Cruise

Princess Cruises Senior VP Stuart Allison: “Agents need to up-sell”

Ali Coulton

Last night Princess Cruises announced their 2019/2020 Australian cruise season and let us tell you, its pretty bloody huge.

Their biggest yet, to be exact.

giphy (7)

The astronomical 900 plus day deployment will see Princess carry more guests than ever on five ships with itineraries from Sydney, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

We cornered Princess Cruises’ Asia Pacific Senior Vice President Stuart Allison to get the juicy details.

“We’re cruising from Adelaide, we’re cruising from Fremantle again, we’ve got more capacity in Sydney than ever before and we’re continuing to cruise from Brisbane and Melbourne,” Allison told us. 

“We’ve also got more departures from Aukland too so there’s really something for everyone across this season.”

Princess is famous for berthing in Fremantle in Western Australia when most cruise ships prefer to call Sydney home, so we asked Allison how strong his commitment was to the region.

Princess was probably the first cruise line to seriously commit to basing ships in Western Australia,” he said.

“We’ve been cruising from Fremantle since 2008, short seasons admittedly, but this is by far the biggest commitment we’ve ever done.”

“It’s probably the single biggest financial commitment any cruise line has made to Western Australia and we think the program is going to inject 32 million dollars into the local economy so its really a big win for the state and we’re excited to be cruising from there again.”

But that’s not to say Princess will be neglecting Sydney.

Allison said that after five years of planning, Princess will have two large cruise ships in Sydney.

We’ve gone from having a ship that carries 2000 people and fits under the Harbour Bridge to a ship that carries 3000 and can’t,” he said.

“We’ve actually scaled up 50 per cent so it took some organisation to make it happen.”

As for bad press, Allison said negative news items have yet to put a damper on Princess’ numbers.

“We should not lose confidence in selling cruising,” he said.

“We’re certainly finding that more agents than ever before are selling our princess product so I’m confident that they’ll see that cruising is really a great holiday.”

“A cruise is like a small community at sea. It’s like a small town. You’ve got  3 or 4000 people on board and every now and then you might get some social unrest in a small town and I think we deal with it and we move on.”

His main advice to agents is to focus on the premium qualities of the ships.

The ships that are coming to Australia over the next five to ten years or more are going to have much more premium inventory than we’ve ever had before,” he said. 

“The majestic princess has as many suites and balcony staterooms as sun princess, which she replaced, has staterooms period.”

“The richness in inventory like balconies and suite accommodation is changing so we need people to be selling up the ships that would be a big opportunity for agents.”

“Not to focus on the price but encourage the clients to upgrade.”



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