A tough year for the cruise industry has prompted a number of travellers who may have been considering a cruise to turn instead to escorted touring, according to Trafalgar chief executive Gavin Tollman.
He referred to a number of unfortunate cruise incidents that have taken place recently as a strong deterrent.
“Clearly the cruise lines have had bad PR in the last year – flesh eating diseases and faeces running down the side of ships,” Tollman told Travel Today.
“It doesn’t matter how cheap the cruise is – I believe we are seeing a shift. A number of consumers, even if they are loyal cruisers, are thinking about giving it a miss which I believe is good business for us.”
While he conceded that it is a “viable” way to travel, he insisted it is a “crap” way to see a destination.
“The experience is really onboard – it’s very superficial,” he said.
But Tollman identified the taste of a destination offered by a cruise as a huge opportunity for Trafalgar.
“People can use it as a time to see what they might be interested in and then they can return with Trafalgar,” he said.
“Because our core brand ethos is to take you deeper into a destination, allowing you to see it and discover it in a way that you couldn’t do if you were travelling on your own, and certainly not on a cruise line.”
Last year, Tollman accused the cruise industry of having no price integrity, with the then International Cruise Council Australasia calling the comments “surprising” given the sector’s continued growth.