Maiden’s over in just 29 minutes

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There were mixed fortunes for P&O and Cunard this week when they put cruises on their two new ships on sale for the first time.
The October 2010 maiden voyage of Queen Elizabeth sold out in just 29 minutes and 14 seconds, making it the fastest-selling in Cunard’s history. Fares for the 13-night cruise to the Canary Islands range from £1,489 to £15,799 per person.
Within 90 minutes of going on sale at 1.00 pm today, half of the cabins available on the six-voyage maiden season had been snapped up – that’s more than 6,000 passengers putting down their deposits.
Carol Marlow, Cunard President and Managing Director, said: “This is an impressive record set by what will be an impressive ship and speaks volumes for the Cunard brand as well as for the resilience of the cruise sector as a whole in these challenging times.
“It has also been very encouraging to see the level of interest in Queen Elizabeth coming from all our international markets with bookings from the UK, US and Germany particularly strong.”
Over at P&O, another branch of the Carnival empire, they are claiming that 15 per cent of the capacity of Azura’s first season was snapped up on Monday but they admit that the level of sales has not reached the 19,000 achieved on the first day for sister ship Ventura two years ago.
The 3,100-passenger Azura enters service next April with with a 16-night cruise from Southampton to the Mediterranean. Fares start at £1,524.
P&O will not disclose details of sales for individual cruises, but managing director Nigel Esdale said: “Two years on we are in a very different environment. We are realistic enough to understand that attracting the same level of first day sales for Azura as for Ventura was always going to be a major achievement.
“As it is, we have been delighted with the level of bookings for Azura, which forms 15.6 per cent of the annual occupancy for the ship.”
Both Queen Elizabeth and Azura, which will be based in Southampton, are currently being built in shipyards in Italy.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:45+00:00 1 April 2009|Cruise Deals, Cruise News|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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