The boss of Tui River Cruises says 2022 sales are “encouraging” as he revealed up to a quarter of river cruise bookings come via third-party agents.
The new line was finally able to launch on Sunday after an 18-month wait. Tui Maya – the first of the three ships to launch for the adult-only line – embarked on a seven-night sailing in the Moselle Valley.
Chris Hackney, Tui’s UK and Ireland managing director of cruise, said that September and October sailings on Tui Maya are sitting at around 50% occupancy right now.
He said: “It’s been a late booking market as with all travel, but 2022 looks good with encouraging sales, particularly for passengers who couldn’t sail with us in 2021 who are now booked for next year too.
“Our Christmas markets and theme cruises from November 2021 onwards are selling particularly well.”
In terms of trade activity, some Tui retail staff visited the ship pre-launch, but with third-party agent sales around 20-25%, Hackney (pictured) plans to get them onboard too.
He added: “Third-party agents are key for Tui River Cruises. We are keen to get them on the ships as we grow. I’m a huge advocate of getting people onboard and sampling the product and we are getting some good sales from retail already.”
Tui Maya and sister ships Tui Skyla and Tui Isla have undergone a multi-million-pound refit and will carry up to 155 passengers with two restaurants, two bars and a wellness area.
There are seven cabin types – including a number with French balcony cabins and three solo cabins.