News that “Cougar Cruises Proved Too Hot for Carnival” (Cruise lines) opened my eyes to an interesting intersection between mature women and the travel industry. The first was just last month, a three-day voyage on the Carnival Elation between San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. More are planned this year for this cohort of older women who prefer younger men (“cubs”) — the members of a feminist movement that’s now being celebrated on network sitcoms Cougartown and Accidentally on Purpose.
For those who aren’t aware of the Cougar phenomenon, take a look at this naughty spoof spot celebrating Barbie’s 50th.
Cougars are largely an affluent, professional women’s group, and they are not easily thrown overboard. They have already found other lines that aren’t as squeamish about May-December cruise groups.
The next cougar-and-cub voyage is slated for May, a weeklong voyage from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera on Royal Caribbean. Another is scheduled between Miami and the Bahamas next December on Norwegian Cruise Lines, and a cruise for Australian cougars is planned as well.
More recently, Air New Zealand has stirred up controversy with a spoof TV commercial around the cougar phenomenon reported here in the Huffington Post.
We’ve always said that Boomers will rewite the book on ageing and here is clear evidence. We’ve effectively created a ‘brand’ for older women who enjoy the company of younger men. What’s the male equivalent?