Uniworld looks ahead to 2021 after surge in web traffic and bookings

River cruise brand Uniworld is launching its 2021 Preview Collection this week after seeing an uptick in web traffic, bookings and brochure requests.

The line said it was releasing its programme earlier than usual due to the increase in demand. 

It reported a surge in web traffic and bookings following its Danube and Ganges offering appeared in repeats of Channel 5’s Cruising with Jane McDonald. It said there was a spike in daily website sessions of almost 2,000% on the day of the Danube episode. 

The line has also seen triple digit growth for searches of 2021 cruises in Portugal, Italy and France over the last three weeks.

UK managing director Chris Townson said “green shoots of optimism” which reflected “pent up demand from 2020” has led the brand launch its Preview Collection for next year. 

All bookings for European river cruises made before 31 July 2020 will receive a 10% early booking discount, while all bookings made on Uniworld’s Exotics programme – India, China, Mekong and Egypt – will receive a complimentary one way business class flight upgrade in addition to the 10% discount. 

The collection features sailings on Uniworld’s four new ‘Super Ships’ - Sao Gabriel on the Douro in Portugal, Sphinx on the Nile in Egypt, La Venezia on the Venice Lagoon and Po river in Italy and the Mekong Jewel on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Townson said: “We are seeing the green shoots of optimism for a bounce back in 2021, as clients new and old look forward to the travels that 2021 will bring them. We anticipate that despite the challenges of 2020, there will be opportunity for both the luxury and the river cruise sectors, as people looking to cruise go for an option that allows them to stay close to the shore. We also hope that with the enhanced health and hygiene protocols that we have already announced, customers will be able to book in the confidence that every touch point will be managed with intention, respect and utmost care.

“We have put some great pricing out in the market place to encourage people to book early – with pent up demand from 2020 and the re-bookings we have made from the suspensions this year, we imagine capacity will be tight so encourage agents to book early for their clients to avoid disappointment.”

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