UK leads way for Oceania Cruises’ South Pacific bookings, says sales chief

The UK is leading the way for Oceania Cruises’ South Pacific bookings, according to the line’s sales director for the regions, Louise Craddock.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Craddock hailed the demand for long-haul destinations, saying the line is “putting a lot of UK and Irish guests onto South Pacific voyages”.

She said UK passengers have filled roughly 80% of 2025 sailings between Papeete and Honolulu, adding: “This is a wonderful time to be in travel because discerning travellers are ready to take those further afield trips.”

More: Oceania to offer free pre-cruise hotel stays

Craddock highlighted the value customers can get by taking a South Pacific cruise over a land-based holiday in the region, claiming a holiday on land can cost “tens of thousands of pounds”, but saying Oceania Cruises is offering 14-night sailings in a balcony cabin for £6,500 including flights, and is “bringing something to life for people who wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford to do it in a land stay”.

To support the trade in selling Oceania Cruises, the line will welcome more than 2,000 UK and Irish agents on board this year in its ship visit programme.

Craddock said Oceania Cruises is currently in an “amazing growth period” and now is a “key time” for UK agents to engage with the line, as it has a remit to sign up “in excess of 400 new agents” this year.

She said the line sits in a “fortunate position” as it attracts customers who are happy to spend money to take a holiday with an “upper premium” cruise line, as well as luxury travellers keen to visit the destinations Oceania Cruises calls at.

She urged new-to-cruise agents not to be “afraid” when selling cruises and encouraged them to “have an open mind” about the sector.

“Every time I speak to an agent that hasn’t sold a cruise, they think it’s complicated and they’re going to make an error,” she said.

“But most cruise lines have got amazing call centres and easy booking engines to make a reservation and staff to answer any questions.”

“Look at the price and break it down per day. Make sure you include all of the inclusions for any cruise that you sell and take the time to show customers the value [of a cruise].

“My number one tip is to go through the destinations. You don’t have to know every single port, but if you know a nugget [of information] on a destination, you can bring it to life.”

Oceania Cruises is currently running a competition giving agents the chance to win a Mediterranean cruise for two. To enter, agents must visit, complete an online form and answer a question about the cruise line by April 21.

The winner can choose a sailing of up to 10 days in length departing between June and November 2024. The prize includes accommodation in a Veranda Stateroom, all meals and drinks on board, gratuities and taxes. Entrants must be 21 or over.

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