Royal Caribbean's new campaign tries to break cruising stereotypes

For a certain generation, say cruise and all they can think of is geriatric tourists playing shuffleboard and gorging themselves on all-you-can-eat buffets.

Royal Caribbean is the latest cruise line trying to change that image --especially among first time cruisers, the largest of which are millennials.

On Monday, the cruise line launched a major publicity campaign called “Come Seek,” for active travelers  highlighting onboard adventures like ziplines, rock climbing walls, the FlowRider surf simulator and the RipCord by iFly skydiving experience, reports the Sun Sentintel.

The ads uses phrases like "You are not a tourist" and "This is not a cruise" to hone Royal Caribbean's message that a cruise can be an immersive experience.

"'Come seek' is designed to attract the next generation of cruisers," Royal Caribbean CMO Jim Berra told AdWeek. "For them, trying new things, taking the road less traveled and sharing their experiences via social media is core to how they enjoy life. We all recognize the generational shift that is occurring, and we have a great opportunity to become their vacation brand of choice."

The company is also hoping to attract returning consumers looking for something different. New off-boat excursions highlighted in the campaign include an ocean racing experience in Antigua that will match guests with with professional yachties and a mountaintop downhill trek through historic plantation ruins in St. Maarten, among others.

Royal Caribbean currently operates 23 ships. In addition to Caribbean cruises, the line also offers trips throughout Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.

"Our mission is to disrupt and challenge misperceptions and invite the next generation of travelers to experience Royal Caribbean," CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement.

Trying to appeal to millennials has been all the rage in the travel world, and Royal Caribbean certainly isn't the only line that has been trying to bring down the average age of cruisers, which still hovers around 46.

For example, Norwegian Cruise Line's Epic has studio cabins priced for solo cruisers, who also have access to the Studio Lounge, a place for singles to meet over drinks.  And billionaire Richard Branson is developing a hip, trendy cruise line that will cater to younger travelers.

Royal Caribbean's campagin includes broadcast commercials, social media outreach, digital and print ads will likely run through Wave Season—a promotional period from Jan. to March in which cruise lines typically offer discounted rates and boost incentives to lure travelers.

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