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From Grandparent to Great Friend – It’s Good to Talk

From Grandparent to Great Friend – It’s Good to Talk
21 September 2023 Samantha Anderson

New research from Ambassador Cruise Line suggests that Brits could be better at showing their appreciation for their grandparents and all that they do for the family unit.

  • Almost half of Brits don’t see their grandparents regularly – do people need to re-prioritise their time to show their appreciation
  • Grandparents open to sharing everything you always wanted to know (but some were too afraid to ask)
  • Ambassador calls on the nation to nominate the Grandparent of the Year ahead of National Grandparents’ Day on 1 October

Grandchildren aren’t investing enough in creating strong bonds with their grandparents or spending quality time in their company, new research from Ambassador Cruise Line suggests.

A poll of 1,000 respondents with a living grandparent found that half (47%) of Brits see their grandma or grandad once a fortnight or less, with 14% of the population saying they visit them less than four times a year.

One in 10 (11%) of us admit that our social lives are too busy to fit in the time to see them – with men (15%) prioritising their social lives more than women (8%) at the expense of keeping in touch with their elders – who many (56%) believe to be lonely and say would appreciate the company.

This begs the question – why aren’t some of us giving back to our grandparents and doing more to recognise all that they do for us by spending time with them? Why do we allow our social life to get in the way of seeing some of our closest, most important family members more often?

Some respondents said they don’t see their grandparents for personal reasons – 10% say they are estranged, 14% say they don’t get along and 7% don’t visit as they ‘feel judged’. 30% of people that do see their grandparents say they find it difficult to talk to them, with two in five (42%) uncomfortable asking them personal questions and 5% admitting that they find them boring – which may all be reasons why visiting them isn’t prioritised.

However, the research suggests that grandma and grandad appreciate the company and are more than willing to talk to their grandchildren about their lives, past and present. Of those that do visit, 58% of respondents say they simply ‘sit and talk’ to a grandparent, with the most popular topics of conversation being personal stories (62%), tales of childhood (60%), major life events (48%) and matters relating to the family (46%). This indicates that, if more of us were to make the time (and had the inclination) to see them more often, we could not only learn more about our own family history but also come to appreciate our elder relative as a friend or confidante as much as we do a grandparent. As the saying goes: it’s good to talk.

Additional survey responses found that almost a fifth (19%) of us ‘say it with flowers’ or presents (18%) when visiting a grandparent, with 17% sorting out minor tech issues, such as setting up the WiFi for our silver surfing relative, and just over one in 10 (12%) helping out with the shopping or with household chores.

Old and new worlds collide when not meeting in person – almost half of us (44%) speak to a grandparent by phone, one in five (19%) talk on Zoom or Facetime, one in ten write an email (10%) or letter (12%) and one in four of us (24%) text or use WhatsApp to keep in touch.

The poll also discovered that Grandparents can be a very generous bunch, choosing to support their grandchildren in many ways to help make life a little easier. This includes buying gifts (24%), giving their grandchildren money (19%), taking them out to dinner or the pub (13%) or simply babysitting (9%).

The survey was conducted by Ambassador after the premium value, no-fly cruise line launched a search for its first ever Grandparent of the Year ahead of National Grandparents’ day on Sunday 1 October (press release here). Calling on the nation to afford this little-known national day the same honourable status as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the UK-wide search forms part of a wider initiative that sees Ambassador, which specialises in adult-only sailings aimed at the 50+ market along with multigenerational cruises, look to celebrate the loving, generous and often under-appreciated people we call Grandma and Grandad and inspire the nation to recognise them for all that they do for the family unit.

Christian Verhounig, CEO of Ambassador Cruise Line, says: “Grandparents are the anchors of the family, yet we can see that many grandchildren aren’t taking the time to see their grandparents or showing as much appreciation for them as they might. While finding time in our increasingly busy lives can be challenging, we feel that this is an important step to ensure that grandparents and grandchildren get to know each other well and create strong family bonds.

“At Ambassador, we are proud to champion the silver generation across the country, so this month we have launched a nationwide search for the UK’s greatest Grandma or Grandad. One of those nominated will receive the prestigious title of ‘Grandparent of the Year’ as well as a full board, adult-only cruise holiday for two, which they can enjoy with a partner or friend – or a multigenerational cruise for four people should they wish to spend quality time on holiday with their grandchildren.”

