FLIGHT Centre Travel Group (FCTG) is set to relaunch its Cruiseabout brand in Australia, which will incorporate a national retail shop network, a local call centre, and online booking functionality.
Cruieseabout was axed by FCTG over five years ago, with the “modernised” brand to be primarily focused on the fly-cruise segment, offering cruise deals and exclusive rates, as well as exclusive product with key suppliers, all leveraged under the company’s global supply network.
The Gold Coast-based call centre and online booking capabilities will launch toward the end of the year, with the retail shop network to be inaugurated in Sydney, before rolling out to other capital cities in 2024, Chief Executive Officer Leisure Brands James Kavanagh told travelBulletin.
He said reviving Cruiseabout will signal a distinctive offering to the market for Australian cruisers, which local travellers have been missing out on.
“We’re able to offer a modernised and refreshed retail cruise brand to customers who have been missing out for years now,” Kavanagh added.
“Our model, with its national footprint, Australian-based call centre and online booking functionality all serviced by specialist cruise experts, will be the only one of its kind.”
“Our cruise customers – whether they book online, over the phone or through a cruise expert in-store -will have access to FCTG’s entire range of cruise options, as well as competitive bundled deals on airfares, hotels, tours and more, which is unrivalled in the Australian marketplace”.
FCTG has also announced the re-establishment of a dedicated wholesale cruise division, to support the needs of Australian cruise customers.
Chief Executive Officer Supply Greg Parker told travelBulletin the wholesale offering will support the complex requirements of cruise packages and service the needs of FCTG brands, as well as external independent agencies, via exclusive pricing of unique bundled packages.
Kavanagh added the global cruise industry is thriving once more, rebounding faster than international departures and arrivals, which prompted FCTG to relaunch Cruiseabout, to greater service Australian cruisers.
“We know from research that cruise has a high return rate for travellers with around 85% of cruisers intent to cruise again and globally, there is approximately four million worth of brand-new cruise customers predicted to cruise over the next 18 months,” he estimated.
“We want to be part of the cruise industry’s growth story with our revived offering.”
Cruiseabout’s leadership is set to be announced in the coming weeks, while recruiting for roles across the retail network, call centre, and wholesale division will also commence shortly.