Thursday, 6 October 2011

ICCA Extols Small Ship Cruising

ICCA GM, Brett Jardine
Within the cruise industry we all know there are many different types of cruise holidays but are you getting this message through to your clients.

Consumers thrive on making a purchase that offers great value. The words ‘cruising’ and ‘great value’ go hand in hand but it is important to note that value does not come down to price alone.

For some, a large ship experience at a lower price point is good value, for others a small ship cruise experience at a higher price point is good value.

How do you determine where your client fits – QUALIFY them! Small ship “cruise passengers” tend to dream of visiting more off the beaten track destinations and look for a fulfilling experience at such places.

How many clients have you offered a cruise holiday to, only to be told “no thanks, a cruise is not for me”? I’ll bet most of these people only consider a cruise to be a large ship with thousands of people and really have no idea of (a) what a large ship experience really can offer or (b) that there are other possibilities such as a small ship experience that will in fact meet their holiday expectations in every respect. In many areas small ship cruising provides a very different experience from what clients expect of a cruise holiday.

A few of the following points may help you to define such an experience with clients in the future. Smaller more intimate ships; focus on the destination rather than the ship; potentially flexible itineraries; fewer but like-minded passengers; more personal experience (with other guests and crew); usually informal (more likely casual rather than glamour) and in most cases single open seat dining.

I’m sure you can find plenty of clients that will see some value in an option like this!