P&O Cruises drops brochure prices to drive up early bookings

P&O Cruises drops brochure prices to drive up early bookings By Hollie-Rae Merrick

P&O Cruises is changing its pricing in a bid to secure more early bookings and to offer customers who book early the best value.As the cruise line launches its 2015/16 programme, marketing director Christopher Edgington said P&O was looking to reverse the current trade of dropping prices late on.

He said: “We have reduced the prices on 100 cruises in this new brochure. We want to give our passengers the best value possible and we wanted our prices to be more aligned with the market.

“Passengers need to book early to make sure they get the best price possible, and this needs to be reinforced.

“In the past the industry has gone from high to low when it comes to pricing and with this change we are looking to go from low to high.”

He said it would then be possible to potentially raise prices nearer to the departure date for last-minute bookings.

The new programme includes 15 new destinations, and is the first to include new ship Britannia.

Brochures are being sent to agents next week, and Edgington said it would be the first piece of core collateral agents will have received featuring the new vessel, launching next year.

He said: “2015 is going to be a very exciting year for cruise. The new brochure has a new feel to it and that’s come about after speaking to agents, customers and our teams internally.”

The brochure will offer 211 cruises taking in 81 ports in 61 countries, with new destinations including Belem, Brazil; Bonifacio, Corsica; Fort William, Scotland; Fredrikstad, Norway; Gozo, Malta; Jacksonville, US; Killybegs, Ireland, and Sevastopol, Ukraine.

A number of previously popular ports of call have also been reintroduced for 2015 such as Charleston and New Orleans, US; Hvar, Croatia; and Manaus, Brazil.

New ship Britannia’s maiden season will take in the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and the Baltic Sea, as well as a selection of short breaks and a special round-Britain cruise.

The ship will then transfer to the Caribbean for the winter season, sailing a range of 14-night fly cruise itineraries from Barbados.

Edgington said: “We hope that the spirit of Britannia will capture the imagination of all those who are looking for the best of the best from a holiday.”

Oceana will sail in the Mediterranean between March and October 2015, offering seven and 14-night cruises.

Full day and evening calls in Dubrovnik are being also introduced. Prices on the seven-night Mediterranean cruise lead in at £699.

Smaller vessel Adonia will offer ‘discovery cruises’ to off the beaten track destinations.

Itineraries include river cruising in the Amazon or Orinoco River. The 28-night Christmas in the Amazon cruise leads in at £2,999.

The 2015/16 sailings open for pre-registration on March 20 until April 2, 2014. The cruises then go on general sale from April 7.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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