Travel Agent Says Small Ship Bookings Are Skyrocketing

Silver Whisper

Australia’s leading small ship cruise specialist, Cruise Traveller, has reported a surge in bookings for adventure, boutique and luxury cruise lines on small ships. 

The Managing Director of the Gold-Coast-based cruise wholesaler and retailer, Craig Bowen, said the expedition cruise sector had grown rapidly in recent years.

Bowen said small ship expedition companies were more aligned with the adventure travel industry than the mass cruise ship sector and that the challenging events of the past few months had highlighted the many benefits of small ship cruising and the lower risk profile of smaller vessels.

“There is no doubt the small ship expedition market is resilient and keen to travel again,” Bowen said. “Cruise Traveller’s bookings for 2021 product to the end of May, 2020, are 32 percent up on the same period last year for 2020 sailings. While most of our guests are keen to travel overseas again in the future, the number of small ship voyages around and close to Australia will soon rise markedly and this will help satisfy pent-up demand.

“Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a reboot of cruising, there are definite indications that close-to-home, small ship expedition cruising will be the first cruise sector to restart operations because of the smaller numbers of passengers involved and the sector’s ability to quickly and efficiently instigate new onboard Covid-19 health and safety protocols will help regain the trust of the market.

“Covid will continue to cause commercial pain but I believe our small ship industry will emerge from the crisis stronger than ever, with the sector benefitting from a bolstered appreciation of what makes small ship experiences different and special and what incredible travel adventures small ships can unveil for those keen to explore wilder and more remote destinations," he said.

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