New Celestyal commercial boss promotes touring credentials

The new commercial boss at Celestyal has urged agents selling land tours to look at the cruise line’s touring products as the company looks to work closer with the UK trade.

Lee Haslett took on the role of chief commercial officer in February, tasked with promoting the Greek islands and eastern Mediterranean specialist in the UK, US, Australia and other overseas markets.

The cruise line has two ships, Celestyal Olympia and Celestyal Crystal, and will start sailing itineraries with a third, Celestyal Journey, from September 2.

It has also unveiled a partnership with Aviate in the UK to offer agents the chance to package its cruises with flights and accommodation, under the Celestyal Holidays brand.

Haslett told a Travel Weekly webcast: “We purposely call ourselves Celestyal and not necessarily Celestyal Cruises, because actually, we have a few different products within our armoury.”

As well as the cruises and holiday packages, he highlighted Celestyal tours, which offer the chance for passengers to combine a short cruise with an escorted land tour, perhaps from Athens to Turkey.

“We really see ourselves as a destination company, as well as a cruise business,” he said.

“We’ve done a lot of research into this…and that’s what I’d really encourage travel agents to look at – certainly those tour experts out there.

“That’s an opportunity for the UK market.”

He said the name of the newest ship, Celestyal Journey, was chosen “because it really symbolises explore and discovery”.

“Journey will really embody that spirit of our ambition, but also the adventure and the desire to take guests further and get closer to destinations,” he told the webcast.

“Our biggest point of difference is the fact that we take guests further into the destination; we immerse them in the culture, we can take our mid-sized ships closer to destinations.”

He said the cruises attract a wide range of customers, from students to couples and families, with varied interests in archaeology, culture, cuisine and even nights out in Mykonos.

“Having been on board and done my first sailing on the Olympia just last week, it is amazing to see the mix of customers come together but all enjoying that that experience,” he added.

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