Thursday, 29 May 2014

APT wants expanded expedition product

#expeditioncruising 

Source: Travel Daily Cruise Update

APT Caledonian Sky

APT would quadruple its fleet of expedition vessels if the company’s owner and director Geoff McGeary had his way. “We’ve been buying up Renaissance ships, we own two at the moment, but we’d love to own all eight,” he said. Asked by TD Cruise Update if a third purchase was imminent, to add to its collection of the MS Caledonian Sky and Island Sky, McGeary said: “We hope to own more.”

The industry veteran, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List this year, explained that expansion in expedition cruising was a slow process. “Growth will always be constrained, as there are a lot of inhibiting factors, and it can never compete with large ship pricing,” he said. “It will always be a boutique market segment, I don’t believe there will ever be growth like in river cruising,” he added.

McGeary said the benefit of expedition cruising over traditional river cruising was the greater potential for new itineraries in different destinations. “You are more likely to see growth in expedition cruise routes [than rivers],” he added.

APT started offering expedition cruises last year after it acquired a near-50% stake in UK cruise company Noble Caledonia, which owns and operates two small ships and charters five others. MEANWHILE, APT has provided TD Cruise Update with the first look at its latest television advertising campaign, which hits free-to-air TV channels this Sun.

The campaign focuses on river cruising in Europe, and proactively includes a call to action for pax to book through a travel agent. Exclusive APT inclusions as well as exciting destinations visited will heavily feature in the campaign.