Cunard reports Aussie sales bonanza

Cunard reports Aussie sales bonanza
By admin


Cunard president and managing director Peter Shanks has revealed that the 28-day circumnavigation of Australia by the Queen Mary 2 has been a major driver for sales, pushing the cruise line 50% ahead of its Australia target for 2012.
The visual impact of the liner’s voyage around Australia, calling at eight ports with 1400 Australians onboard, had been boosted further by the “Marry Me Jess?” banner which was displayed as it sailed into Sydney Harbour on Valentine’s Day, he claimed.
Watchdogs branded the move a publicity stunt while Cunard insisted that it was a “genuine love story”. Either way, it had the desired effect, according to Shanks, with sales for the QM2's 2013 voyage around New Zealand hitting the roof in the two weeks that followed.
 “We were concerned that we didn’t have the two Queens meeting in Sydney Harbour so we needed something else special,” he admitted, saying that sales for that voyage hadn’t started as quickly as sales for the Australian circumnavigation.
“But the pace has picked up in the past two weeks and it will be soon be on par,” he said.
The 12-night circumnavigation of New Zealand departs Sydney on March 7, 2013 and will include the cruise line’s return to Christchurch after a two-year absence in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Meanwhile, the effect was being felt beyond local cruises, Shanks said.
“By passing through, our ships have captured the Australian imaginations,” he claimed.
Australian numbers on its trans-Atlantic cruises had doubled in 2012, while he also reported a “healthy increase” in Australian numbers on its European voyages.
The cruise line carried “just short of” 10,000 Australians in 2011, and expects that to increase to 13,000 to 14,000 Aussies in 2012.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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