The boss of Tradewind Voyages expects Golden Horizon to operate at full capacity next year throughout its Mediterranean programme.
Currently, around 40% of Golden Horizon’s cabins remain unsold for the summer season and chief executive Alan McGrory said bookings were coming in “pretty fast”.
The line’s Mediterranean season, starting on May 1, includes three collections – Western Mediterranean, Central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean – with 22 voyages in total.
Prices for the seven-night Northern Mediterranean Secrets sailing, departing from Palma on May 1, leads in at £1,799 per person.
Speaking during a Travel Weekly webcast, McGrory said that “word is getting out” about the quality of Tradewind’s five-mast sailing vessel.
He said: “For the Med season, we’ve had quite a number of pre-registration bookings. It looks like it’s going to be a full ship for the season.”
McGrory added that a full Mediterranean summer season was exactly what travel agents wanted. “The travel industry just seems to be moving very much towards the Med,” he said.
Initially, the line had planned to operate a series of ‘open-jaw’ sailings taking Golden Horizon around this world through the coming winter, before releasing a Caribbean programme that was cancelled last week.
The open-jaw itinerary programme had been put on sale before McGrory took up the chief executive role in June.
Asked if Tradewind planned to revisit the idea of ‘open-jaw’ sailings, McGrory said: “We prefer ‘closed-jaw’ [itineraries]. At the end of the day, closed-jaw helps us with airlift, guests want the ease of getting to the destination and getting off at the same location – and we totally get that.”
McGrory pointed out that next summer’s Mediterranean season and the following 2022-23 Caribbean programme would generally be round-trip voyages, starting and ending at the same port of call.
“The preference for us is you get on and off in the same port of call,” he said. “It makes total sense.”
McGrory declined to take credit for the move towards homeporting 272-passenger Golden Horizon at a destination for a series of sailings. The ship will be based in Palma, Civitavecchia and Piraeus next summer.
“Everything we do is a very much a team effort,” he said. “The guys in planning, in marketing and in sales. As a team we put everything on the table and decide what works.
“I would like to lay claim about everything that is positive about the brand but we’ve have some great people that work for us.”