Cruise industry ‘never been so buoyant’, says Carnival UK boss

The cruise industry has “never been as buoyant as right now” and agents must be primed to take advantage of the opportunity, according to president of Carnival UK Paul Ludlow.

The Cunard and P&O Cruises chief praised the performance of lines across the industry, many of which have reported record-breaking days, weeks and months this year.

He dismissed claims the “post-Covid boom” the industry experienced once travel reopened following the pandemic was short lived, saying the continued increased demand has “busted that myth”, adding: “The industry is thriving, customers are recognising the value gap in cruise and the future looks bright.”

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Rob Scott, vice-president of sales, marketing and brand at P&O Cruises, echoed his thoughts, saying the cruise industry is experiencing “remarkable momentum” across all segments, including ocean, river, expedition and luxury.

“Consumer confidence is on the rise,” said Scott. “The appetite for cruise is stronger than ever and we’re lucky in the UK to have such an engaged travel agent community which is open to learning about all the different cruise options out there and matching them to their customers.”

He went on to highlight the “incredible value” of cruises compared to land-based holidays, saying prices for land-based trips continue to rise which only increases the value gap in cruise, and emphasised the “crucial” role agents play in explaining that to their customers.

“Cruise holiday pricing remains incredibly stable and attractive which means there has never been a greater opportunity [for agents] to switch a guest from being a land lover to being a cruise lover.

“We need agents to act as cupids and to match the perfect cruise to their customers.”

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