Landlocked Czechs take to luxury cruises

Photo: Pjotr Mahhonin, CC BY-SA 3.0

An increasing number of Czech tourists are spending their holidays on luxury cruise liners, the daily e15 reported on Thursday. The interest in cruises has nearly doubled over the past five years. Czechs are not interested only in the Mediterranean but they also look for more exotic destinations, such as French Polynesia, the daily wrote.

Photo: Pjotr Mahhonin, CC BY-SA 3.0
While several years ago, there were only a handful of Czechs on luxury cruises, nowadays, all of the major Czech tourists agencies include them on their offer, the paper writes.

Some 15,000 Czech clients travelled on a cruise liner last year, the head of the Association of Czech Travel Agencies Jan Papež said. That figure is almost double the 2012 total. There are also many Czechs who arrange their own tailor made cruises individually.

Among the most popular destinations for Czech tourists are the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. But according to Jan Bezděk, a spokesman for the travel agency Fisher, Czechs are increasingly interested in other destinations, such as the Caribbean, Australia or Alaska. The Persian Gulf has also become a very popular destination among Czech tourists.

Fisher currently cooperates with five cruise liner operators. Their clients can choose from hundreds of boats and 500 different cruise routes. Among the most luxurious destinations is French Polynesia, Exim tours’ marketing director Stanislav Zíma told the daily:

“When cruising around the Caribbean, our clients are advised to have at least 75 to 100 dollars for a day,” he told the daily. The price for a two-week cruise outside of Europe for two people usually exceeds 100,000 crowns, around four times the average monthly wage nationwide.

The popularity of cruises has been increasing all around the world. According to the Cruise Industry News Annual Report, some 26 million passengers are expected to travel on a cruise liner this year, compared to 18 million in 2009. This year, some 26 new cruise ships worth 6.8 billion dollars are set to be put into operation. The annual global turnover of the industry is approaching 40 billion dollars, according to the report.