WTM: Silversea reports strong UK sales for 2008 season

Silversea has sold almost 70% of its 2008 capacity, with the UK the first sales region to meet its quarter-one target for next year.

Silversea managing director UK and Ireland Trudy Redfern said: “Cruising generally is doing very well and we are benefiting.”

Redfern said Silversea is also benefiting from its strong trade, following consumer events held alone or with agents to raise the cruiseline¹s profile.

She said: “We invited members of our Venetian Club and their friends so we had a mix of past passengers and people who had not cruised with us.”

Redfern stressed Silversea is not trying to take agents’ business. “We are selling them the idea of the cruise and they then go to their agent to book.”

She is hopeful the strong bookings will encourage Silversea’s owners to take up an option on a second new ship. The luxury cruiseline has ordered a 36,000-ton 450-passenger ship for delivery at the end of December 2009.

Meanwhile, Silversea has acquired an expedition-style ship that will operate in off-the-beaten track destinations such as Antarctica. It is currently in a shipyard in Italy.

Redfern said: “We want to change the ship¹s design, knocking cabins together into suites, which will reduce capacity from 175 to about 130 passengers, and adding a pool area, but it may affect the ship’s stability.”

She said the yard is assessing what can be done and will report at the end of November. The vessel is due to enter service in spring 2008.

Redfern said: “We hope each region in Europe will get a chance to showcase the ship through the summer before it heads across the Atlantic.”

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