Image via Nick Daisley [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0]

Voyages to Antiquity has reported a surge in forward bookings for summer 2019 sailings, with passenger numbers claimed to be up by 342% year-on-year.

The cultural cruise line’s expanding range of destinations and ports, combined with a significant raising of its profile in the UK after some major industry awards, have helped stimulate the forward sales.

Six new countries – Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Poland and Germany – together with 17 new ports of call including Stockholm, Helsinki and Tromso feature in the 2019 European programme.

Trade and partner business is up by three per cent year-on-year in 2018 as the single ship line recorded its strongest new season launch in history.

A new agency sales manager is to be recruited to further develop trade business.

Voyages to Antiquity has secured 97% of passenger targets to date this year and has hit revenue targets in part thanks to increased yields per day.

A maiden 14-day Baltic cruise departing on July 3, 2019, from Copenhagen is more than half full despite only being on sale for a month.

Managing director Jos Dewing said: “It’s an understatement to say we are thrilled with these results.

“The 2018 season is well under way with our personalised approach, programme of expert speakers and generous loyalty programme making us the natural choice for culturally-focused passengers.

“Over 60% of our business is via the trade and specialist partners and we never take this for granted. We are constantly evolving to ensure we are offering our agents and their customers a new destination and port of port of call.

“Our 2019 passenger numbers are up as a direct result of our improved engagement and awareness with agents and we are all incredibly grateful for the ongoing support.

“We are confident that this is going to be our strongest season ever and to develop our agent relations even further we are now seeking an additional agency sales manager.”