Celestyal Cruises is “actively looking” to acquire new vessels, according to its chief commercial officer, with the line due to sail the Adriatic for the first time next year.
The Cyprus-headquartered company currently has two ships – Celestyal Olympia and Celestyal Crystal – with Leslie Peden predicting it could expand its fleet by 2021.
“We would want mid-sized options that are consistent with the experience we offer so it is really dependent on when those vessels become available. I think that will be 2021 at the earliest due to those constraints,” he told TTG.
Peden said UK sales had doubled year-on-year “thanks to fantastic support from agent partners”, with a dedicated trade marketing executive, Rebecca Witte, appointed last month.
Agents can take advantage of a 60% trade discount on sailings to try the Celestyal product for themselves.
According to Peden, UK and Irish passenger numbers are “on track” to hit 3,000 this year, with a target of 5,000 for 2020.
He praised the “amazing job” of UK country manager Jo Reid – who reports into Peden following the departure of vice-president commercial, Europe, Andrew Magowan, whose role he predicted could be spilt between two “regional director” positions.
Turning his attention to destinations, Peden described how sailing the Adriatic as part of its 2020/21 programme – a move he described as “a key step forward” – would allow Celestyal to continue to expand its seasons. By the end of 2021, both its ships would sail year-round.
Celestyal’s new seven-night Romantic Adriatic itinerary – which features four departures in December 2020 calling at Venice, Corfu, Patras, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Split – will allow guests to visit the popular destinations “away from the summer crowds”, with an all-inclusive fare leading in from £870pp.
Peden explained visiting in December would help agents attract skiers hitting the Italian Alps, adding that Dubrovnik would be offered as an embarkation and debarkation option.