Regent sales chief shares ‘biggest misconception’ about ultra-luxury cruise

The most common misconception about the ultra-luxury sector is the onboard atmosphere is “stuffy”, according to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Paul Beale.

Regent is partnering with other luxury cruise operators to offer a three-day educational sailing on the Seine river in France in late March.

Ahead of the ultra-luxury showcase event, Regent’s UK senior sales director told a Travel Weekly webcast: “I think the most common misconception about ultra-luxury is that it’s stuffy.

“Some people believe that as it goes from four star to five star to six star the formality increases as you go through – that’s absolutely incorrect.

He added: “We have high net worth individuals who want to travel well and they want to have the luxuries they have at home too.”

Beale said the showcase event would give the suppliers involved an “opportunity to speak to new sellers that we haven’t spoken to before” before highlighting the “different levels of training” that agents can access.

Uniworld’s UK and Europe managing director Chris Townson joined Beale and Clia UK and Ireland managing director Andy Harmer on the webcast to explain why the line came up with the idea to launch the event that runs from March 24-26.

He said: “We just thought there was a missing gap and we could work together in the ultra-luxury sector to communicate everything better to agents.

“We thought it was time really to try and do something on our own. [The showcase] is a one-stop opportunity for our trade partners to come along.”

Harmer said training was the best way to support travel agents. “There are lots of travel agents who sell luxury land-based holidays who haven’t thought about the opportunities that are available for their customers either on a river or an ocean ship,” he added.

“I also think training is central to travel agents establishing themselves as the expert.

“Taking that training onto a ship and taking in some destinations is an important opportunity for travel agents.”

Asked about Uniworld’s wave sales performance, Townson said: “[Bookings] are firing at different rate of knots that I’ve seen in all my time at Uniworld.

“We’ve surpassed last year’s level, 2019 and we’ll absolute crush though 2023,” he predicted. “This is not just talking about river cruise. This is about the best tours as well.”

Related Articles

AmaWaterways opens 2025 pre-orders following ‘record-breaking’ months

Queen Anne’s Saturday arrival into Southampton rescheduled

Atlas Ocean Voyages opens sales for 2025-26 Antarctica season