Ambassador shortens cruises as grandparents cut holiday spend to help grandkids

Ambassador shorter cruises
By Linsey McNeill
24/06/2024
Home » Ambassador shortens cruises as grandparents cut holiday spend to help grandkids

Ambassador Cruise Line CEO Christian Verhounig said the cruise line has shortened its cruises for summer 2025 after seeing ‘a lot’ of late cancellations last season.

Many of the cancellation were for Ambassador’s longer cruises of 120 nights, he said. As a result, it is only offering cruises of up to 40 nights for next season.

While the cruise line’s customers are mainly better-off pensioners less affected by the rising cost of living, they are reducing their holiday spend to help out their grandchildren, said Christian.

“They’re spending their money reducing their grandchildren’s mortgages. As a result we saw a lot more cancellations last winter, and we are seeing less demand for longer cruises,” he said.

Research carried out by Ambassador last autumn found that 52% of Brits have asked granny or grandad for money, with the average amount gifted by grandparents in the past year reaching almost £4,500.

“We are and always will be flexible and adaptable according to the needs, expectations and living situations of our guests, and the reduction of more lengthy durations moving forwards reflects this,” said Christian, adding that the line will focus on seven- and 14-night sailings for next year.

In total, Ambassador will offer 31 cruises on Ambience and 45 cruises on Ambition for 2025/26, with the longest a 40-night Jewels of the Caribbean sailing on Ambience, departing in January 2026. The decision to offer shorter cruises has paid off, said the cruise line, with bookings  for 2025/26 ‘significantly ahead’.

It is currently offering a buy-one-get-one-half-price deal on 2025 and 2026 cruises.

Chief Marketing Officer Gordon Nardini added that travel agents are ‘hugely important’ to the growth of the three-year-old cruise line, accounting for 50% of its sales. “We couldn’t exist without travel agents,” he said. “Our relationship with them is crucial to the business.”

Ambassador recently promoted Karen Cameron to the new role of Deputy Head of Trade.

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