Latest figures from Shearings reveal that bookings for its new sea cruises have doubled following the launch of free port transfers.
The leading escorted tour operator has reported a 50 per cent increase in bookings on its 12 day British Isles Heritage Trail cruise and 15 day North Cape and Spitsbergen cruise over the last month.
Shearings believes the success is down to new initiatives which have made it easier for people to join its cruises, therefore attracting many first time cruisers.
Patricia Birmingham, Europe and worldwide holidays manager, said: “The dramatic rise in bookings proves that the UK cruise market is continuing to grow and appeal to a wider audience of holidaymakers.
“Figures suggest that the increase in cruises available from British ports, along with enhanced services like our free coach transfers, is helping to attract many first time bookers who may not have previously considered cruising as an option.
“The popularity of our British Isles Heritage Trail cruise also proves that peoples’ love of Britain is still strong and they are looking for more luxurious ways to experience what the country has to offer, yet that still offer great value for money.”
The company recently launched free coach transfers operating from 120 regional pick-up points to the departure port of Harwich. It also offers a ‘Home Connect’ service, which enables passengers to get picked up from their own door.
The highest numbers of bookings are coming from the Midlands and Yorkshire.
Shearings offers 23 sea cruises for 2010 with a new dedicated sea cruise brochure, created in partnership with All Leisure Group’s MV Discovery.
The operator was also named ‘Best Escorted Tours Operator’ at the British Travel Awards (BTA) 2008 and 2009.