Kuoni launches stay and cruise product

of stay and cruise holiday options in its first major drive into the cruise sector.

The operator has joined forces with the likes of Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, Seabourn, Cunard, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas and Compagnie du Ponant.

Kuoni said it was a much bigger and wider programme of cruise options than it has?ever had before, with the previous programme being very specialist including the likes of Orient Express cruises in Burma.

The cruise options will be available to book from November in preparation for the peak January sales campaign.

There will be a new Kuoni branded Celebrity cruise brochure, as well as plans to promote the cruise options throughout Kuoni's destination-themed brochures and a new cruise section on the website.

There will also be a special marketing brochure at the end of the year, featuring cruise and in addition the second edition of the Worldwide brochure, set to be released at the end of November, will include cruise options.

Derek Jones, managing director of Kuoni UK, said: "Our own retail network has grown over the last five years and we now have 22 high street travel stores, four John Lewis concessions with another four due to open later this year and six partnership stores.?

"They’re doing really well – however we understand that our customers want to book different types of holidays with us – and that includes cruise.

"We have thousands of loyal Kuoni customers, many who book with us time and time again, so we want to introduce new customers who may not have previously considered a cruise option to the market."

The Kuoni cruise collection will focus on stay and cruise as part of a broader travel itinerary, but there will also be a selection of ex-UK cruises, such as Cunard's Queen Mary 2 sailings from Southampton to New York.

Kuoni’s stay and cruise itineraries include an 11-night USA and Caribbean holiday, embarking on a seven night Caribbean voyage aboard the Celebrity Silhouette and a four night stay at the Gotham Hotel in New York with an Artisan tour and New York Helicopter tour from £2,704.?

And a 23-night holiday to Australia with a three night stay in Perth, including a Perth and Fremantle city tour and day visit to Rottest Island and 17 nights aboard the Celebrity Solstice followed by three nights in Sydney with a Blue Mountain eco-adventure from £3,960.

Jo Rzymowska, general manager, UK & Ireland of Celebrity Cruises, said: "We are delighted that Kuoni is setting up a bespoke cruise team and programme and believe that there is great synergy between our b