Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and P&O Cruises are battling it out during the January-to-March sales period with multi-million pound TV advertising campaigns that are expected to boost the entire sector.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has produced a new Royal Caribbean International advert and – for the first time in the UK – a TV and newspaper campaign for its Celebrity Cruises brand. The company believes it can make further headway in five-star cruising.
UK managing director Robin Shaw said Celebrity Cruises was an “unsung hero” of the UK cruise market, with advance bookings up 20% for 2007 after growing passenger numbers by 40% in 2006 to 40,000.
“The key thing for us is to increase brand awareness and establish Celebrity’s credentials in the marketplace,” said Shaw, adding that while cruiselines are competing for customers they also need to increase the number of UK cruise customers from the one in 20 who take foreign holidays.
Two P&O Cruises TV adverts are running. Head of sales for Complete Cruise Solution Giles Hawke said: “The next few weeks will be really telling – that’s when the big sales come in.”