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.
Seven Seas Explorer arrived in Auckland on 12 January, heralding a series of inaugural itineraries across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. About 50 travel trade and media took the opportunity to have a site inspection and lunch on-board.
The maiden voyages offer New Zealand clients the chance to visit destinations in their own backyard, from Bangkok to Sydney, Ho Chi Minh to Wellington and more.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers guests unlimited all-inclusive shore excursions in each port, included unlimited beverages (including fine wine and spirits), included speciality dining, complimentary in-suite liquor and mini bar replenished daily, pre-paid gratuities, included valet laundry service and unlimited wifi. Those booking Concierge Suite or above can also receive a complimentary pre-cruise one-night hotel packages well as a hotel-to-ship transfer.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has also launched an Upgrade Your Horizon package with a free two-category suite upgrade up to a penthouse suite when booked from now through to 31 March. Guests from New Zealand and Australia booking now can also secure their preferred suite and sailings with a reduced 7.5% deposit.
Workforce issues across a number of areas, including in the travel agency community, are the biggest challenges facing the cruise sector right now, according to panellists at the Cruise 360 conference in Sydney.
Steve Odell, senior vice-president and managing director, Asia Pacific of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, says some of his biggest concerns are around the distribution channel.
Tracey Brennan is the new business development manager for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the New Zealand team. In this role, Brennan will be responsible for the development and execution of sales strategies in the region, working closely with the line’s travel partner network across both the North and South Islands.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will soon have ‘feet on the ground’ again in New Zealand. Oceania Cruises has had BDM Gabby Oliver in market since the beginning of 2022. Steve Odell, senior vice-president and managing director Asia Pacific with the cruise lines says Oceania and Regent have plans for roadshows and trade visits by the Australian teams as well.
‘Trade distribution in general has been hugely affected (by the pandemic) but the core of the people who sell premium and luxury are still there.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises are seeing a positive shift in interest towards 2022 cruises as the markets here start to see a light at the end of the lock-down tunnel.
Senior vice president and managing director Asia Pacific of the lines, Steve Odell, says that while that is happening, interest and bookings for 2023-24 continue at pace.
‘We’ve seen record sales days and bookings from both sides of the Tasman. People are looking at bigger suites – the top half of the suites category – and they are booking longer trips with different destinations.
One of the region’s leading cruise personalities is reminding New Zealand travel agents to stay positive and keep pushing the luxury, small ship category.
The comments by Steve Odell, senior vice president and managing director Asia Pacific of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, come at a time when the lines are announcing a progressive return to sailing and pent up demand is filling the ships fast.