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Record Growth of New Asia Pacific Customers for Silversea Cruises

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Silversea Cruises is seeing record growth in the percentage of its guests who have never previously sailed with the line. For the third consecutive year, the company has enjoyed a year-over-year increase in new guests of around 10%. Currently, 54% of all guests are new to Silversea, the largest percentage it has ever achieved.

We are aggressively targeting new-to-Silversea and first-time cruisers by going after a larger share of the lucrative baby boomer market," said Steve Odell, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific. We're encouraging our travel agency partners to check their preconceptions at the door. Younger people have the money and time to travel, and can appreciate the exceptional value a luxury cruise offers when compared to land-based vacations. In the United States our target market is couples aged 45+; a mix of retirees and successful entrepreneurs, but in Hong Kong and Asia our market is couples, slightly younger in age than the company's overall profile. They tend to be successful business people and young professionals; lawyers, doctors, dentists and accountants, and have a love of food and wine but also a sense of adventure. Of particular interest to this younger market is our new expedition vessel Prince Albert II, with its schedule of 2008-09 luxury exploration voyages of South America, Antarctica and the South Pacific including the enigmatic Easter and Pitcairn Islands and the Marquesas in French Polynesia.

Odell added, The top segment of the market is looking for a boutique environment - top levels of service and the unique destinations. Silversea caters exactly to this desire with smaller ships giving passengers more space, a high staff to guest ratio and ships that can easily dock in off the beaten track destinations or normally  inaccessible ports like London Tower Bridge, Ho Chi Minh City and the harbour in Monaco. We hold a unique place in the market for boutique luxury, rather like Aman does in the hotel sector.

We have been successful in attracting guests who are new to cruising, by broadening our distribution base to include more travel agents who have an established luxury travel clientele. We are far ahead of where we were in 2007 for the region, both in terms of sales and yields. Our forward sales are approximately 70% ahead of last year week on week 2007 compared to 2008. The Asia Pacific region now represents over 15% of all Silversea passengers worldwide.

Silversea has observed a growing appreciation by first time guests, for the companys fully inclusive fares which cover all wines, Champagne and drinks plus gratuities throughout the cruise.

Silversea Cruises opened a regional sales office in Singapore in 2007 and has a dedicated local sales and marketing team in place providing improved support for travel agents. This office is supported by a regional reservations and operations centre in Sydney offering same day transactions for all reservations enquiries.

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