Jodie Hart and Lisa Pile, both Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Jacqui Lloyd, NZ Cruise Association Jodie Hart and Lisa Pile, both Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Jacqui Lloyd, NZ Cruise Association

Early booking adventurers: Kiwis lead trends

Kiwis keen to secure preferred voyages and stateroom categories are booking an average of 412 days ahead – leading the world in advance cruise bookings for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

And they’re a lot more adventurous, according to Lisa Pile, vice president sales and general manager Asia Pacific with Regent, who hosted a media lunch at Auckland’s Origine restaurant this week.

‘People are combining travel with learning through immersive experiences, and travel with a purpose – bucket list destinations and expedition cruising.

‘Our top seller is the 24-night Lisbon to Cape Town, followed by the Doha to Singapore Christmas cruise,’ says Pile. ‘Higher air prices have led people to book longer and/or multiple holidays, and they are buying up. Regent is selling from the “top down” with upper suite categories selling first.’

This trend to book three to four seasons ahead led Regent to launch in May 2023 itineraries as far out as 2026 – the earliest ever.

Pile says more Kiwis are booking Concierge category with its pre-cruise hotel inclusion offering peace of mind for those arriving after long flights.

Regent’s all-inclusive shore excursion feature has seen the average passenger age drop to 55 – a fit and healthy demographic to enjoy activities on shore.

Of the 164 new sailings in Regent’s latest voyage collection, 121 have pre and post land programmes, and 124 port calls are overnight. There are nine new sailings in Africa and Arabia (embarking in Doha for the first time), and new ports of call across Italy, Japan, Greenland and Madgascar.

Mid-cruise land tours

While a number of Regent’s cruises include pre and post land programmes, some itineraries offer the opportunity to build in a mid-cruise land excursion.

On the Doha to Singapore itinerary, for example, clients could disembark at Mumbai, take a tour to Agra and the Taj Mahal, and then return to the cruise in Kochi.

Agent rates, ship visits

Bookable nine months in advance, with immediate confirmation, agent rates of $250 per person, per night are available on select Regent cruises.

‘Travel agents who sail on Regent Seven Seas Cruises become advocates after experiencing it first hand,’ says Pile.

Seven Seas Explorer will overnight in Auckland on 5 January with an opportunity for agent site inspections.

Related items