It’s Cruise Week in the UK this week. Yes, I was surprised as well – I’m not seeing much coverage out there. In fact, the only mention I’ve seen of it has been on cruise TA websites and in emails that I receive from them, which would seem to be preaching to the converted. So I’m not clear what it’s supposed to be about. Is it supposed to market cruising as a holiday choice to non-cruisers? Or is it a way of presenting existing customers with a wider range of choices than they would normally consider?
If it’s supposed to be the former, then I don’t think it’s working. As I said, I haven’t seen any coverage except on sites and in emails that I visit and receive because I’m an existing cruise customer. Furthermore, I can’t help feeling that September is the wrong time of year to be attracting new customers. Most non-cruisers will still be coping with the aftermath of this year’s holiday, and won’t start thinking about next year’s until – well, next year. I think many cruise passengers, and by extension cruise lines, forget how unusual it is to be considering holidays more than 12 months in advance when the brochures are published – for most holidaymakers it’s a much more short-term thing. I know it was for us, before we started cruising – even transatlantic trips were only planned four months or so in advance.
I would have though that a better time to have a Cruise Week aimed at new customers would be in the New Year – I think that’s when people start thinking about holidays. Link it to the ‘Wave’ promotions that many lines do, and you might have a winner.