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Friday, June 21, 2019

Millennials plea for Vitamin Sea!

JOHANNESBURG: It can be tough being a millennial in South Africa. When they aren’t trying to pay off their student debt, or providing for other family members, they’re having to work long hours for little pay. In addition, their futures often look uncertain as employment opportunities are scarce and the job market is saturated.

Travel as an escape

However, young people are nothing if not ingenious, and have come up with a few ways to escape the stresses that daily life can throw at them. One of these salves is travelling. Due to the global interconnectedness that social media has brought about, Millennials definitely regard themselves as ‘citizens of the world,’ which fuels their desires to see new places and experience new cultures. In fact, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) estimates that by 2020 there will be almost 300 million international youth trips per year – a 59% growth in 10 years.

Thankfully, travel doesn’t have to break the bank. One of the more cost-effective options of travelling, which was traditionally reserved for the wealthy but has now become far more accessible to almost everyone, especially money-conscious Millennials, is cruising.

Cruises present themselves as an affordable option for young people who want to go out and travel and have new experiences, whether it be of a local flavor or an international trip. Cruises generally come in cheaper than other forms of travelling, due to the fact that the costs of food, travel and entertainment are included in your cruise fare.

Micro-societies on board

For Millennials, one of the most appealing aspects of cruising is the micro-societies that are created on the ships themselves, as each cruise offers a multitude of events and activities on deck, for the sporty types to the cultural types to the more laidback. This is a ‘win-win’ situation for young people who crave to broaden their social horizons while travelling, because they’re afforded the opportunity to meet new people while on the ship, be part of a community, and perhaps even make lifelong friends.

Many young people also love a good party, and this inclination is amplified when travelling with friends, as there is a profound sense of freedom from responsibility when on holiday. Unfortunately, these kinds of nights out on land usually end up being prohibitively expensive, thanks to costly taxi fares and club entrance fees when Millennials bar/club/restaurant hop.

On cruise ships however, young people are able to save quite a bit of money in this regard, as the costs of traveling to and from clubs late at night and paying high entrance fees are cut because there are a variety of different entertainment venues available on board. It’s safer and more convenient too – when these party animals feel it’s time to call it a night (or early morning!), their rooms are just an elevator ride away.

Cutting on costs without sacrificing the experience

With cruise ship holidays, hidden costs that often creep unexpectedly into Millennials’ travel budgets are greatly mitigated. When travelling on land, costs definitely add up, especially if you’re travelling to a variety of different locations, which young travellers may not always be aware of. That train from Rome to Paris, and flight from Amsterdam to Milan, as well as the taxis or buses that young people need to get to their accommodation, all end up taking quite a big chunk of their funds.

On a cruise, however, the ship does most of the travelling for the Millennial – all they have to do is get to the first port. In addition, travelling time can be spent in the comfort of their cabin, working out at the gym, having a massage, or lazing by the pool on the deck. Much more fun than long queues and never-ending waiting!

Food, which is usually one of the biggest expenses when travelling, is also catered for on these cruise trips. Regardless of whether the trip is a local one or an international one, the cruise buffet is open for 20 to 22 hours a day. Fine dining is also offered, most of which is included in the cruise fare, catering for the young people who like to dabble in the finer things in life.

Millennials can also save some of their hard-earned Rands when docking at a destination, as not every single meal has to be eaten at each port city. On an international trip, for example, they can eat breakfast on the ship and then treat themselves to a lavish lunch in Barcelona to taste true Spanish cuisine, returning to the ship for dinner. In addition, the cruise ships prepare all-inclusive buffets on land at some of the ports; one local example is Pomene in Mozambique.

Travelling is a fantastic way to escape, refresh, and immerse yourself in different experiences you can’t find at home. Millennials can only benefit from leaving the nest regularly, and cruising is an affordable option that offers something for everyone.

MSC Cruises offers both international and local cruises and sail from five continents, with dozens of itineraries to choose from. The ship MSC Orchestra will be visiting South African shores for the very first time in November 2019 and will be cruising in our region until the end of April 2020. Her destinations will include Mozambique, Mauritius, Reunion and Walvis Bay.

For more information and bookings, go to

Contributed by Lindokuhle Magasela -

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