Justin Poulson, VP itinerary planning at Silversea, and Marcus Puttich, director destinations TUI Cruises, representing Mein Schiff fleet and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, both believe Asia holds great appeal and excitement for new cruisers to the region, as well as repeaters.
‘We are on the lookout for something unique, not too easily visited for Hapag-Lloyd deployments and as we do not repeat any itineraries when sailing in a region, Asia offers so many compelling countries and cultures our guests are willing to go on longer sailings to justify the long haul flights to get here,’ Puttich said.
Traditionally Mein Schiff guests would be looking to touch a number of countries in one itinerary. But now environmental schemes mandate mileage covered so TUI is looking into itineraries that cover fewer miles at reduced speed and go ‘more in-depth and deeper into the hinterlands, which Asia offers in abundance,’ according to Puttich.
‘The heritage and cultures are so different, providing great appeal and our guests look forward to going to Asia, enjoy it while they are here and gives them something to look back on following their return,’ Puttich told moderator Holly Payne during a session at Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific in Hong Kong.
Poulsen referenced Asia as ‘the most multidimensional deployment area in the world, through its food, culture and art. It offers year-round deployment opportunities and is particularly appealing for lines with loyal guests.’ He said the ports, destinatiosn and service providers across Asia embrace an enthusiasm for cruising which offers great partnership opportunities.
Piquing Poulsen’s interest currently is South Korea, ‘where we are paying partuclar attention to guest feedback,’ and from a demand perspective, Japan, so he has been taking scouting trips to these two countries and south Australia to look at new ways to deliver itineraries.
Source : Seatrade