Windstar Cruises has reported an “incredibly strong” start to the year, as head of UK sales Augustus Lonsdale revealed his “aggressive plans” for the UK market.
Lonsdale told Travel Weekly the cruise line has seen a 135% year-on-year increase in bookings since the start of the wave period, which he partly accredited to the line’s appearance on Cruising with Susan Calman on January 12.
In the first 18 days of the month, Londsale said the line has already beaten its best-selling month of 2023, but warned there is still “a lot more to do”.
He urged the trade to take advantage of “competitive” agent rates and sail with Windstar Cruises to boost their product knowledge and support sales growth, adding he wants to “take the heavy lifting” from agents by providing them with all the marketing and promotional material they need.
“This week has been great which I attribute in part to the Susan Calman episode and also to the work we have done in the last six months to develop as a company,” he said.
“We are only 18 days into this month but we have already beaten our best selling month of last year. Traditionally, February is our strongest month and I think that could still happen which would be amazing.
“We do still have a lot more to do and our goals for the UK market are pretty aggressive. I want us to get to the position I believe we would have been in had Covid not happened.
“To do that, I want to double what we did last year in terms of booked revenue. We will work closely with the trade to make that happen and will work to educate agents to help them sell.”
When asked if Windstar Cruises has plans to invest in additional hardware, Lonsdale said the line has no “current intentions” of expanding its fleet, but it is something that may be addressed in the future.
“It’s always in the back of our minds and if we continue to grow at the speed we are growing then it is something we will look at, but we have no extra hardware plans in place right now,” he said.
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