Several major cruise lines have tightened their payment terms with Gill’s Cruise Centre, one of the UK’s largest cruise retailers.
Leading cruise lines confirmed they began collecting payments direct from Gill’s customers last week to avoid any monies being held by the agency.
In March, the company shut its London offices and relocated 30 sales support staff to Wales, blaming the economic climate and Complete Cruise Solution’s commission cut.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival UK and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines revealed concerns about Gill’s’ levels of debt and said they had to act to protect monies owed to them.
Giles Hawke, sales and customer services director at Carnival UK, said: “About a week ago, we moved to collecting all payments direct from the customer so their money comes straight to us and does not go into Gill’s bank account.
“We want to make sure the debt from Gill’s is secure and we’re paid the money owed to us.”
Dominic Paul, vice-president and managing director for the UK and Ireland for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, said: “We have started taking payments direct from guests so there is no extra liability there. We will see how the situation develops.”
Lol Nichols, general sales manager at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, added: “We have special payment terms in place and Gill’s is working to these terms. We have enjoyed strong support from Gill’s in the past and want to do what we can to support them.”
Travel Weekly was unable to reach Gill’s chairman Alistair Gill. At the time of CCS’s commission cuts, he said the retailer was looking to raise sales of dynamically packaged cruise holidays to boost revenues.
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