Vietnamese agents are reporting an increase in locally sourced cruisers – thanks to young, middle-class Vietnamese.
While the numbers are still low, 4,100 passengers took a cruise in 2016 – up from only 158 in 2012.
Vietnam has seen the biggest growth in demand for cruise holidays across Asia – up 126 per cent from 2012 to 2016, according to Cruise Lines International Association.
This demonstrates Vietnam’s huge potential for cruise travel demand, according to Cruise Lines International Association.
Vietnamese middle-classes are driving this demand with the majority in the younger age group of 20 to 39 years of age.
These younger passengers want to take cruise holidays in Europe and Asia – and they want it now.
Not only are local Vietnamese taking to cruises in a big way, Vietnam is also the hot destination for Australians, Americans, Europeans and Asians.
“Vietnam has become an increasingly popular destination for guests from the US, Australia and Europe, as well as from Asian countries and cruising is one of the best ways to explore this magnificent part of the world, said Farriek Tawfik, director of Southeast Asia at Princess Cruises.
This has prompted Princess Cruises to increase its guest capacity by more than 40 per cent in 2018, bringing more than 80,000 passengers to Vietnam in 31 voyages.
Princess carried more than 58,000 guests on 22 cruises to Vietnamese ports of Phu My, Nha Trang, Danang and Cai Lan last year.
Princess has six cruise ships in the region – Majestic Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess, Golden Princess, Sun Princess and Coral Princess.
While cruise passengers from the Asia are more evenly spread across the age groups, with 55 per cent between the ages of 30 and 59 and 33 per cent aged 20 to 39, the “majority of Vietnamese cruise passengers’’ fall in the younger age group.
Vietnam’s middle and upper middle class is expected to double to 33 million people by 2020, comprising one-third of the population.
“This makes Vietnam an attractive market for consumer brands,’’ said the Boston Consulting Group.
CLIA has projected that 4.3 million passengers from Asia will take a cruise holiday in 2017 – up from 3 million the year before.
Vietnam now ranks sixth among the regional cruise markets, playing host to 404 calls last year.