Silversea has “great belief” in Australian market

The luxury cruise line's commitment to Aussies is going further than its upcoming Kimberley season.

SILVERSEA has great belief in the possibility of further developing the Australian market – which it is testifying to by sailing two of its latest and most sophisticated ships Down Under next year.

Senior Vice President Global Sales Massimo Brancaleoni, speaking exclusively to travelBulletin on his first visit to Australia, said the country holds the rare duality of maturity as both a destination and a source market.

This makes it a region of multi-faceted importance, he added.

“Australia is important because it is an important source market, when you look at the cruise penetration, but it is also a great destination to operate the ships…sometimes you don’t find this kind of quality in a market,” Brancaleoni said.

“When you are a big market, or a promising market with a great potential to operate the ships close to home, you have two kinds of product that you sell.”

Australians also typically book further in advance, Brancaleoni emphasised, and travel for greater lengths of time, adding extra importance to the local market.

“On a revenue management standpoint, this is great, because you can regulate your pricing based on the number of people that are coming…the [passengers] that you get in the first part of the booking curve are the best ones.”

Australia’s importance is reflected in its commitment of vessels to the local market, Managing Director Adam Radwanski emphasised, with capacity steadily growing over the coming seasons.

“Next year we’re growing by about 35%, and the following years will be similar – and that’s only measured in capacity that is already on sale,” he said.

“We’re giving the market the best possible ships so we can maximize the revenue opportunities and yields.”

Marketing Director Philippa Walker said Nova had brought a different kind of cruiser to Silversea, with younger and more multi-generational passengers, including families, particularly over the summer.

Australia even often acts as a “guinea pig market” for Silversea, where the cruise line tests strategies it hopes to implement in other parts of the world.

Silversea is also working on rolling out its S.A.L.T. program in Australia, tB can exclusively reveal, this week giving its world cruise guests a taste of the local iteration of the cruise line’s flagship culinary scheme.

Walker said the local program, which is still being finalised, will reflect the region the ship is sailing in.

“So if you’re in South Australia, Tasmania…the menu may change daily on board the ship in the S.A.L.T. kitchen, or they might do a beautiful S.A.L.T. cocktail.”

Silversea is preparing to welcome Silver Ray to its fleet later this year, where she and Silver Nova will make up the two newest ships sailing for the cruise line.

The company has noticed trends attached to the launch of the two new ships, Radwanski said.

In addition to attracting new-to-brand guests, the two vessels are also seeing passengers develop loyalty to the vessels.

“We’re seeing very clear trends that this kind of ship, whether it’s Nova or Ray, is doing two things for us, one is attracting new-to-brand guests, a little bit younger, because it’s a resort-style ship,” Radwanski said.

“(The vessels are) open to the world, full of light, perfect passengers flow, it’s been designed with this in mind.

“What they’re also doing is reengaging existing Venetian Society members that have already sailed with us in a domestic product coming back and wanting to sail again because of the ship and the experience on them.”

Walker believes the trends of younger and new-to-brand cruisers will take hold in Australia too, when Silversea’s new ships sail Down Under.

“They’re bringing a new type of cruiser, and I think younger and multi-generational cruisers to our brand,” she said.

“Particularly we’ve had families over the summer in the Med, and I think we’ll see that here in Australia as well.”

Brancaleoni added there has also been huge interest in Ray, which recently floated out in her German shipyard.

“You can really see that there is huge interest; we are really pleased these two ships have been welcomed by the market,” he shared.

Brancaleoni also said Silversea is “reviewing” its trade distribution, as well as its strategic pricing and revenue management, adding the cruise line is committed to continuing to support travel advisors through its marketing investment to generate more demand.

“We need to allocate, in the most effective way, our capital and our resources, and honestly, when we do this with the trade, we see a nurturing of our business, at least for what I’ve seen so far,” he said.

Radwanski also noted Silversea is beginning to drop the word ‘Cruises’ from its name in its marketing assets, in order to reflect a broader scope for the company.

“We want to be the experts in ultra-luxury destination immersion,” he emphasised.

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