Ahead of National Grandparents’ Day on 1 October, Brits can nominate their grandparent (or someone they know who is a grandparent) for the title of Ambassador’s first-ever Grandparent of the Year via a dedicated web page –

Welcoming written, audio and video submissions, friends and family from across the country should tell Ambassador why their family member or friend deserves to be named as Grandparent of the Year. Closing at 23:59 on Tuesday 26 September 2023, all entries will be judged by an expert panel, with the winner announced in the week following National Grandparents’ Day.

As part of Ambassador Cruise Line’s commitment to celebrating National Grandparents Day, the cruise line is offering a 10% discount on adults only and multigenerational cruises to those nominating their grandparents. Valid on 23/24 and 24/25 sailings, the discount code is valid until 16 October and will be shared at the time the nomination is entered.


For further press information, please contact:
Braden Cantalope | Sarah Geppert | Charlotte Wright | Emma Arthurs
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:
Research conducted by Mortar Research of 1,000 UK adults with one living grandparent in September 2023.

Ambassador’s ‘Grandparent of the Year’ – Prize Terms & Conditions:

  • The prize provider is Ambassador Cruise Line, Gateway House, Stonehouse Ln, Purfleet RM19 1NS
  • The competition prize is 1 x adults-only cruise holiday for two people (sharing a cabin) for up to 7 nights or 2 x multigenerational sailing for four people (sharing two cabins) for up to 7 nights in 2023/2024 with Ambassador Cruise Line including ocean view cabin accommodation and full board.
  • The prize excludes: travel insurance; travel joining costs to the cruise terminal/port; port parking; onboard expenditure of a personal nature i.e. drinks, gifts, shopping, laundry, communications etc; any visa & health certificate charges that may apply; and crew gratuities which will be automatically billed to your onboard account at £6pp per night unless you opt for a drinks package.
  • The prize is as described, is not transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • All nominations/entries must be received by the closing date 26 September 2023.
  • The entry criteria will be to complete the nomination form in full and abide by the T&Cs; the winner selection will be made by an appointed group of judges and will be based on the written entries. The judges’ decision is final.
  • Ambassador Cruise Line reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value should circumstances become necessary.
  • The winner must hold a valid passport and comprehensive travel insurance with COVID-19 cover. It is the winner’s responsibility to check any visa and health requirements for the cruise.
  • The winner may be required to take part in publicity resulting from the prize draw.
  • Ambassador has permission to use the winner’s name, image, and details from the entry in social media, media materials, and marketing materials (which may be shared publicly) in relation to the competition.
  • Entry into the competition assumes acceptance of the rules.
  • The prize winner must respond to Ambassador within 48 hours of contact, as publicity activity may be required ahead of National Grandparents Day on 1 October 2023.
  • Ambassador Cruise Line and its PR agency Rooster PR will book the holiday prize within 28 days of the winner accepting the prize.
  • Prize is subject to availability and blackout dates may apply.

About Ambassador Cruise Line
Ambassador Cruise Line launched in 2021, offering premium-value no-fly cruises to the UK market. Based in Purfleet, Essex, Ambassador provides authentic adult-only experiences combined with a selection of multi-generational itineraries to multiple destinations including the Nordics, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Africa. The cruise line’s first ship, Ambience, entered the fleet in May 2022, operating from her home port of London Tilbury. From the 2023/24 season, guests sail onboard Ambience as well as Ambassador’s second ship, Ambition, which sailed her maiden voyage in May 2023 and heralds the launch of sailings from eight regional UK ports: London Tilbury, Newcastle, Dundee, Edinburgh Leith, Liverpool, Belfast, Bristol, and Falmouth. The company’s no-fly holiday options offer guests from across the country the chance to drive to a port, park their car and board ships with a minimum of hassle, thereby avoiding airport queues, potential flight cancellations or exchange rate fluctuations, given that the currency onboard the Ambassador fleet is in pound sterling.

Ambassador’s extremely experienced management team is led by Chief Executive Officer, Christian Verhounig, and its principal shareholder is Njord Partners LLP, London. Ambassador is a member of ABTA, the UK’s leading travel trade association widely acknowledged as the mark of trust and reassurance associated with travel brands. Consumer funds are protected by means of a financial failure insurance policy managed by TMU Management Limited and underwritten by Accelerant Insurance Europe SA, who are regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA 3193). The scheme is fully compliant with the Package Travel and Linked Arrangements Regulations 2018. For more information, visit