Fred Olsen Cruise Lines head of sales Geoff Ridgeon

Fred Olsen head of sales Geoff Ridgeon: ‘All systems go for cruise’

In his regular column for Cruise Trade News, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines head of sales Geoff Ridgeon celebrates a strong sales period for the line.

There’s nothing like the end of the wave season to have you wondering what your name is, what day it is and where on earth the time between Christmas and the end of February went – but my goodness, what an energy it brings to the industry.

I think it is safe to say that we all entered this year with a shared apprehension about how the Omicron variant would impact on what is typically our busiest booking period of the year. Actually, what we have seen across the board is some really incredible sales.

At Fred Olsen, we have seen bookings return to the pre-pandemic era of 2019, and others have also celebrated similar successes in the media in recent weeks.

We say it every year, but a good wave season really does build strong foundations for the year ahead, so now is the time to start thinking about how to keep that momentum going as we move into spring.

Of course, 2022 remains a priority as people look to capitalise on last minute offers, but we must not lose sight of what is on the other side of the horizon while we are in this ‘inbetween’ stage.

Get ready for the spring sales rush

Now is a great time to get prepped for a busy spring, and familiarise yourself with what makes each line special, what they offer and what they are doing to support guests both as part of the booking process and once on board.

We have our no risk deposits and our Travel Ready Service, and across the market you will find that operators are finding ways to be as flexible and supportive to guests as possible.

There has been a real shift in sentiment in recent weeks, with the relaxation of government restrictions both ashore and for travel.

Plus, the days are getting longer and the mornings and evenings not so dark, and it’s this nod to warmer days approaching that has people yearning to get their case packed and off on that next adventure.

The successful wave season shows that the appetite is there, so capitalise on that and keep the momentum going.

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