Cruise Adviser

James Cole launches Panache Cruises

James Cole, the founder of Cruise 118, has launched a new cruise specialist travel agency specialising in luxury cruises.

Panache Cruises launches with a team of 15 in the northwest of England and will offer what Cole calls “nothing is too much trouble service”. The company also revealed the name of its first ambassador: Duncan James, of boy band Blue.

Panache Cruises will sell four categories of cruise: ocean, river, yacht and expedition. The brands on sale include Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal, Azamara, Celebrity, Scenic, Emerald, Uniworld, and SeaDream Yacht Club.

Cole said: “The key question I am asked at the moment is why launch during this pandemic, when there are no cruise ships sailing? My response is that it’s not about what’s happening today, it’s about what will be happening in three, five or ten years from now, at which time the cruise industry will be bigger, more innovative and even better than it’s ever been.

“I fundamentally believe that Covid-19 has given me a unique opportunity to bring to market a cruise company that is fit for purpose as we enter a new world of cruising.

“I believe without hesitation that the cruise industry will not only recover from this pandemic which will take a significant amount of time, but come back bigger, stronger and better than ever before. Having spoken to hundreds of cruisers during lockdown there is a huge pent-up demand for cruising, especially with experienced cruisers, who just want to get back on a ship as soon as they are able.

“The recent announcement on the easing of quarantine restrictions and the relaxing of FCO travel advice will also help give the industry a much-needed lift and provide those cruisers who can’t wait to board a ship again the confidence to start planning their next cruise.

“Cruise lines are currently preparing for re-launch by liaising with authorities to understand what legal requirements and regulations will be in place for them to adhere to. Judging by previous experience, they will not only adhere to any new laws but exceed them and take cruising to new heights in the areas of safety, security and well-being of their customers and crew.”

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