Emerald Waterways defied the Blue Monday gloom last week after recording its best January sales day on record, which it has since dubbed “Emerald Monday”.
David Winterton, head of marketing UK and global brand curator, revealed Emerald grew sales 30% year-on-year on Blue Monday (January 21), which falls each year on the third Monday in January and is said to be the most depressing day of the year.
Winterton praised the work of the line’s travel agent partners, who he said had brought in a “very strong percentage” of bookings.
He said the line’s TV advertising, which features a voiceover by actress Joanna Lumley, its Ultimate River Cruise Sale and an increased number of agency store visits by its sales team contributed to the line’s record business.
“We targeted Blue Monday and couldn’t be happier with the results,” Winterton told TTG. “Our TV campaign is working brilliantly to get more people into travel agents to book – agents have played a massive part.”
Winterton also hinted the line may create a new marketing campaign around “Emerald Monday” in the lead-up to Blue Monday next year. “We could just go the whole hog with it,” he said.
Emerald Waterways released its full 2020 European river cruise programme earlier this month and has also frozen prices – selling itineraries for next year at current rates until May 14.
The line will also launch cruises on the Mekong and yacht charters on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast for the first time.
Alongside sister brand Scenic, Emerald Waterways issued a “Brexit assurance” in October not to raise prices post-March 29, when the UK officially leaves the EU.
Winterton said he “would tend to agree” with comments made by Azamara Club Cruises boss Larry Pimentel to TTG last week that the sector may experience a bookings boost post-Brexit.
Find contacts in TTG's Little Black Book
Scenic and Emerald Waterways provide a complete "one-stop shop", offering two complementary brands designed to make selling river cruising plain sailing.