It’s fair to say that I’ve been to a few ship namings and launches in my time covering the sector.
But I still get a buzz out of being present as these incredible feats of engineering get their official seal of approval and welcome the first of many passengers.
This week I was fortunate enough to be in Southampton as the Queen named P&O Cruises’ latest ship, Britannia, and I have to say I was very impressed with what the line describes as the ‘most vibrant’ member of its fleet.
But that’s certainly not the end of the cruise festivities, with Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan, Viking Cruises’ Viking Star and Norwegian’s Escape among those set to take a bow in the coming months.
Royal’s decision to select a travel agent to act as godmother for Anthem is inspired, showing not only the line’s support for the trade but also creating a very different type of excitement than that generated by having the British monarch perform naming duties – something that can’t really be topped!
As P&O bosses were keen to stress this week, Britannia and Anthem are two very different ships that will appeal to very different audiences. And it is this differentiation that is such good news for agents.
Despite growing differences in ship sizes, facilities and pricing structures, cruise lines have still had to fight to increase the sector’s popularity outside its traditional demographic.
Now there really is a wealth of options for agents to target different customers and earn well in the process.
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