what you pay for breakfast each day in a normal hotel for a family…the savings stack up.
"My tip is if you want to indulge, pre-purchase the beverage and upgraded dining packages before you hop onboard, the savings are considerable," he said.
Mr Batty said Australian's had never seen the quality of cruise liners that were on their way to our shores now.
He said many of his customers who have cruised regularly overseas, were snapping up staterooms on ships like Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruises Solstice, which were cruising in this a part of the world this summer.
"Typically, Australia and the South Pacific, followed by Asia and the Mediterranean are most popular.
"The fastest growth I see is in families sailing together, due to the incredible value."
Mr Batty said cruising was one of Australia's most popular holidays.
"Without a doubt, the amount of Australians cruising in 2011 grew by a whopping 34%. That is why the cruise lines are rushing to sail their best ships here," he said.
"People work so hard these days.
"On their holidays, they want to relax, they want to be pampered themselves, they want great value and variety. Cruise holidays provide all this. On the first day of a cruise, you can drive to the port, and be having a cocktail at the pool half an hour later, while your kids are at the kids club. Sounds better than flying somewhere." He said cruise lines and ships were like cars, there were multiple options to suit different people and their needs.
He said it was important to do your research to make sure you were booking the right one for your tastes.
"Generalising, the main differences are family orientated cruises, such as those offered by P&O, and Royal Caribbean, and more luxury, couple oriented options such as Celebrity Cruises, Holland America and Princess.
The are many new ships and major refurbishments to familiar favourites, mean this season will be by far the best ever for choice of cruise holidays.
Cruising is the fastest growing travel trend in modern times and Harvey World Travel Mackay and Mt Pleasant are certainly experiencing cruising increased popularity.
Harvey World Travel general manager Steven Boxall said Australian's were ready to set sail
"We have seen unprecedented growth in the cruising market," he said.
"We often get first-time cruising customers, who may be a little sceptical about all the hype, come back from their cruising holiday absolutely converted.
" I suppose that's at the crux of why the industry is booming - so many guests are repeat customers.
"One of the biggest questions our consultants always get asked is will I get bored while I'm onboard?
"The answer is definitely no.
"Oasis of the Seas' Daily Cruise Planner features an average of 90 activities each day. There's no way you'll ever be able to fit in everything which is offered (both on the ship and excursions) and certainly no chance of you getting bored."