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Cruise Sales At Home Drop Significantly

Natali Papoutsoglou, marketing specialist for Carnival Cruise Lines, explains the advantages of cruise travel to Greek travel agents and tour operators.

Natali Papoutsoglou, marketing specialist for Carnival Cruise Lines, explains the advantages of cruise travel to Greek travel agents and tour operators.

It’s not only local cruise companies -for the first half of this year cruise passengers on Greek vessels are down some 30% over the same period last year- that face difficulties this year.

Some of world’s biggest cruise lines are pushing hard to win the uphill battle to fill ships, and they are succeeding. According to Andreas Stylianopoulos of Navigator Travel, which represents Celebrity and Royal Caribbean here in Greece, foreign cruise companies have succeeded in increasing passenger traffic by 15.5% so far this year.

During an interview on the Greek Business & Travel show, he said that last year some 9.7 million people took a cruise and 8.7 million of these were Americans. He expects that by the end of the year that total cruise passengers will increase by 8.4%.

An example of the work being done by foreign cruise operators to attract customers took place last month at a local hotel by Carnival Cruise Lines and its representative here in Greece, Amphitrion. Natali Papoutsoglou, marketing specialist for Carnival Cruise Lines, and Amphitrion cruise specialists invited some of the countries top travel agents and tour operators to explain the ‘value for money’ found in a cruise plan.

And it appears that none of the foreign operators are looking to a slowdown in future sales. Carnival has two new vessels on order that will be launched before the end of 2004, and Royal Caribbean just recently took delivery of its new ultra-deluxe Brilliance of the Seas, which up until October runs 12-day cruises in the Mediterranean with stops at Greek ports.

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