Cruises, traditionally the domain of the older traveller, are proving to be a hit with Generation Z, new research reveals.

Generation Z – broadly defined as adults aged under 24 – are showing interest in cruise holidays at an unprecedented level, according to findings from Hitwise’s UK Travel report.

Interest in cruises among 18-24 year olds has increased a massive 49% in the past year alone.

The increase means that adults aged 24 and under now account for 10% of all cruise searches online.

However, audience share from those aged 35-54 fell on average, with searches from Millennials aged 25-34 also stagnating.

The only other age group to show an increase in audience size for cruises is adults aged over 55, where searches have increased by 9%.

The Hitwise report shows audience for adventure holidays has fallen 23% in the last year among the Generation Z age range.

Hitwise analyses online behaviour and demographics from the searches of three million people.

Chief operating officer Nigel Wilson said: “Travel is the latest space for Generation Z to make their mark.

“Breaking the habits of past generations, younger people are adopting a more risk-averse attitude to travel.

“In the same way that a focus on health and wellbeing has led to a decline in the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, we can see the likes of cruises replacing more dangerous, adrenaline-fueled adventure holidays.

“The new figures from our travel report show that the 18-24 age bracket is having a big impact on the industry.

“With an added impetus on sedate and relaxed holidays, marketers will need to change the way they package offerings to this particular audience, as Generation Z looks for experiences in unorthodox places.”

The data also shows a strong increase in adventure holidays by over 55s, up by a third (33%) year-on-year.

Overall, Generation Z now accounts for a smaller proportion of searches for adventure holidays than any other age group, suggesting a shift in the sort of holidays young people are seeking.

The report also demonstrated a strong trend towards solo travel. Searches for ‘solo travel’ have more than doubled by 112% in the past two years.

While people are happy to browse for holidays on their mobile device, they still prefer to book on desktop.

Indeed, 60% of operator and hotel searches are now done on mobile, whereas 42% of airline searches are. But despite this, less than a fifth of Britons (18%) actually book on a mobile device.