P&O believes Azura sales could beat Ventura record

P&O believes Azura sales could beat Ventura record

P&O Cruises is hoping to beat Ventura's record-breaking first day of bookings when new ship Azura goes on sale on March 30.

P&O Cruises managing director Nigel Esdale said: "We took 19,000 bookings for Ventura on the first day and we want to do better than that for Azura. Agents have opened advance registrations and I am hearing they are getting a lot of interest."

The cruiseline will be sending a training pack out to agents containing information about the ship and highlighting what makes it different to the rest of the P&O Cruises' fleet.

The pack, which will be with 10,000 agents by the start of next week, includes a DVD about Azura, cutaway poster and a notebook containing information about the ship.

There will be a specific Azura training module on the Waves of Wisdom site, with weekly prizes on offer.

Esdale said: "We are giving agents everything they need to make a sale."

Azura's maiden voyage is a 16-night Mediterranean cruise from Southampton departing April 12 2010. Prices start from £1,524 per person including an early-booking discount.

The ship will spend the summer in the Med and relocate to the Caribbean in October, offering 15-night flycruises out of Barbados. There will also be a 29-night Christmas and New Year Caribbean cruise visiting five ports in the US.

Esdale said: "We usually avoid the US because of the immigration hassles, but once you've got it out of the way you might as well make the most of it. It's an exciting itinerary that will appeal to past cruisers."

Unlike Ventura, which was designed to attract new-to-cruise and new-to-P&O couples and families, 3,100-passenger sister ship Azura is a return to "core" values.


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