Panache Cruises, a new luxury cruise agency, has officially launched with a team of 15.
The cruise agency is helping to spearhead the relaunch of the luxury cruise market, launching today (6 July), and with big dreams, it aims to be the UK’s leading distributor of luxury cruises by 2025.
Panache is the brainchild of former boss and co-founder of Cruise118, James Cole, a travel and cruise expert with more than 20 years of experience in cruising.
Initially employing a team of 15 in the North West, Panache Cruises has the grand ambitions of expanding to a team of 100 employees in the upcoming years.
This growth will create more than 100 jobs in the travel industry, hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team will be available 24/7 to customers, in a service style Cole calls “nothing is too much trouble service”.
Offering an inventory of 7,000 cruises, visiting more than 1,000 ports of call, Panache will showcase 20 of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines specialising in luxury ocean, river, expedition and yacht-style cruising.
Lines include Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Scenic, Emerald Waterways, Uniworld, Hurtigruten, Aurora Expeditions, Riviera, Avalon and SeaDream Yacht Club.
Cole said: “The key question I am asked at the moment is why launch during this pandemic, when there are no cruise ships sailing?
“My response is that it’s not about what’s happening today, it’s about what will be happening in three, five or ten years from now, at which time the cruise industry will be bigger, more innovative and even better than it’s ever been.
“I fundamentally believe that Covid-19 has given me a unique opportunity to bring to market a cruise company that is fit for purpose as we enter a new world of cruising.”
Insisting the industry will bounce back “bigger, stronger and better than ever before”, Cole added: “Having spoken to hundreds of cruisers during lockdown there is a huge pent-up demand for cruising, especially with experienced cruisers, who just want to get back on a ship as soon as they are able.”
As part of the launch, Panache Cruises has also revealed that Duncan James, singer, actor and former member of boy band Blue, will be a brand ambassador.
Cole commented: “I am delighted that Duncan has agreed to work with us. He will resonate with many of our potential customers, especially the new to cruise sector, and of course our employees and the travel trade.
“He has a larger than life personality, and the combination of his skills in presenting, entertaining and broadcasting will make him an ideal Ambassador and really help us build the Panache Cruises brand.”