How Cruise Traveller is expanding through two years of challenges. – Cruise Traveller

How Cruise Traveller is expanding through two years of challenges.

Craig and Louise Bowen from Cruise Traveller

Global Travel Media asked our Managing Director, Craig Bowen for his thoughts on the road out of covid in 2022…

“The Federal Government’s lifting of the cruise ship ban from April 17, while overdue, is obviously very positive news for the whole travel industry, tourism in Australia generally and, most importantly, for all the frustrated lovers of small ship cruise adventures.

Most other cruise regions around the world successfully resumed cruising many months ago but in Australia, I feel really strongly that between the State and Federal Governments, there was a blatant and total lack of understanding and respect for the cruise and travel industries here. The delay in restarting cruising here has cost an enormous amount of money, jobs and, quite honestly, in mental wellbeing. But that’s water under the bridge now so we join the rest of the industry is looking to the future and booking new business, not just organising refunds and credits.

Locals in Antarctica – image: Ponant Cruises

We and other cruise agencies can finally gain some revenue and, most importantly, our guests can enjoy some amazing cruise experiences again. In addition, host communities can again benefit from welcoming cruise guests back again.

On this side of Covid, there is now a palpable increase of interest in the many benefits of small-ship cruising, and with small ships being the backbone of cruising in the Kimberley and other Australian coastal regions, the lifting of this ban was crucial.

Craig Bowen, Managing Director Cruise Traveller

Over the past few months, we have seen a steady increase in demand for most of our key destinations, with domestic voyages being strong for the remainder of 2022 and the long haul markets stronger for Q4 2022 & into 2023. We also have guests departing for Europe, USA and Canada over the coming months.

Our strongest bookings for quarter four are…

Early in the pandemic, I decided we had worked too hard for too long growing Cruise Traveller so rather than walk away, as some of the industry did, we invested in keeping our team together and looking for opportunities to ensure that we were in better space on the other side. And that has been the case.

We’ve now expanded our team further and our small ship product portfolio has grown with now four exclusive products added to our collection during this period.

Craig Bowen – Cruise Traveller

Four exciting new products have joined the Cruise Traveller portfolio

While our weekly sales results are not back to pre-pandemic levels yet, they are strong and the quality of the business is very exciting. We have also noted a strong trend for people choosing small cruise products on the quality and inclusions of the packages, not just on price, which is really healthy moving forward.

At the end of the day, it has been a massive learning curve and now my resilient team and I look forward to getting back, full steam ahead, to the exciting industry that has kept us motivated for many years – and will for many years to come.

And a new problem, which we love to have, is remembering how to dispatch travel documents again!”

By: Cruise Traveller Managing Director, Craig Bowen.