Travel Counsellors reports off-season cruising boom  

Homeworking agency Travel Counsellors has reported a “boom” in off-season cruises, while the take-up of customer credits are on the rise.

Bookings made in January and February show the sales of 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, 40% were for cruises during off-season, with departures in February-May or between October and November.

Late cruise bookings for January to May have also increased by 54% compared to 2019, up to 529.

Furthermore, 60% of bookings in January to February saw travellers opting for upgraded fares, up from 39% in 2022, to take advantage of options that include drinks, tips, Wi-Fi and excursions.

Using the in-house technology platform, Phenix, Travel Counsellors’ agents are also seeing more travellers wanting to tailor their cruise for longer stays.

The agents can keep updated with six cruise roadshows this year, plus news, product information and offers via its community platform, TC World.

Janet Whittingham, head of cruise at Travel Counsellors, said: “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.

“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.”

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

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