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Panache Cruises MD says ‘momentum building’ across cruise sector

Panache Cruises, MD and founder James Cole

The boss of Panache Cruises has said “momentum is really building” across the cruise sector, with river cruises proving particularly popular with clients.

The luxury cruise agency, which launched in 2020, confirmed in a media call that it had made £3 million of sales since launching.

Panache Cruises founder and MD James Cole said: “The momentum is really building over the summer months, with UK, international and America travel being reopened. The added momentum to the cruise industry is welcome. We are looking very healthy”.

“General sales in August and September 2021 saw 35 per cent of bookings being for river cruises, with the rest for 2022 and 2023. In comparison, only 13 per cent of ocean cruising has been booked for 2021, with 52 per cent for 2022 and 35 per cent for 2023.

“Customers are treating themselves for 2023. People are focusing on safety now and then exploring bucket-list locations for 2022 and 2023.”

Cole added that Panache Cruises had seen increased demand for cruises in Australia, South America and South Africa, as well as interest in Christmas itineraries.

“The average booking for 2021 is £7,000 for ocean cruising, £10,000 for next year and £15,000 for 2023. The biggest single booking we had was around £45,000,” he added.

Speaking more generally about Panache Cruises, Cole explained: “We have built a really good team and opened our office three weeks ago in Chorley. During the pandemic, we built a significant database and client base which we look to build upon in the future, what a positive place we are at the moment.

“We are looking to grow in the coming years. We are currently at 40-60 per cent sales levels compared to 2019 levels, so we still have a significant level to grow. We are only at the start.”

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