Louis Cruises is gearing up for further growth moving into 2015 when its new Celestyal Cruises brand launches for its Aegean products.
From the start of next year the Celestyal Cruises name will be used to differentiate its products in Greece to those it has in other regions, such as Cuba Cruises in the Caribbean.
Celestyal offers a traditional Greek service that extends into its food, drink and entertainment, with a mixture of iconic ports of calls and those that are less known. Itineraries will cover three, four r seven days, allowing tour operators to include them within larger packages.
The name was officially launched at WTM, with a new website to come later this month and brochures to be distributed soon.
“Our largest vessel holds just under 1,800 passengers and with our smaller ships it means we can get to smaller ports that others can’t. We will develop our itineraries in the Aegean but also in the Ionian islands to ports that are not known in the travel industry, but are ready for tourism,” Pythagoras Nagos, sales director at Louis Cruises told Travel Daily. “The UK market is very important to us and we aim to reach five-digit passenger numbers within a year by 2018. Currently our numbers are in the mid-four-digits.”
The cruise line’s move comes as tourism in Greece is expected to bounce back into 2015. Tour operators have reported strong sales to the region while airlift has been increased by several carriers.
With growth expected the line is also looking at new tonnage to add to its two ships although currently has no definite plans.
More fam trips are planned for the trade following three taken during 2014, and Nagos said the response to its new business has been positive since announced in August.
“There has been a positive reaction to the changes and while there is growing demand for large ships the small ship experience is more relaxed and with our typical Greek feel people like the authentic side that it brings to their holiday,” he said.