This is the time of year when those of us who have a cruise booked for later in the year really start to look forward to it. There’s nothing like a holiday “in the diary” to boost our spirits, especially if we live somewhere where the sun could come out more often.
Since the fated date of the Costa Concordia disaster – Friday, January 13th – images of the cruise ship have dominated the media.
Cruise holidays have never been more sophisticated, or popular (depending on which company they own with, timeshare owners can book cruise holidays – Club La Costa is one example of a leading shared ownership specialist which offers cruises through its dedicated travel agency. It’s the only kind of holiday – unless you belong to the super yacht set – where you can wake up in different ports and countries in the space of a week.
According to the UK’s online cruise travel agency Cruise.co.uk, it doesn’t look likely that bookings will suffer in the wake of the Concordia tragedy. The company reports that it’s seen over 150,000 searches for deals on its site this past week, including many for March departures.
Cruise videos have received a lot of hits, too, searches for cruise ship videos up 150% and over 45,000 videos viewed. Predictably, many of the searches were for Costa Cruises.
The big new cruise ships are attracting a lot of attention – P&O, Royal Caribbean and Cunard together dominate the enquiries, with over 55% of the market. Consumers are keen to read testimonials and watch videos of the actual ships before deciding which cruise to book.
Commenting on the results, Seamus Conlon, Managing Director of cruise.co.uk said,“Like everyone in the industry we’re truly shocked and saddened by the Costa Concordia accident last week but already our figures show that the accident is having little or no effect on bookings for the key brands.
“Early January showed that P&O, Cunard and Royal Caribbean are still top with British browsers but we’ve also noticed that the interest in the luxury brands such as Seabourn, Holland America and Oceania has risen 100% over this time last year.
“River Cruising is up 50% s showing strong growth with more interest in both the specialist operators and the less well known destinations such as the Far East and Russia. This could be as result of the increased interest from the press over the past year. ”