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14 Aug 2015

BY Sophie Griffiths

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Princess Cruises plans 'signficiant growth for UK' as it seeks replacement for Ludlow

Princess Cruises’ head of sales has insisted that the line remains focused on “significant growth” in the UK, as it seeks to recruit a replacement for its UK managing director Paul Ludlow.

Paul Ludlow2.jpg

It comes after Carnival UK announced a restructure last week, with Ludlow moving across to head up P&O Cruises in the UK, in the new title of senior vice-president sales and marketing.

As part of the changes, Cunard and P&O Cruises sales and distribution director Chris Truscott has left the business, with Carnival now recruiting for a sales and marketing role at Cunard.

David Noyes, UK chief executive, said the move was designed to separate the two lines. “We have two leading brands and we need to differentiate between them. By bringing sales and marketing together we will bring a greater focus to each of our great brands,” he said.

Jeremy McKenna, head of partner sales will lead the agency sales team, currently for both brands, reporting directly to Ludlow in the interim period until the senior vice president Cunard sales and marketing role is appointed.

Speaking following the news, Princess Cruises head of sales Alex White said Ludlow would start his new role with immediate effect, but would also continue in his position at Princess while the line seeks a replacement.

“The line is recruiting for a vice president UK and Europe – it made sense to align the job title roles with the US,” he explained in reference to the job title name change.

“We’ll be very sad to see Paul move on… we’ve made significant progress in the last couple of years under Paul’s stewardship,” he added. “But we still have significant growth ambitions for the UK market, and we are absolutely committed to the UK – that remains unchanged.”

It comes as White revealed the line celebrated its most successful month in July for its new trade website Onesourcecruises.com which launched in May. “The traffic has been fantastic since we launched – in May we had 4,000 visitors to the site, 10,000 in June and 13,000 last month – 200% up on May,” White said.

He added that the new training modules had also been praised by agents. “Since we started the courses in June, we’ve seen 1,300 modules completed. One of the most popular courses is learning how to use OneSource, which is really great,” he added.

The line is also gearing up to launch phase two of its flight booking tool Plane Sailing, which launched in June. “There’ll be more exciting announcements about phase two in the next few weeks”. White would not offer details on what these would include, adding only: “They will be positive improvements.”

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