Cruise sales set new world record

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Recession? What recession? Bookings for the 2011 world cruises with P&O and Cunard opened this week with record numbers putting their deposits down.
On Wednesday, 2,044 people booked voyages from the two programmes, an increase of almost 50 per cent on the business done on the same day last year for the 2010 world voyages.
P&O has its biggest-ever world voyage programme on offer, with Arcadia, Artemis, Aurora setting off from Southampton in January, and Oriana offering a rare opportunity to go round the world in the autumn.
Arcadia will be heading west to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific to Hawaii and on to New Zealand and Australia. The homeward run takes in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Egypt and the Mediterranean, before arriving home 82 nights later.
Artemis will not actually be going round the world, but after heading east through the Med to Suez and on to Dubai, then India, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong, reachesd Tokyo before turning round to come back via Beijing, Shanghai, the Philippines, Thailand, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion in the Indian Ocean, followed by a final run up the west coast of Africa and the Canary Islands. A total of 98 days and a fascinating itinerary.
Aurora’s 95-night voyage takes in South America, and Tahiti en route to Australia and New Zealand. Then it’s north through the Pacific to San Francisco and back home through the Panama Canal and the Caribbean. Easter Island and February and Christmas Island in March could lead to some calendar confusion.
Oriana leaves Southampton in September, heading west, and it will be Down Under for Australia’s springtime in November. Imagine the Christmas presents that will be brought back from Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Mumbai and Athens before passengers arrive home on December 17.
For Cunard, the new liner Queen Elizabeth will be sailing her maiden world voyage; for Queen Mary 2, it will be her fourth. Canny travelers will be able to put together pick and mix packages sailing on all three Cunard liners, including Queen Victoria, and changing from one to another in New York and Sydney.
P&O managing director Nigel Esdale, and Cunard president Carol Marlow are, naturally, delighted with the early bookings. Esdale said: “The figures for both companies are indicative of shoots of growth for the travel industry as a whole, and show the resilience of the cruise sector. The success of this launch day suggests that cruising is more immune to the current economic climate and that holidays are still a priority.”
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has also reported advance bookings for 2010 well ahead of those a year ago. Reservations made in the week up to June 29 were at the second highest level in company history.
Marketing director Nigel Lingard said: “Our 2010/11 brochure was launched on June 22, and ever since, we have been enjoying exceptionally good booking trends. Our existing customers, as well as those new to cruising, have realised what tremendous value a cruise holiday is, especially with a line such as Fred. Olsen.
“Nearly all of our cruises depart from the UK, so they are convenient and there is no additional cost for air transportation, plus all on-board prices are in sterling, making it very easy to budget for spending money before you leave home.”

By | 2009-07-04T14:09:15+00:00 4 July 2009|Cruise destinations, Cruise news, Cruise ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

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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