Celestyal boss hails performance of ‘phenomenal’ UK market

Celestyal chief commercial officer Lee Haslett has hailed the success of UK agents, saying the market is performing “phenomenally well”.

Haslett told a Travel Weekly webcast he is “delighted” with the trade for putting the UK market “on the map” for the brand.

Haslett, who joined the cruise line in February 2023, said he has experienced a “wild” first year with the cruise line, and the performance by the UK trade has “outstripped” his expectations.

More: Celestyal offers cruises for £29 per night in leap year sale

“I’m delighted with what we’ve achieved in the UK and the support we’ve had from the UK market. It has outstripped what we thought we would get in year one,” he said.

“From January 2023 to where we are now, we are working with many new [UK] partners that we haven’t worked with before and at the same time we’ve made a heavy investment in travel agents from a marketing sense, plus we’ve brought in some really good people to complement the team we already had.

“The UK is really on the map now from a numbers perspective which is great.

Haslett went on to say the line will be releasing additional Persian Gulf itineraries in response to demand from both UK agents and guests, saying the UK market is responsible for more than 50% of sales since the cruises were released last month.

He said new Gulf itineraries, plus new Italy, Croatia and Montenegro itineraries, are being “designed with the view of growing [market share] in the UK”.

“We’re looking at launching a three and four-night product over in the Gulf because that’s what our agents have asked for, they want to do cruise-and-stay,” he said.

“If you’re going to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Qatar on a land stay, you will be able to add a three or four-night itinerary to that, and, because our itineraries don’t have sea days in them, it means you can actually do a really nice three or four night cruise and be able to visit many of the ports in the UAE which is great.”

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