Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has hailed its ‘virtual cruising’ programme a success after reporting an increase in social media traffic of more than 250%.

The cruise line ran its first virtual cruise on April 9 to Norway, and has since featured destinations including the Canary Islands, Macronesia, Iceland, Greenland, the UK and the Mediterranean.

It has reported an increase of 252% in the number of visits from Facebook to its consumer website since the programme began, compared with the same period last year.

It reported more than 31,800 unique views to ‘The Bridge’, a dedicated section of the website hosting virtual cruising content.

Bookings for 2021 are up by 11% year on year.

Ben Williams, head of digital, said: “When we started our virtual cruising programme, it was to engage with our guests and to give them the opportunity to enjoy all the joys of cruising at a time when we are unable to travel.

“It has been so rewarding to see guests share their memories from the various ports we have called into. What it has also done is demonstrate that there is still an appetite for cruise, and that so many, like us, can’t wait to get cruising again as soon as the world is ready.”

Fred Olsen’s virtual cruise programme includes different destinations and offers videos, blogs, images, and posts. Next week it will focus on the Baltic, with a full itinerary posted on social media channels at the start of the week.