Silversea hails ‘record year’ as trade engagement surpasses 2019 levels

Silversea has hailed 2023 as a “record year” for the line as it reported a 25% increase in the number of travel agents it worked with compared to 2019.

Peter Shanks, managing director for the UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, told Travel Weekly the support the line has received from its agent partners has been “terrific” over the last year, prompting it to launch its “biggest ever” wave campaign for 2024.

He said the line had a “significant” capacity increase in 2023, with a full year of Silver Endeavour sailings, the launch of Silver Nova and itineraries made available for Silver Ray which is scheduled to enter service in June 2024.

Education was a “key” driver for the year’s success, Shanks said, along with an expanded sales team, relaunched training platform, boosted ship visit and fam trip programme and regular webinar series.

“More travel agents are working with us than ever before, as 25% more partners sold Silversea in 2023 than did in 2019,” he said.

“We have also had more agent partners on our ships this year than we did pre-pandemic, with a mixture of ship visits around the UK and fam trips on Mediterranean, Antarctica and Galapagos itineraries.

“Next year, we intend to have the same number or more ship visits and fam trips as education is so important for our agent partners.”

Shanks encouraged agents to “think Silversea” when engaging with customers during the wave period, and to know which clients would make suitable guests for the line.

“Travel agents often have two types of guests: the ones who come in and already know exactly what they want and the ones who are after something a bit more adventurous and exciting than their normal holiday type, and that’s where I’m encouraging the trade to think Silversea,” he said.

“Our future growth is going to come from luxury travellers who come to Silversea because of the destinations we serve, some of which are only accessible via ship. So when people want to do something more adventurous and iconic, we can deliver it.”

When asked if the line was planning on investing in any new hardware, Shanks said: “When you’re backed by the Royal Caribbean Group, you can always expect some growth, but for now we’re focusing solely on the growth we have had so far.”

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