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Demand set to grow as domestic cruises leave ‘lasting legacy’, says Barrhead

Barrhead Travel has said that cruise bookings are up, in part because of the success of domestic cruises this summer.

Barrhead Travel president Jacqueline Dobson said there was growing confidence in the market, with domestic cruises creating a “lasting legacy”.

A number of cruise lines have taken to the waters this summer on British Isles voyages.

Last month (August), Sky Princess set sail for the first time in more than 17 months as part of Princess Cruises’ UK itineraries.

Dobson explained: “Seasoned cruisers were thrilled to be back and were impressed with the enhanced protocols while many new-to-cruise customers have already booked another cruise on their return.

“We are seeing a renewed appetite from customers when it comes to booking cruise getaways. The Med and the Caribbean are holding strong as the firm favourites but we’re also noticing that there’s a growing demand for adventure.

“Southeast Asia itineraries and sailings from Canada and Alaska are booking fast for next year. The cruise lines, ahead of the curve as always, are launching even more experiential options and reinventing itineraries which are going down well with customers.

“We can see demand for cruise is gradually taking off again now that confidence is returning – bookings were up by over 200 per cent compared with our last cruise event in April.

“While sales have not yet returned to where they need to be, confidence is beginning to return to the market and that is encouraging.”

Barrhead Travel held its first ever hybrid cruise event at the end of August.

The Sail Away Sale day, which represented the company’s move back to face-to-face events, included presentations from cruise lines, a panel session with Barrhead’s cruise specialists and a Q&A with CLIA UK MD Andy Harmer.

Dobson added: “Our Sail Away Sale was designed to allow our customers to interact with our teams in a way that suited them.

“While we pivoted to online events during lockdown, feedback from our customers indicated that they would still enjoy the flexibility that our online events offered.

“Now, more than ever, holidaymakers want to speak with someone in person. Many of our teams have already been on post-pandemic cruises themselves and it’s this first-hand advice and expertise that customers will continue to seek going forward.”

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