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Bookings rush, resilience and innovation help Cruise Traveller see new horizons in 2020 and beyond

December 2, 2020 Cruise News No Comments

A $1.5 million bookings rush in just two weeks in November has capped a year of resilience and innovation for leading Australian small ship cruise specialist, Cruise Traveller, which has managed to survive and expand through the unprecedented challenges of 2020 with new cruise partners, an enlarged team and new marketing initiatives.

November was the busiest bookings month of the year for Cruise Traveller following the November 2 launch of Australian voyages aboard the world’s largest and newest sailing ship, Golden Horizon, which will make her inaugural visit here in the summer of 2021/22.  Cruise Traveller is the exclusive Australian launch partner for Tradewind Voyages, which operates the 272-guest Golden Horizon.

The Managing Director of Cruise Traveller, Craig Bowen, said he had sought to represent Golden Horizon’s Australian program in mid-2020 as a product perfect for the times. “This graceful, luxurious ship will cruise locally and as a small, eco-friendly sailing ship offers all the space, freedom, fresh sea air and raw joys of slow travel that the market is seeking right now,” Mr Bowen said.

“Partnering with Tradewind Voyages was actually part of our strategy of resilience this year to innovate and expand so that we, like the wider cruising industry, is in better shape on the other side of Covid-19. We have strived to maintain positive since Covid hit in March and have not only kept on our entire team of highly experienced professionals but expanded our resources by enlisting public relations support to share our refreshed initiatives with partners and guests.

“Our aim was deliver the high levels of service to our cruise partners, travel agents and guests that we have become renowned for since 2003. Since March,2020, we’ve also partnered with six new small ship cruise lines – Oceanwide Expeditions, Albatross Expeditions, Tradewind Voyages, Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, Blue Lagoon Cruises and Murray River Paddlesteamers,” Mr Bowen said.

“We launched a monthly newsletter and spearheaded a new way of communicating with our retail travel partners via regular Zoom calls as well as an expanding library of webinars and podcasts, enabling agents to stay abreast of our fantastic range of small ship products.

“I’m confident that the positive and proactive approach Cruise Traveller has demonstrated this year will help us grow the wonderful small ship sector in 2021 and beyond.”

A Cruise Traveller team member, Kirsten Wise, travel agent client, Main Beach Travel, and cruise line partner, Ponant, have also commented on how Cruise Traveller has helped the small ship cruise industry stay afloat through Covid-19…….

Team Member View

Kirsten Wise, a Senior Boutique Voyage and Cruise Specialist at Cruise Traveller, said a strong and positive work culture at the company had helped her team stay afloat through the pandemic. “There’s a lot of grimness around our industry but from the very start, we have been committed to being upbeat with a resilient mindset that supports each other, our industry partners and our guests,” Ms Wise said. “Ninety eight per cent of our guests are also very positive and understanding and know that Cruise Traveller is a solid business they can rely on.”

 A Retail Partner’s View

One of Cruise Traveller’s key retail partners is Main Beach Travel on the Gold Coast which sells many of the small ship packages that Cruise Traveller creates. International Travel Advisor at Main Beach Travel, Margot Knipsel, said her clients are seasoned, high-end travellers and the bespoke product curated by Cruise Traveller was a perfect fit for her clients who seek something new, immersive and different on their holidays.

“We’ve been working with Cruise Traveller for over a decade now and their fantastic team is passionate and dedicated and their product is interesting, top level, ethical and creative so it’s a perfect fit for us,” Ms Knipsel said. “To survive Covid, it’s vital that partners like Cruise Traveller and us stick together to support each other.”

Cruise Partner’s View        

Ponant’s Asia Pacific General Manager for Sales and Marketing, Deb Corbett, said Cruise Traveller was one of the best and most innovative packagers of Ponant product in the Australian market. “They are a great team led by Craig Bowen, a key industry influencer and entrepreneur whose solid vision and ability to see opportunities in the small ship space has seen his company prosper and grow,” Ms Corbett said. “Throughout 2020, their team has stayed onboard full time which has helped us and many others in the industry as well as their own guests.”

Established in 2003, Cruise Traveller has grown to become Australia’s leader in the small ship market, representing 55 boutique, luxury, river and expedition cruising operators around the world, with Tradewind Voyages one of the latest cruise lines to join the exclusive collection of small ship experiences.


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