Ash Cloud Has Silver Lining For Travel Company Cruise Bookings
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Planes may be back in the skies over the UK, but it's cruising that's really taken off for retailer Cruise118. The independent travel company has seen a 200 per cent rise in bookings in one week since the volcanic ash cloud that left hundreds of thousands of flyers stranded.
Cruise118 - based in Chorley - experienced a high surge of bookings in the days after planes were grounded, 85 per cent of them through its sailfromuk brand. This brand offers cruises departing from the UK, so travellers don't need to fly to pick up their ship at a port overseas.
The company's director, Mal Barritt, was himself affected by the ash cloud. He was stranded in Portugal with his family for over a week. He said: "I've definitely got mixed feelings about the ash chaos - personally it was a nightmare. But as a business, we've really been able to turn the negatives into positives.
"Feedback from customers has been that holidays are so precious, especially with the economy in the state it is, that they really don't want to risk anything ruining their one break of the year.
"Even as the dust settles and things get back to normal with flights, there are still a lot of unsettled travellers out there who don't want to risk getting stranded again."
Despite launching at one of the most challenging times in the travel industry for several decades, Cruise118 is the UK's fastest growing cruise retailer, and is rapidly becoming renowned for its 'Exceptional as Standard' customer service.
Mal said "Every cloud certainly does have a silver lining, and since we launched Cruise118 in 2008 we have realised that being able to take situations and find a positive is the key to surviving difficult times."
Notes to editors:
- Cruise118 is an independent cruise retailer offering the full range of cruise holidays
- The company has three niche brands www.sixstarcruises.co.uk, www.alaskaonly.com and www.sailfromuk.com
- Cruise118 is the exclusive provider of cruise holidays to travelsupermarket.com
- Cruise118's team of cruise concierges provide each customer with an individually tailored service. The company's independent status means customers receive the best deals and advice when choosing and booking their cruise
- Bookings available via telephone, internet and email
- Cruise118 is committed to providing exceptional customer service as standard
- Cruise118 is ABTA bonded, offering customers complete peace of mind