Monday, June 14, 2010

Cruise1st to sail into Australian travel market

Source: eTravel Blackboard

UK’s leading cruise booking website to enter Australian cruise market as demand soars for cruise holidays

Cruise1st, the UK’s leading online cruise booking specialist, has today announced plans to launch in Australia as the market for cruising holidays amongst Australian travellers continues to soar.

From July, Cruise1st will offer Australian travellers a unique cruise holiday booking experience, providing the widest range of cruising options globally with hundreds of cruises worldwide from dozens of cruise lines to search from.

Through its innovative dynamic pricing technology, Cruise1st will be the only cruise focused holiday website in Australia that enables customers to package and complete the full booking process in a single, easy transaction, including flights and hotels as well as cruises.

In addition to booking through the easy-to-use website, customers who prefer discussing their cruising options with a consultant will also have the option of booking their cruise package through the Cruise1st customer call centre or in person at the Cruise1st retail centre in Blue Street, North Sydney.

To lead Cruise1st in Australia, Sandy Greenwood has been appointed General Manager Australia to oversee operations and growth of the Cruise1st business in this market. Ms Greenwood has a wealth of experience in the tourism industry having previously been General Manager of Australian travel company Bentours/MyPlanet, owned by the TUI Group. She was also formerly the General Manager of Aurora Expeditions.

Sandy Greenwood said, “Cruise1st is very excited to be entering what we see as the most dynamic cruise market in the world. Australians have whole-heartedly embraced cruising holidays and we are looking forward to being able to offer Australians from all walks of life an easier and more rewarding cruise holiday booking experience.”

“Cruise1st recognises the impressive growth in the Australian cruise market, particularly in the online sector. With traditional high street travel agents having to compete rigorously with online specialists, Cruise1st believes it is the ideal time for expansion into other ‘cruise positive’ markets such as Australia”, she said.

To support the brand’s launch in Australia, Cruise1st undertook a competitive pitch process, resulting in the appointment of Sefiani Communications Group to handle public relations and Davis & Associates to handle brand strategy, creative and oversee media advertising. A print and online brand advertising campaign will be launched nationally in early July.

Sefiani Managing Director, Robyn Sefiani, said: “We are delighted to be working with Cruise1st, which has proven to be such a success in the UK travel market. We look forward to helping Cruise1st replicate that success here, and become the first port of call for Australians researching and booking cruise holidays,” she said.

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