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Exclusive: Queen Anne helps Cunard grow new-to-cruise bookings

photo_camera UK sales director Tom Mahoney gave five agents a space each onboard a Queen Mary II fam trip in September. Credit: Steve Dunlop

The launch of Queen Anne has spurred an influx of British travellers to try a Cunard cruise for the first time, according to the line’s director of UK sales

Tom Mahoney, who spoke to agents and media onboard the vessel on Friday (24 May) during the 2024 CLIA Conference in Southampton, said 50 per cent of trade bookings were from new-to-brand customers.

“We are seeing a strong mix of past guests, customers who have never sailed with us before and those who have never even cruised before,” he continued.

Since the launch of Queen Anne, Mahoney said, around 40 per cent of the guests booked through agents will be sailing with the company for the first time.

“[The launch of Queen Anne] is a brilliant opportunity for us as a brand, and also a brilliant opportunity for our agent partners to attract new consumers.”

Read more: 6 trends from CLIA Conference 2024 to help you boost your cruise sales

During the event, Mahoney awarded five agents in the audience a place each on board a Queen Mary II fam trip in September out of Southampton.

“We’re running four fam trips this year and after taking on feedback from our agent partners, we have decided to do shorter trips of four days with destination immersion events on board,” Mahoney told Cruise Trade News.

It comes ahead of the naming ceremony of Queen Anne, which will take place in Liverpool on 3 June. Cunard, which will host 150 agents during the ceremony, expects to attract more than 30,000 locals to the event.

Agents a ‘huge part of our success’, says Cunard president

Cunard president Katie McAlister echoed Mahoney and praised agents for their “key role” in helping the brand post record-breaking sales periods.

“We have to try to reach a 40 per cent boost in customers in each trading period to meet the extra capacity brought by Queen Anne,” she added.

“If you can and want to sell more Cunard, we really want to help you do so. Our agents are a huge part of our success now, and they will continue to be in the future”.

Speaking exclusively to Cruise Trade News earlier this year, the line’s VP of global marketing and EMEA sales Angus Struthers explained how an incentive centred around Queen Anne inspired hundreds of agents to make a staggering 5,626 bookings for the vessel.

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