Looking for the inside scoop on what went down at the Fred. Olsen trade conference? We’ve rounded up five of the main talking points that matter to you, the agent:
The Not-So Luck of the Irish
Fred. Olsen won’t be looking to reintroduce Ireland as a turnaround port.
The line made the decision two years ago to reduce the number of turnaround ports in the UK to five: Dover, Liverpool, Newcastle, Rosyth and Southampton.
This, the line says, has improved guest feedback and the service they offer, but there isn’t the “depth of market” to sustain a turnaround port returning to Dublin or Belfast.
Clare Ward, director of produce and customer service at Fred. Olsen, said: “Ideally we would have a turnaround port in Ireland but we haven’t found the depth of market in the area to make it work.”
Come Fly With Fred
Fred. Olsen is looking to entice more of the over-55 market to the brand with a continued focus on fly-to-cruise and five-night holidays.
Justin Stanton, sales and marketing director at Fred. Olsen, explained how the line “introduced a new range of fly-to-cruise holdays to get working passengers on board our ships.” The idea being to attract those potential passengers who do not have the time to take a two-week cruise.
Fred. Olsen have no plans to remove or reduce the single supplement despite acknowledging its unpopularity and the recent growth in the solo travel market.
Citing the fact that the cruise line offers a large number of single cabins on its ships at the moment, Pete Deer, commercial director at Fred. Olsen, said that “to scrap the single supplement when selling a double cabin makes no financial sense.”
He added that the firm would “try to find ways to get more single cabins on ships” in the future when looking at refurbishments and new ship options.
Prices Are Staying Put
Don’t expect to see Fred. Olsen cutting the price of their cruises anytime soon. It was put to Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s managing director, Mike Rodwell, that the price of a Fred. Olsen cruise has raised significantly in recent years and this was putting off old customers.
Rodwell shrugged off the criticism, however, and explained: “Prices have gone up substantially but we’ve also invested heavily in our fleet meaning the quality of our product has improved.
“We offer some fantastic destinations and excellent service in wonderful surroundings. If you want quality – you have to pay for it.”
Fred. Olsen’s head of sales, Mike Evans, was on hand at the conference to announce the latest batch of incentives for agents booking on Fred. Olsen.
Last year, Fred. Olsen sent eight agents to the Indian Ocean as part of their 2017 Mega Fam. And, in 2018, you’ll have another opportunity to get closer to the Fred. Olsen product as details emerged of their 2018 Mega Fam with destinations including Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Mumbai in India being just some of the incredible places you could be visiting.
And that’s not all. This year will see the introduction of the Big Fred Giveaway – where the top-selling agent on Fred. Olsen product will be celebrating at Christmas with a brand-new car!