New cruise agency celebrates topping £2m in sales in one year

The owner of online travel agency Simply Cruises has celebrated topping £2 million in sales just three months after reaching the £1 million milestone.

Chris Hughes founded the agency with partner Sara Marshall in November 2022, and began taking sales in February.

The company started by selling just two ships – MSC Virtuosa and MSC Euribia – but this month added the rest of the MSC Cruises fleet to the Simply Cruises website, increasing the number of bookable itineraries from 80 to more than 700.

Hughes said he plans to partner with more cruise operators in the coming months.

“We hit £1 million in sales in the summer shortly before we launched a future booking campaign which saw us sell a lot of summer 2024 and 2025 itineraries, particularly to families, which helped us reach that £2 million milestone,” he said.

“When we started the agency we only offered ex-UK sailings, but we’ve now started offering fly-cruises, which is a great addition for us, and we’re only going to get bigger.”

He added: “It has been a hugely exciting year and it’s been great to have so many repeat customers, which shows we’re doing something right.”

To account for the additional workload, Hughes intends to take on at least two staff members to work in customer service roles by January.

He also plans to develop new software to provide customers with an online dashboard to see their future bookings on the Simply Cruises website, and to implement a new booking system.

“We’ve got loads of stuff in the pipeline and a lot to come in the next few months,” he said.

“It’s our first wave season coming up, which will be interesting, and I’m sure we’ll learn a lot.

“I definitely think we’ll hit £3 million by the end of wave.

“Our next milestone will be when we’re making £1 million each month, which I predict will be by the end of next year once we’ve launched our new booking system.”

Hughes added: “We bucked the trend by only selling one cruise line and, now we’ve got a great following, it’s time to grow.”

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