Panache Cruises pledges to continue expanding UK business after US launch

Panache Cruises has pledged to continue developing and expanding its core UK business after opening its first international office in Orlando last week.

The luxury cruise specialist agency expanded into the US market in July 2023, focusing solely on cruise customers living on the East Coast and selling $2.5 million worth of cruises in its first eight months, according to partnerships director Anna Perrott.

In an aim to take the business to “the next level”, the agency opened an Orlando office on May 30 and hired eight staff, aiming to grow awareness of the brand across the US.

Previously, US enquiries were diverted to UK staff, but with UK employees now freed up to focus on national business, Perrott predicted an increase in sales.

“We did so well in our first eight months in the US so we wanted to push ourselves by opening our Orlando headquarters,” she said.

“There are more cruisers in the state of Florida than in the whole of the UK, so the opportunity is massive.

“It also means our UK agents can spend their time focusing solely on the UK market, so we expect our local business to rise.”

To cater for an anticipated increase in UK demand for cruise holidays, Panache Cruises has hired six sales staff, referred to as connoisseurs, in the past six weeks.

The agency has also appointed a new head of sales to replace Clare Cruise, who departed from the company in April, and created a head of people and culture position.

Perrott declined to reveal the identity of the two new staff members, but confirmed both would join the agency in August.

Asked about the company’s expansion plans, Perrott said the agency would “certainly” open an office in another country once it has established itself further in the US, as it strives to achieve its ambition of becoming the “world’s largest luxury cruise retailer”.

But she added: “We need to remember the UK is where we started and is the main core of our business, so we will always ensure we take care of our UK market.”

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