Scotland’s Thorne Travel has seen a 700% year-on-year uptick in cruise sales following the launch of its dedicated cruise division in 2022.
Managing director Shona Thorne said the firm has received bookings for holidays-at-sea from consumers as far as Santorini in Greece.
“It’s truly humbling to witness the reach and impact of our exceptional cruise service,” Thorne continued. “We had been eagerly planning to introduce a dedicated cruise holiday service for some time.
“Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic stalled our plans. However, last year, we were thrilled to launch our much-anticipated Cruising with Thorne Travel service, and it has been a huge hit with customers.”
Thorne said the uptick in cruise business came from enhanced collaborations with lines such as MSC Cruises, Oceania, Silversea, Ponant, and Ambassador, as well as ship visits and events the agency organised for consumers.
Thorne Travel sees repeat business amongst new-to-cruise ‘soar’
The firm has also secured cabin allocations with a number of cruise lines, including Silversea (20 cabins), MSC (225 cabins), Ambassador (25 cabins), Oceania (10 cabins) and Amawaterways (10 cabins).
“Currently, we’re at 80% capacity for all of our allocations,” Thorne said. “We’re working closely with our partners to announce even more in the coming weeks.”
The brand’s cruise manager has spent a “significant” amount of time attending community events and business-to-business networking events over the last eight moths, Thorne added, which has resulted in the creation of a cruise mailing list with more than 23,000 registrants.
The agency has also seen 95% of new-to-cruise customers rebook future cruise holidays, 150 of which have signed up for Thorne Travel’s escorted cruises in early 2024.
More recently, the firm added a dedicated cruise expert to its Largs store as it continues preparations to open its third store in Prestwick in early 2024, which will feature a dedicated cruise desk with cruise experts.