Thanks to cruising, children can travel almost everywhere these days, from Europe, to the Caribbean, and even further-flung destinations such as the Arctic. Cruise holidays are especially popular with the families market, with 75 percent of Millennial families interested in booking a cruise within the next two years, according to research by MMGYGlobal. Overall, the cruise industry is projecting 27.2-million passenger bookings this year. \u201cIt is catching on quickly with South African families wanting to expose their children to global travel but with the least amount of hassle,\u201d says Eamonn Ferrin, Vice President of Norwegian Cruise Lines & Managing Director South Africa. \u201cNowadays you\u2019ll be hard-pressed to meet a South African who has not cruised, and it's becoming even more popular with parents who have quickly realised it is the perfect holiday to bring the whole crew,\u201d he adds. According to Cape Town Tourism, South Africa\u2019s cruise sector grew from 6,050 passengers in 2012 to 31,035 passengers in 2017. Kid citizens of the world Cruising offers an opportunity to safely encourage your children to engage with the world, rather than passively consuming it, says Ferrin. \u201cFamily traditions like holidays spent together are crucial for their emotional well-being. You get to bond as a unit, and best of all, no one needs to be left behind.\u201d \u201cI love cruises, and my kids love it too,\u201d says Sara Essop, a writer for In Africa & Beyond. \u201cMy husband and I had previously to the Caribbean and Mozambique before embarking on a week-long Mediterranean cruise with our two kids, ages eight and ten.\u201d Essop maintains, by meeting new people from different cultures, children have an opportunity to develop empathy and creativity. \u201cWe boarded in Venice and travelled to Dubrovnik in Croatia, Santorini and Katakolon in Greece, and Kusadasi in Turkey, and since then, they have only been asking me when we are going again!\u201d she says. Essop adds: \u201cThe staff on the cruise were so friendly. It was always interesting to learn about their nationalities and chat to them about their home countries.\u201d Say \u2018ahoy\u2019 to hassle-free travel It is no secret that cruise holidays can save you time. Says Ferrin: \u201cThere is no need arrange transport, family-friendly accommodation, meals and activities. You can rather use that energy to focus on how you\u2019re going to best spend your time on board or at the ports.\u201d \u201cIt wasn\u2019t difficult to book our cruise,\u201d Essop recalls. \u201cBeing frequent travellers, we already had passports. However, we did have to apply for Schengen visas, which took the most admin\u2026 we had to get to Venice, so we flew to Rome and decided to explore other parts of Italy while we were there. It worked out quite nicely," she said. The family "loved the feeling of sailing on the seas, the nightly entertainment and the huge buffets. My kids loved the entertainment centre on board and would stay there as long as the club was open,\u201d says Essop. \u201c visit so many destinations in one fell swoop without having to pack, unpack and move luggage frequently.\u201d Everything your family could need in one place Family travel trends are evolving, says Ferrin. \u201cIncreasingly, it is not only about unique the destinations but more activity-filled adventures for family members to get that much-needed time to reconnect with each other while creating lasting memories. Norwegian has invested in a multitude of new and exciting on board features and entertainment venues. The Norwegian Encore, set to launch this year, will feature the largest open air laser tag arena built at sea. \u201cThe design incorporates the theme of the lost city of Atlantis, and families can team up, hiding behind ancient ruins and running past giant tentacles of a monstrous sea creature to complete their mission,\u201d he adds. \u201cOn our cruise, the onboard entertainment was as great, if not even better than the port excursions,\u201d says Essop. The children especially loved the ship's climbing wall and multiple swimming pools. \u201cI must admit, I did too! And we also had some extra perks, because we were considered repeat cruisers.\u201d. On a cruise holiday, children are involved in the day-to-day itinerary and have more choice in terms of what they want to do, says Ferrin. \u201cOn some days families can easily break off into smaller groups according to what they want to do, or eat, and re-group later. Our Norwegian crew members are always on hand to help, but amazing to watch how those little cruisers can get so involved in helping grandma and grandpa find their way around the ship.\u201d \u201cAnother cruise is high up on our family travel bucket list,\u201d says Essop. \u201cThere are so many we would like to do, however, a Gulf cruise, and a Northern Lights cruise are at the top of our list.\u201d \u201cWhatever your personal preference for a holiday with your kids, there is a cruise out there for every family,\u201d she concludes.