In addition, the convenience of regional UK departure ports has also proven to be a key factor for guests when booking their cruise holiday, scoring higher than onboard facilities and entertainment.
The full findings of the survey, conducted over the last 12 months, are as follows:
Itinerary / Destination – 39%; Low Price – 16%; Departure Port – 15%; Convenient Departure Date – 13%; Onboard Facilities – 7%; Onboard Entertainment – 5% and Short Cruise Duration – 5%.
Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘we offer one of the most extensive and innovative ranges of itineraries and destination experiences of any cruise line, and it is for this reason that over half of our guests have cruised with us before.’
In 2015/16, Fred. Olsen’s cruise programme will see its four ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – visit 245 destinations in 81 countries around the globe, including 42 countries on its 2016 ‘Grand Voyages’ alone.
Sailing from ten regional UK departures ports – Southampton, Dover, Harwich, Tilbury, Bristol (Avonmouth), Liverpool, Newcastle, Rosyth (for Edinburgh), Greenock (for Glasgow) and Belfast – Fred. Olsen’s ships will be positioned within a 90-minute drive from 80% of its guests.
Boudicca will be embarking on its inaugural 76 night African voyage in 2016, the first time that this smaller, more traditional ship has ever been deployed on such a long cruise – and will be calling at the new ports of Luanda (Angola), Maputo (Mozambique) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).
Black Watch’s 115-night world cruise will visit 27 countries, including maiden port of Tuticorin, in India.
Fred. Olsen is offering more river cruising itineraries in 2015/16, on Braemar – with its shallow draft – taking in the French rivers, the German waterways and a Spanish itinerary, cruising up the Guadalquivir to the centre of Seville.
Fred. Olsen will also be offering two Adriatic cruises – one on Black Watch from Liverpool in April 2015 and the other on Braemar from Dover in September 2015 – staying overnight in Venice and calling in Kotor (Montenegro), Durres (Albania) and Dubrovnik.