60 seconds with... Celebrity Cruises' Claire Stirrup
Q. How are sales so far this year for Celebrity Cruises?
A. The start of the year is going well and we’re seeing high booking demand. Celebrity Silhouette in particular is proving popular – it’s her final year before she leaves us in October (the line is basing Celebrity Apex in the UK in 2024). We’re seeing a lot of interest in bucket-list holidays, lots of multigenerational holidays too. Alaska is doing really well and Asia – people are going back to the destinations that have just opened up. Our exclusive area for suite guests, The Retreat, is performing well.
Q. What’s new with the sales team?
A. We’re expanding the team, which we are excited about, and that’s to support trade even further. It’s about working with new partners, but it’s also absolutely about giving our existing and loyal partners more of our time. It’s not purely about new relationships for us. We’ll be gaining two strategic account managers and one regional sales manager, taking the team to 14.
Q. What will you be doing to help agents sell Celebrity?
A. We know there is nothing like touching and feeling the product, so we’ll be doing lots of ship visits on Silhouette and we’ll get some groups on Apex too. We’ll do ship visits dedicated to The Retreat and they will be different to our other ship visits. Our Seminars at Sea are also returning as the trade tell us they need a flavour of the experience. We haven’t done them for a couple of years. We did some ship visits last year but the programme will be much bigger this year. We’ll have 600 places on visits for the trade, which is brilliant.