From the launch of exciting new ships (think P&Os Iona and Viking’s new Nile ship) to where they really want to travel, we sat down with leading cruise CEOs to hear their cruise secrets and travel trends for 2020.

Paul Ludlow, President, P&O Cruises

What can your guests expect in 2020?

The introduction of Iona, Britain’s most environmentally friendly, biggest and most contemporary ship, will mark a new era for P&O Cruises. Guests will enjoy some wonderful surprises aboard this design-led ship, which offers interiors and experiences like no others in our fleet.

Cruise secrets: P&O Cruises Paul Ludlow (1)

What cruise trends do you see happening in 2020?

Iona will encourage a whole new generation to cruise, and our Norwegian fjords and Canary Islands itineraries will offer holiday experiences like never before – from contemporary entertainment and exhilarating adventures to calming spa sessions and gourmet voyages of discovery.

What are your predictions for travel in 2020?

More people taking multiple holidays, as the popularity of shorter breaks increases.

Where are you most looking forward to visiting this year?

I’d love to explore the quieter corners of the Caribbean, but I also want to see the hidden Canary Islands. There is so much to discover in the Canaries, from world-class shopping and hiking to top-notch watersports, award-winning wines and spectacular golf courses, as well as those extraordinary beaches.

Lynn Narraway, HAL & Seabourn Managing Director

What can your guests expect in 2020?

We’re preparing for next year’s launch of Seabourn Venture, our ultra-luxury expedition ship, so expect some exciting revelations about that. Meanwhile, HAL’s Koningsdam will bring all our Pinnacle-class amenities to Alaska, while Nieuw Statendam will homeport from Amsterdam for North European cruises.

Cruise secrets: Lynn Narraway

What cruise trends do you see happening in 2020?

Personalised experiences. At Seabourn, that means ultra-luxury expeditions to remote destinations in the company of world-class experts. At HAL our Exploration Central initiative offers shore experiences that can be tailored to guests’ individual interests.

What are your predictions for travel in 2020?

UK travellers will return to Turkey, and I’m delighted that both Seabourn and HAL will be able to take them there.

Where are you most looking forward to visiting this year?

I love cruising the Med with my family, as you can enjoy so many destinations, cuisines and cultures in a short time.

Colin Downing, Managing Director UK, Scenic & Emerald Waterways

What can your guests expect in 2020?

Plenty of exciting itineraries and some truly memorable holidays. One of the highlights will be Scenic Eclipse’s first Northwest Passage crossing – an iconic route that really brings the ship’s technology and capabilities to the fore.

Colin Dowling Scenic

What cruise trends do you see happening in 2020?

Guests will seek more personalised, authentic and immersive experiences. On the ocean, this means smaller will be seen as better. On the river, competition is intensifying, so those lines that aren’t clear about who they are and what makes them different will find it harder to persuade guests to sail with them.

What are your predictions for travel in 2020?
After the fall-out from Thomas Cook, guests will be making sure that the companies they book with are always ABTA and ATOL-protected and have a good reputation in the market.

Where are you most looking forward to visiting this year?

Southeast Asia. We offer 23 days of five-star luxury, sailing through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos on our ‘Indochina Explorer and Luxury Mekong’ river cruise, and I’m looking forward to enjoying it for myself.

Wendy Atkin-Smith, Viking Cruises UK MD

What can your guests expect in 2020?

We’ll be launching seven new river ships next year, and Viking is in the process of introducing expedition cruises too. We are also looking forward to the return of Viking Sun at the end of her Ultimate World Cruise – a 245-day journey spanning six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports.

Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking Cruises UK

What cruise trends do you see happening in 2020?

Increased demand! Guests love the fact that they can visit a range of destinations in a week while enjoying the comfort and consistent quality a cruise line like Viking offers.

What are your predictions for travel in 2020?

More community-based tourism. At Viking, we are very passionate about connecting with local cultures in the countries we visit. For instance, on our ‘Waterways of the Tsars’ itinerary in Russia, guests can have tea with a babushka in her own home, giving them the opportunity to learn about her way of life.

Where are you most looking forward to visiting this year?

I watched His Dark Materials on TV, and I would love to visit Svalbard in northern Norway, which is featured in the books.