Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has enjoyed a bumper January, with sales returning to pre-pandemic levels across its small-ship ocean fleet.
The strong start to 2022 was reflected in new bookings across Fred. Olsen’s 2022 and 2023 programme currently on sale, with last-minute bookings for late winter and early spring proving particularly popular.
The results follow the introduction of Fred. Olsen’s Travel Ready Service, launched in December, under which the line takes care of paperwork such as the Passenger Locator Forms and NHS vaccination letters.
The line also offers risk-free deposits on all new bookings for sailings in 2022, enabling guests to move their deposit to any other cruise within 12 months of their original sailing, with no transfer fees, as long as they let Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines know before the final balance has been paid.
Peter Deer, managing director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “The New Year has brought with it a fresh wave of optimism for overseas travel. The success of our Cruise Sale shows that people are looking ahead to their next holiday now more than ever – there is real confidence in the market again, and this is being reflected in our bookings.
“We have had great feedback on our Travel Ready Service, which provides additional peace of mind for those looking to explore again in 2022, and teamed with a relaxation of restrictions by our UK government has really helped to stimulate new bookings.
“This is a really great start to the year, and we are looking forward to a successful season of cruising as we sail into the summer months and beyond.”
Panache Cruises has also seen a boost in sales since Christmas with strong demand for bucket-list cruises.
James Cole, founder and managing director of Panache Cruises, said: “We saw leads pick up after Christmas and momentum has continued to build into February. We’re exceptionally excited about what’s going to happen in the next 12 to 24 months.”
He added: “The Baltics and Fjords have been popular for summer 2022 and we have seen more bucket-list bookings. People are going further afield, they’re going away for longer and spending more than ever before. People are treating themselves after the pandemic. We’re seeing customer confidence build.”
Cole added that cruises to long-haul destinations including Australia, Japan and South America have been particularly popular, along with expedition cruises and world cruises.
Some of Fred. Olsen’s most popular sailings for bookings this year include the 14-night Winter Warmth in the Canaries cruise on Borealis, departing Liverpool on February 27, 2022, with prices leading in at £1,399 per person.
Also popular is the eight-night Western Europe City Break cruise, departing Southampton on March 16, 2022, and costing from £599 per person, and the seven-night Norwegian Fjords & Mighty Waterfalls cruise, departing Newcastle on June 15, 2022, and costing from £1,099 per person.
All three packages include tips and an all-inclusive drinks package when booked by March 1, 2022.