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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines reports record-breaking start to the year

Fred Olsen's 'Turn of Year' campaign boosted sales
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has reported sales in the first week of January 2016 as, 'the most successful in the company’s history, in both yield and volume terms'. Sales are up +27% on the same time last year, which was also a record-breaker.

Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: 'We are in a very fortunate position that our smaller ships provide us with the ability to create and tailor-make such rich itineraries, for example our popular river and waterways cruises on shallow-drafted Braemar.'

He also noted the lines' numerous regional UK departure ports, 'a significant benefit of making a Fred. Olsen cruise even more accessible to our guests.'

A number of our sailings for 2016 are sold out, or only have a handful of cabins left, Philpot confirmed.

the largets ship in the fleet Balmoral moves to Newcastle this year, 'which was an ambitious decision, but the travel trade have been extremely supportive, and our sales in the North East are well ahead of expectations,' he remarked.

'Whilst we have a very high repeat rate – with a significant number of Fred. Olsen cruisers returning time and time again – January has seen the share of 'new to cruise’ guests shift by seven percentage points, and the average guest age has fallen by 11 months across the fleet. This is against a backdrop within the cruise industry that has seen the average age grow by five years, with an increasing reliance on existing customers,' Philpott said.

An added incentive for new to Fred Olsen guests is that they can book a future Fred. Olsen cruise whilst on board, for a £1 deposit.

Fred. Olsen is attributing its ‘Wave Season’ sales success to a combination of factors including a strong promotional campaign, offering free ‘tips and tipples’ – whereby Fred. Olsen pays guests’ gratuities and includes a complimentary all-inclusive drinks upgrade – up to £400 cashback, and a ‘three for two’ multi-buy cruise deal and a highly-targetted multi-media sales campaign, including national daytime TV, regional radio advertisements, posters, press advertising, door-drop leaflets, magazine inserts and enhanced online activity.