Celebrity Cruises is eyeing the high-end Indian cruise market for its newly introduced ship – Celebrity Edge, which will begin sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Eastern and Western Caribbean regions in December 2018.
The very popular cruise line — Celebrity Cruises — has opened early bird bookings for its newly introduced vessel, Celebrity Edge, and is luring the ultra luxury market in India. Represented by TIRUN Travel Marketing in India, the cruise is offering 7-night sailings from December 2018 to March 2019. Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, says, “We are not looking for the masses. It is those customers who see value in our offering and are looking for an experience that only we can offer them. The industry in general and our distribution partners in particular are required to break the myths surrounding cruising in India. It is only then will people see the value in this segment, which is definitely not a niche product.”
“Celebrity Edge has introduced a new concept of Infinite Staterooms that takes an entire room right to the vast sea’s edge,” informs Apple Woo, Head, Sales and Marketing, Celebrity Cruises. The ship offers 1467 staterooms, with double occupancy capacity of 2918. Out of these staterooms, 918 are Edge Staterooms with Infinitive verandas. The ship also has 176 suites, 7 per cent more than those on Celebrity’s other ships, adds Woo.
For the new ship, the company is targeting markets in Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab and Kolkata. Commenting on the Indian cruise market, Chadha feels that cruising has not been high up on the consideration set amongst Indian travellers because of various reasons. She says, “The cruising market in India is still immature; there is lack of exposure to the products and a dearth of cruise brands in India; many myths plague cruising as people assume it is expensive or that they may get seasickness, and the landlocked part of India has not yet opened up to the idea to cruise holidays.” According to her, the knowledge quotient regarding cruise products in the Indian market is very limited and it is important for the distribution channels in the country to be more proactive and pitch cruises to their customers.
The company works closely with travel trade partners. “We engage with travel partners in unique formats. Almost 76 travel agents registered for the online training programme; as many as 101 people registered for the webinar, which included a presentation on the product and live interaction. We also conduct one-to-one meetings in a road show format in key cities,” informs Chadha.