EUROPEAN luxury cruise agent The Cruise Line is setting course for the Middle East, an official said.
Robin Maclear, managing director of The Cruise Line told TTN that the company will establish its Middle East presence in Dubai and Bahrain in May. The offices will sell cruise vacations with flights out of the two countries.
“Plans are currently underway to base a luxury, five-star, 115-passenger ship in Dubai during the winter months, from November 1 to April 15,” he added. “This will serve to establish Dubai on the worldwide cruise map and open up this exciting destination to a new market. Surprisingly, Dubai is still relatively unexploited as a port of call despite its many features.”
Prices on the new ship would start at E300 per day, and typical itineraries would be three or four days each, with trips to Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Mussandan and Muscat.
The company’s initial effort, though, will be to tailor-make cruise packages to worldwide destinations. These will be made available with flights ex-Dubai or ex-Bahrain with Gulf Air, Maclear said.
The Cruise Line will also be conducting agents’ training programmes and will hold seminars in the middle of May. “We’re an agent-friendly organisation and I’d be delighted to send a copy of our magazine, to any agent that asks for it via our website, www.woconline.com. What agents need to understand is there is far more money in selling cruises. This is a growth industry and the commissions are much higher.”
The most popular cruise at the moment, he said, is the Queen Mary 2, which was launched in January and is currently in her inaugural season.
The Cruise Line is the largest specialist luxury cruise agent in Europe and represents all the major cruise lines in the market. It is the number one agent in the UK for Silversea and Radisson Seven Sea Cruises and general sales agent in the UK for Oceania Cruises.