Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand experienced a record-breaking first month of the year. January 2016 has seen the biggest month for sales since the company opened its local offices, eight years ago.
Bookings for its three brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises – reached an all-time high, with an increase of 50 per cent in new bookings compared to the same period last year.
January 2016 also outperformed Royal Caribbean's previous record breaking month for bookings – June last year, when Australasia’s first ever new-build and the biggest ship to ever be based in Australia, Ovation of the Seas, went on sale – by 30 percent.
In particular, the last week in January saw Royal Caribbean bookings almost double year-on-year.
“We said it would be a record-breaking summer and we’re excited to see booking volumes beat our own projections. Australia’s appetite for cruising with us continues on a very positive trajectory, driven by strong early booking offers and the biggest and best ships in the region,” said Adam Armstrong, regional commercial director for Asia/Pacific.
“In response to the increasing demand, this season we introduced three new ships – Explorer of the Seas, Legend of the Seas and Azamara Quest – as well as a brand new cruise line in Azamara Club Cruises; so for the first time, we have our trifecta of three brands sailing down under. All up, that represents 20% of RCL’s worldwide fleet – a very significant number and a testament to the strength of the Australian cruising market,” Adam continued.
Bookings on international sailings have shown substantial increases year on year; Alaska cruise bookings grew by more than 25% and Asia sailings increased by 10% when compared to the same month last year. But the most significant increase is reflected in local sailings – in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific – where bookings increased by more than 65% in January 2016 compared to January 2015.
The arrival of Explorer of the Seas made a big impact, with it and sister-ship Voyager of the Seas recording a third of all bookings created in January.