Regent Seven Seas has reported that forward bookings from the UK are 40% up versus 2019 and around 8% of bookings are new-to-cruise passengers.
Graham Sadler, senior vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said his team tried to find opportunities to “overreach” and gain more of a market share against the US.
He said the UK had performed “extremely well” during the pandemic.
Mediterranean and Baltic itineraries make up between 48% and 50% of all UK sales, said Sadler, who added that Caribbean voyages were also selling well.
His UK team are also “trying to find ways” to boost Alaska sales, he said, noting that cruise-and-rail packages – in partnership with Canadian train operator Rocky Mountaineer – offered Regent passengers flying to North America a different experience.
Speaking onboard the line’s Seven Seas Splendor on Wednesday, he said: “We’re 40% up in 2022 measuring against 2019. People want to get back to travelling and they’re really layering up the destinations.”
Sadler (pictured) said Regent’s in-house estimates suggest 8% of all bookings from 2022 onwards were “completely new to cruise” and 45% were new to brand.
Despite the rise in UK sales, he admitted Regent’s itineraries were “designed for Americans”. “You cannot get away from that,” he said. “You have Alaska [for example]. There are places in the world where we cannot proportionally sell in big numbers but where we do – like the Caribbean – we sell extremely well. We can hone in on the eastern [Caribbean] itineraries.
“We’ve got a fantastic Barbados series which is perfect for Brits because they can fly straight into Barbados.
“Mediterranean is our back yard. Between 48% to 50% of our bookings tend to be Mediterranean or the Baltic.”
He added: “Alaska is probably our weakest area and we’re trying to find ways to solve that.
“We’ve started to package things up with Rocky Mountaineer and other partners which justifies [Britons] flying all the way to Canada. It justifies that trip by bringing in that other experience.”
Seven Seas Splendor is currently sailing a reduced-capacity “test” cruise with more than 100 agents on board off the south coast of England before resuming revenue operations on Saturday.
Jason Montague, the line’s president and chief executive, said 21 past passengers were also on the ship. “They have collectively sailed over 30,000 nights on Regent Seven Seas across our various ships,” he said.