Viking sees triple digit growth in Oz
VIKING Cruises’ “unique position” in ocean cruising has seen the company experience exceptional sales growth over the last 18 months, according to the company’s Australian md Michelle Black ( pictured).
Speaking to Cruise Weekly aboard Viking Orion in Italy this week, Black said heavy interest in the company’s fast-growing ocean product was being complemented by strong sales for Viking’s river cruises - so much so that itineraries for 2020 have already opened up for sale.
“Russia and Egypt are proving very popular, along with the classic Grand European voyage between Amsterdam and Budapest,” Black said.
While Viking’s river cruise business is a leader in the USA, in Australia the company’s strategy is to focus on “ocean to river” - expecting avid Aussie cruisers to experience the ocean product and thereby discover its river offering, which has been used as the basis for the product design aboard Viking’s ocean fleet.
Black said Viking was determined to be true to its target market of the 50+ demographic, with no children on board and a determination to capture the travel dollar of consumers in their last 20 or so years of travelling.
She wasn’t able to comment on speculation that Viking is planning expansion into other sectors of the cruise market.
However there’s no doubt that Australia is playing a key role in Viking’s global plans, with Orion heading down under later this year for a three month season cruising between Sydney and Auckland, which is already almost sold out.
There’s also been keen Aussie interest in the upcoming 23day voyage between Japan and Vancouver via Russia and Alaska’s Inside Passage, which already has over 550 local passengers booked.
Black said as well as Viking’s existing five ocean-going vessels a further ten are on order, with the huge capacity growth meaning “we’ll probably end up with more than one ship in Australia”.
Today’s issue of CW is coming to you courtesy of Viking Cruises, aboard Viking Orion en route from Venice to Rome.
VIKING Orion is now about halfway through its Italian Sojourn itinerary, having visited Venice, Sibenik in Croatia, Bari and today arriving in Crotone.
The voyage is taking us right around the “boot” of Italy, with the ship calling in Sicily tomorrow before heading to Naples and finishing the weeklong trip in Rome.
In each daily destination Viking offers a host of shore excursions, including an option provided at no extra cost, plus a range of more extensive paid explorations and experiences.
Meanwhile, on board the Australian agents are enjoying the various dining venues and the array of beverage options.
The huge spa and fitness centre is a standout, as are the many common areas around the ship which offer an array of places to meet others or just simply chill out.
Last night the ship’s pool deck featured a movie under the stars, while guests have also made the most of the high tea in the Wintergarden plus a nightly show in the Star Theatre