Travel Counsellors, UK’s technology platform for travel entrepreneurs, reports off-season cruising boom for 2023

Travel Counsellors  reports off-season cruising boom for 2023  (Image at - March 2023)Off-season cruises and the take up of customer credits are on the rise according to the UK’s largest and fast-growing technology platform for travel entrepreneurs, Travel Counsellors (UK).

According to bookings made in January and February, spring cruises and late winter trips are on the rise. Out of the 1,700 plus bookings for cruise holidays sold this year so far, a staggering 40 per cent were for cruises during off-season (with departures in either February – May or between October – November).

Late cruise bookings for January to May have also increased by 54 per cent compared to 2019 up to 529, proving cruising is back on the agenda.

Another takeaway from the data shows that 60 per cent of all January to February cruise bookings included travellers opting for upgraded fares including customer credits (both all-inclusive packages and on-board credit) – up from 39 per cent in 2022. This is proof customers are more likely to take advantage of their on-board options to save money, taking control of their holiday spending budget upfront so they can relax knowing everything is covered. These luxury ‘all-inclusive’ options include drinks, tips, Wi-Fi and even excursions.

Using the in-house technology platform, Phenix, Travel Counsellors are also seeing an uplift in travellers wanting to re-package their cruise for longer stays in destination, to make the most of their travel experience.

Travel Counsellors’ cruise experts regularly attend cruise supplier events including six cruise roadshows planned for this year, and are updated on news, product information and offers via its community platform, TC World that brings cruise experts together enabling Travel Counsellors to offer the best advice and options for their customers.

Janet Whittingham, Head of Cruise at Travel Counsellors, comments: “We are seeing that more of our customers are looking for the ultimate relaxing experience when opting for a cruise holiday, as they take control of their holiday spend while being on a ship.

“Cruise customers are looking to make savings on their cruise holidays by booking during the off-season with spring cruises and late winter experiencing the biggest growth. I think travellers are appreciating the range and variety of cruise trips on offer, whatever the season and many – either new to cruise or repeat customers – are looking to try a new time of voyage with some very competitive pricing.

“Another trend we are seeing is that many of our customers are taken advantage of their Future Cruise Credits (FCCs) they acquired over the pandemic and are finally now able to spend so are opting to book more than one cruise or are treating themselves with upgrades such as suite class cruises or balconies.

“With more cruise experts available at Travel Counsellors, booking a trip at sea is reassuring, as we create the best travel option for our customers and there really is something for everyone. We are continuing to evolve in the way of cruise training, events and inspiration with some exciting plans for 2023 to be revealed including new to cruise seminars, away days and family days on-board.”

The data also revealed that the most popular itineraries for this period were around the Iberian Peninsula from Southampton, Caribbean circular from Fort Lauderdale, and Canary Islands/Madeira from Southampton.

As the cruise industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands, Travel Counsellors remains committed to providing exceptional service and customised travel experiences for all of its customers by enhancing and building on the support, technology, and tools that allows its entrepreneurs to tailor bespoke packages for their customers.

Travel Counsellors will attend the Luxury Cruise Showcase this month in Paris and several CLIA conferences. All Travel Counsellors are members of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association).

(Travel Counsellors)