Ocean Villageå‘s new dress-down holidays are creating a fresh direction for Caribbean cruising with the launch of its new Caribbean programme. Already booking substantial numbers for the Mediterranean, Ocean Village is de-constructing conventional cruise offerings by cutting out the clichÌ©s of cocktails with the captain and shuffleboard on deck, and replacing them with informal events, superb on-board spas, 24-hour dining, abseiling, jet-skiing and jeep safaris ashore.
The focus of Ocean Village is to feature a fusion of on-board and on-shore activities, such as mountain biking - the ship carries its own fleet of bikes ready for trips ashore - parasailing, helicopter ‘flight-seeing’, snorkelling and quad biking. This new concept caters for thrill-seeking couples who also like to wind-down by mixing their action-packed holidays with time by the pool and experiences in the spa.
Managing Director of Ocean Village, Nick Lighton, explains the thinking behind Ocean Village: “We researched exactly what ‘middle-youth’ - that is 35-55 year olds with active modern lifestyles - were after in a holiday and feedback showed they seek stimulating experiences as well as the chance to unwind. So Ocean Village cruises offer ‘chill and challenge’ holidays - not only can people take it easy in the usual sense but they can also return home having enjoyed a wealth of exciting experiences, be that mountain biking across Barbadian beaches, exploring Antigua off the beaten track by jeep or hiking through Dominica’s rainforests.”
The research undertaken by Ocean Village shows dramatic changes in people’s lifestyles over the past ten years, as the stress of modern living means that they are stuck in ‘overdrive’ and can no longer switch off simply because they are on holiday. Instead it seems they are looking for a fusion holiday - incorporating a blend of experiences, helping them to unwind:
? Two out of every five UK holidaymakers, between the ages of 35 and 50 get bored during their holidays and 82% of those questioned stated that variety is important to the overall enjoyment of their holiday.
? Over half (52%) of those asked demanded access to active sports, such as jet skiing and abseiling, with similar numbers seeking cultural (74%) and ‘mind and body’ (47%) activities whilst on holiday. This is a far different picture from ten years ago when the perfect holiday comprised sunbathing, eating and drinking exclusively.
? Freedom to do ‘what they want, when they want’ was of utmost importance to holidaymakers. Over half (52%) of those questioned would prefer to do their own thing than be approached or encouraged to participate in activities by holiday reps.
? Over a third (35%) of those questioned believe that their holidays say something about either the sort of person that they are or reflect their lifestyles, underlining the need for those holidays to deliver a fulfilling experience.
Lighton continues: “On-board and on-shore activity holidays allow people to chill out and de-stress any way they want to. Holidays which offer a diversity of activity, maximum flexibility and an atmosphere of informality are the most likely to satisfy this very demanding generation of holidaymakers with diverse needs. Ocean Village fulfils these needs, allowing guests to see more, do more and be more.”
On-board, Ocean Village presents 7,000 sq-m of open deck space, up to 50 percent more personal space than comparable ships, the largest cabins for a ship of this class. Facilities include; a full-service spa, which presents every treatment from acupressure massage and crystal point therapy, to facials and bodywraps; an ocean-view gym; two sparkling pools; a sauna; steam room; and four Jacuzzis.
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