Aurora Expeditions’ UK and Europe sales director has hailed the support of agents as the line prepares for the launch of Greg Mortimer, and promised more chances for them to experience the product.
The ship, which sails in October 2019, has been such a success that Aurora has announced plans for a second new-build, to launch in 2021.
Aurora Expeditions MD Robert Halfpenny said: “In excess of 60 per cent of the inventory has already been sold for Antarctica 2020/21 and with the second ship, we are now able to ensure that the demand for places is met without causing disappointment to those who have not been able to join us during Greg Mortimer’s inaugural season.”
Speaking at an agent experience day in Lymington where agents sampled kayaking and a rigid inflatable boat ride, Craig Upshall told Cruise Trade News: “We’re seeing great growth in the UK market, which is helping us sell into 2021. Agents are 90 per cent of our business.
“We have more days planned and we want to incorporate one of our expedition team in the future. Next year we will have Greg Mortimer in Europe so we will take agents to visit the ship so they can see for themselves what it is all about.
“Experiences such as this [in Lymington] give them an insight into what our guests experience during the day. It’s about the fun side of selling a product like ours and how they can experience it and better sell it to their clients. Hopefully they can take away our brand messaging and the active side of what we do.”
As for the success of Greg Mortimer, Upshall added: “It’s the first season for a new ship. Past guests want to experience it and a new design of a ship is always likely to have a first-year advantage; we’re the first expedition cruise company to take that design – X-BOW technology – to market.”
Upshall also confirmed that the second ship, which will sail a 2021/22 Antarctic season, will visit new destinations, although it’s unlikely to be drastically different when it comes to interiors – “we may tweak a few bits and bobs but it’s still really early days”.