Princess Cruises has reported customer demand for 2023 sailings is “well outstripping” previous years – two months after the line achieved its record booking day in the UK.
Eithne Williamson, the line’s vice-president of UK and Europe, explained how the biggest-ever booking day in late June was a “key” driver for the current 2023 cruise booking volumes Princess was seeing.
She said there was “great interest” from UK passengers for fly-cruises in the Mediterranean as well as highlighting how demand was returning for destinations such as the Caribbean and Alaska.
However, she added that her team should never take things for granted and highlighted how the line had recently cancelled 11 Diamond Princess sailings over staffing challenges.
She told a Travel Weekly webcast: “We want to grow our demand; we want to get more guests experiencing Princess and more of our guests experiencing Princess.”
Williamson suggested using training and trade engagement programmes to develop relationships with agents the line already worked as well as identifying new ones.
She explained the line had taken the decision to axe 11 sailings on Diamond Princess because occupancy was so high on other cruises Princess was scheduled to operate.
“To deliver the guest experience and service we needed to move our crew across to the rest of the fleet,” she said.
“We made some of those decisions to be able to make sure that we could support the level of experience and service that we wanted and that is down to those high occupancy levels across the board.”
Asked about the incoming Sphere-class vessels, due to launch in 2023 and 2025, Williamson said more product details would be announced soon.
Both ships will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the greenest fuel available to cruise lines, and will be capable of carrying 4,300 passengers.
“Sustainability is incredibly important to us,” she said. “It’s important from the point of view of our guests and the places we visit.
“The investment into LNG is just part of the story.”