How Cruise Advertising Has Changed

The image below comes from a 1979-80  Fred Olsen “Cruise this Winter” brochure. (I just love that font and the orange background).

Now Olsen’s images  are clearly real ‘Fred Olsen’ customers,  giving their opinions.  No disrespect to the people featured, but they certainly do not have ‘model’ looks that you would expect to see in any cruise brochure today and why should they.

These vintage Olsen’s images  could not be more different from NCL’s ‘ ‘Beautiful people’ (below), which are from a modern cruise brochure.

From an NCL brochure

I am fairly confident that in this modern media-driven world, no cruise brochure would now carry images like Olsen’s ‘real people’. In fact images of models are now often  featured on the decks and public rooms, in most cruise brochures, rather then real passengers . Have you noticed that there is never anybody overweight, bald, or disabled, for example!

Four Seasons Restaurant on Boudicca-min

As you can see the recent image above from an on-line brochure, is quite different from the 79-80 one.  Even when the people (models)  in the images are mature, they are slim, fit and defying their years.  Maybe the sea air just keeps them young?


“Excuse me madam, you are blocking the sun”

The ‘Ocean Village’ cruising concept (now defunct) did quite a good job of appealing to younger cruise passengers by ‘sexing it up’ as you can see above and below.


It is pretty clear that ‘image’ is everything, even when it comes to selling cruises.

Malcolm Oliver

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