Saga expands river cruise options and issues trading update

Saga Holidays
By Lisa James
23/03/2022
Home » Saga expands river cruise options and issues trading update

Saga Group has announced four new ships to its river cruise portfolio and issued its latest set of financial results.

The parent company’s preliminary results for the year ended 31 January 2022 reveals a £23.5 million loss before tax, down from £61.2 million the previous year.

The company said it plans to launch a ‘new hotel stays proposition to be launched later this year’.

Its cruise division reported an underlying loss before tax of £47.7 million, which the company said was within its guided range.

Saga said its ‘external environment remains challenging but bookings for 2022/23 remain strong with a load factor of 73% and per diem of £319 for the full year, as at 20 March 2022’.

This compares to cruise load factors of 68% and per diem of £299.

Saga’s tour operation division ‘secured 2022/23 bookings of £132m at 20 March 2022, 30% below the same point two years ago, with customer confidence still impacted by the pandemic but expected to recover over the course of this year’.

Saga Group CEO Euan Sutherland said: “Over the last year, Saga has delivered a resilient performance, whilst laying the foundations for future growth.

“During 2021/22, we reduced our debt, strengthened our financial position and relaunched the brand.

“The Insurance business delivered a robust performance with the second year of policy growth after several years in decline, whilst in Travel, we resumed operations, secured positive Cruise bookings for 2022/23 and began the restructure of our Tour Operations business.”

Saga has also announced a significant expansion of its river cruise business with four new ships to be added on four new rivers, capitalising on the growing popularity of river cruising.

The four new ships will join Saga’s two existing river ships and be operated as part of the wider cruise business under CEO Nigel Blanks. This will enable Saga to deliver its luxury boutique cruising experience across both oceans and rivers.

The new ships will join Saga’s Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube, which were jointly named in a ceremony in Arnhem last weekend.

The four new ships will be called Spirit of the Moselle, Spirit of the Main, Spirit of the Elbe and Spirit of the Rhône, and will operate across each river, with the first due to come into service in May 2023 with the others following each year there after.

Earlier this year, the group announced Saga Holidays and Saga Cruises would cut the number of agents it works with.

See also:

Titan Travel promises it is still committed to working with agents

Saga insists Titan Travel will remain a stand-alone brand despite tour operator merger

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