Agent enlists help of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to design Uniworld cruise

Travel agent Gill Williams gave clients an extra reason to book a Uniworld cruise by helping to arrange a trip hosted by interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

The Cruise Village homeworker booked a group of 27 on Uniworld’s La Venezia for a round-trip cruise out of Venice after Llewelyn-Bowen agreed to show guests his favourite parts of the Italian city.

Llewelyn-Bowen has worked as creative coordinator of Blackpool Illuminations, run by Williams’ husband Richard, for the past 20 years and regularly has dinner with the couple when in the town.

Williams, who joined the cruise with Richard, said it had taken 18 months to plan, adding: “Last year we got talking about cruises and Laurence said he had always wanted to do a river cruise. I said he’d love Uniworld and that’s how it started.”

She approached Uniworld about a bespoke trip for her clients to include extra, exclusive excursions and talks by Llewelyn-Bowen.

The line worked with Williams and Llewelyn-Bowen to curate a seven-day itinerary, Venetian Affair with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, priced from £2,199.

Williams said: “We set up meetings with Laurence and Uniworld to see how it would work and once we had it all in place we advertised it through our business.”

Uniworld managing director Chris Townson said: “Working with Gill, The Travel Village team and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has been an absolute joy.

“He is as fun, charismatic and engaging in real life as he is on the TV, but what might surprise people is just how passionate and knowledgeable he is about Venice.”

Townson added: “It was a really successful initiative for us, and we took bookings on the trip for further Uniworld cruises. We certainly hope to work with The Travel Village and Laurence on other bespoke cruises.”

The trip included visits to Venice’s Fortuny Museum, not normally offered as a Uniworld excursion; a trip to watch Murano glass-blowing, with all guests receiving a personalised Christmas bauble as a keepsake; and dinner and a Q&A session with Llewelyn-Bowen.

Williams said: “He was on board the whole week and the guests loved it. Customers booked because they were interested in Venice and this was an added bonus.”

Williams hasn’t ruled out creating more bespoke cruises in future. She said: “I have had amazing feedback from customers and from Laurence.”

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