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95% of ECN members report higher or on par expedition cruise sales this year

Expedition Cruise Network has18 expedition cruise line/operator members
Initial findings from the Expedition Cruise Network’s (ECN) inaugural annual survey revealed 70% of its 18 expedition cruise line/operator members have seen sales growth this year.

Another 25% say that sales were on a par with 2022.

The ECN revealed the first results of the 2023 annual insights report, which will be published later this year, at its first member and media networking event in London, Tuesday evening.

While 56% of expedition cruise operator members reported that more than 50% of their business comes  through travel trade channels, only a third of these members generated more than 20% of their expedition cruise sales from the UK travel trade market, meaning that the UK trade has got an enormous opportunity to develop its sales of expedition cruise.

As part of the insights report, the ECN is surveying travel trade professionals to gain insight into agents’ relationship with the expedition cruise sector and revealed that Africa is the destination most respondents would like to see appear on expedition cruise itineraries, with 40% of respondents naming the continent as a favourite for new routes. It is followed by the Indian Ocean (35%) and Asia (27%).

Training Hub

The Expedition Cruise Network also announced that it  has launched a dedicated online Training Hub for travel trade professionals for those wishing to increase their expedition cruise knowledge to better sell the sector to consumers. The Training Hub has over 100 training videos from the ECN and individual members.

Martin Johnson, chair of the Expedition Cruise Network said: ‘2023 was the right year to launch the Expedition Cruise Network as the appetite and the enthusiasm for the sector is unprecedented.’

Travel trade members

Over 800 travel trade members including travel agents, tour operators, travel designers, product, marketing and professionals supporting sales of expedition cruises, have signed up to ECN, he confirmed.

Cruise llines and operators

ECN, the UK-based membership organisation dedicated to the expedition cruise sector which launched in April this year with 11 cruise lines/operators, now boasts 18 brands: AE Expeditions, Albatros Expeditions, Australis, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Heritage Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Intrepid, Latin Trails, Lindblad Expeditions, PONANT, Quark Expeditions, Seabourn, Silversea, Swan Hellenic, UnCruise Adventures, Metropolitan Touring, Polar Latitudes and Oceanwide.