Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has revealed that it has received a “phenomenal boost” to its ‘Wave Season’ sales, with the first week of January 2016 being the most successful in the company’s history, in both yield and volume terms.
Sales are up +27% on the same time last year, which was also a record-breaker for the company, it said in a statement.
Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are in a very fortunate position that our smaller ships provide us with the ability to create and tailor-make such rich itineraries, for example our popular river and waterways cruises on shallow-drafted Braemar. Our regional departures also give us the significant benefit of making a Fred. Olsen cruise even more accessible to our guests.
“A number of our sailings for 2016 are already sold out, or only have a handful of cabins left. We will be moving our largest ship, Balmoral, to Newcastle this year, which was an ambitious decision, but the travel trade have been extremely supportive, and our sales in the North East are well ahead of expectations.
“A key strategic driver for us is to attract new guests to the brand. Whilst we have a very high repeat rate – with a significant number of Fred. Olsen cruisers returning time and time again – January has seen the share of ‘new to cruise’ guests shift by seven percentage points, and the average guest age has fallen by 11 months across the fleet. This is against a backdrop within the cruise industry that has seen the average age grow by five years, with an increasing reliance on existing customers.”
Fred. Olsen will be launching its new 2017/18 cruise programme in March 2016, which will see its fleet of four smaller, more intimate ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – sail from ten regional UK departure ports to over 200 destinations worldwide.