Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has reinforced its commitment to UK travel trade with confirmation of its membership of ABTA, effective 1 October 2009.
The move will mean that cruise-only holidays offered by the company’s three global brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises – will be bonded under the ABTA protection scheme from that date, rather than under the current Passenger Shipping Association bonding scheme.
Robin Shaw, vice president and managing director, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, UK and Ireland, commented:
“Our decision to join ABTA comes at an exciting time for the organisation and the industry as a whole. Over recent months there is a real feeling that businesses involved in travel and tourism should speak with one voice through one body – and ABTA is taking on the challenge to be the main lobbying body. We look forward to having our say and being able to make a positive contribution on behalf of the cruise sector.
“Obviously, the ABTA brand resonates with consumers and is a well-known sign of reassurance so it makes sense to switch our bonding arrangements on the cruise-only holiday business.”
Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, added:
“Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd are a great addition to the ABTA family and we look forward to helping develop the close ties they have with the rest of our membership. The high standards and range of services provided by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd are recognised throughout the industry and ABTA membership can only enhance them.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd remains a full and dedicated member of the PSA and will continue to play an active part in its work promoting the cruise industry to both the trade and consumers. The decision to join ABTA will not affect the PSA.
By joining ABTA, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd will officially sign up to the association’s Codes of Conduct, though Shaw pointed out that the business was already complying with all regulations as part of its everyday operations.
ABTA membership and bonding does not impact on Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd’s existing CAA bonding for flight-inclusive cruise packages, which will continue under the ATOL scheme.