Classic taps into cruise bonanza

Classic taps into cruise bonanza
By admin

Classic International Cruises’ unique product is enabling it to cut through the mass of cruise line promotions and resonate with agents and consumers, according to its managing director.

Grant Hunter said the positioning of its Athena ship as an “old fashioned” liner created a point of difference from the “big ships that are filled with distractions”.
The 550-passenger Athena is two and half months into a six month stint in Australian waters – its longest ever season – with passenger numbers currently up 7% on 2010/11.
Hunter said it was likely to push on and record 10% growth come the end of the season in late May.
With more ships arriving in and operating around Australia than ever before, Hunter acknowledged that over capacity could become an issue at some point, but for now demand was keeping pace with supply.
“We also have a unique, traditional product which appeals to people and we are able to differentiate ourselves,” he told Travel Today. “Because of that we are able to get our voice heard with agents.”
The product resonates across all retail groups, with the trade generating 100% of Athena’s sales, he added.
Focusing on Perth and South Australia was also creating a point of difference with both markets still full of untapped potential, he said. He ruled out any expansion to the east coast.
Hunter admitted the cruise line had received a handful of calls from worried passengers in the aftermath of the Costa Concordia tragedy but said no one had cancelled.
“I think there will be a short term impact for cruising but people will see it as a one-off,” he said. “There are very few incidents and not of a technical nature. The Concordia would seem to be the result of an individual situation.”

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