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Fred Olsen enhances commitment to attracting new guests

Fred Olsen enhances commitment to attracting new guests
Fred Olsen is enhancing its ‘Enjoyment Promise’ offer to guests sailing on their first-ever cruise enabling them to book their next holiday whilst on board the ship, for a £1 per person deposit, added to their on-board account. Full payment for the cruise will be due at the normal 90 days prior to the departure date.

The line's 'Enjoyment Promise’ was launched in December 2013, and gives new guests the reassurance that, should they find that a cruise is not for them within 48 hours on board, Fred. Olsen will arrange and pay for their flight back to the UK, plus refund the cost of their cruise.

This new ‘Enjoyment Promise’ for Fred. Olsen ‘first-timers’ replaces the standard 15% cruise deposit. Bookings under the new scheme can be transferred back to a guest’s preferred travel agent, and are combinable with other on-board benefits, such as the standard 5% ‘book on-board’ discount and suite upgrade.

Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said the ‘Enjoyment Promise’ underpins the Fred. Olsen brand, and has been hugely successful. 'Since its introduction we have had over 190,000 guests cruise with us, but only five – just 0.002% – have chosen to invoke it,' he added.

Philpot said the line expects a large uptake in ‘new-to-Fred.’ guests making their second booking with this enhanced offer, and encourages travel trade partners to take advantage of the considerable gains to be made from on-board bookings being transferred back to them.

Fred. Olsen has seen over 43% of bookings from newcomers since the ‘Enjoyment Promise’ was introduced. The average guest age across the Fred. Olsen fleet has stayed constant during the last five years, whilst the industry average has increased five years in five years.

Fred. Olsen has also been trying to stimulate new markets by cruising out of more regional departure ports. For instance, during its first cruise season from Belfast, in Autumn 2013, nine out of 10 guests had not cruised with Fred. Olsen before.

The Norwegian Fjords continue to be the number one itinerary for ‘new-to-cruise’ and ‘new-to-Fred.’ customers.

Fred. Olsen also has been seeing strong demand for experience-related, destination-led itineraries – closer to the fjords, river cruising, sailing into cities – and these cruises are by far the best sold for 2016, with Braemar nearly two-thirds full for next year already. With her shallower draft, Braemar is able to offer a  river cruise experience with all the comfort and style of an ocean-going ship, Philpot said.

Fred. Olsen has also invested in upgrading facilities across its fleet, introducing alfresco dining, adding the Bookmark Café as a relaxing new public area and creating ‘Balcony Terrace’ cabins on Black Watch, with Boudicca soon to follow suit.

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