A near twenty-fold increase in river cruise bookings has helped drive Barrhead Travel to a record-breaking booking period for holidays-at-sea
According to Jacqueline Dobson, president of the Scottish agency group, cruise is one of the business’s top-performing products with demand coming in across all areas of the sector.
River cruise, in particular, was one of Barrhead Travel’s biggest growth areas in January, with trading up by more than 170%.
“Last year, we identified that river was a fantastic opportunity and there’s been a real appetite from our customers to enjoy this type of product,” Dobson told Cruise Trade News.
The Rhine and the Danube are attracting the most interest from clients, but river cruising in Asia is fast-growing and one to watch, Dobson advised.
“We’re up around 25% on cruise bookings so far compared with the same period last year and, with wave ongoing throughout February, we expect that cruise bookings will continue growing,” she added.
Barrhead Travel’s Fjords bookings up by more than 50%
Despite consumer favourites such as the Caribbean, Western Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean continuing to drive bookings, Barrhead has also seen a rise in popularity for trips to the Fjords, which are currently up by more than 50%.
“The breadth of new product on offer from cruise is absolutely contributing to the success – as well as the value-for-money on offer,” continued Dobson.
“Having personally just disembarked from Icon of the Seas which is a game-changer when it comes to entertainment and experience, I’m really excited for the industry this year.”
Cruises with dedicated charters are also selling well, due to the convenience and making destinations feel more accessible to key regions within the UK. Cruising from Barbados, for example, is up by 91%, which Barrhead attributed to new charter product in the market this year.