AUSTRALIA’s only national cruise retailer Cruiseabout has announced plans for a major expansion as part of a strategy to improve the brand’s service offering and increase market share.
The ocean and river cruise specialist plans to grow the business by more than 10 new stores during the next financial year.
Early plans indicate the new retail stores will drop anchor in almost every state, pushing the number of national stores for the brand to over 20.
Cruiseabout brand leader Joell Ogilvie said store locations were yet to be confirmed but would include new shop fronts in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and a few spots across South East Queensland.
“At this stage we’re looking at opening most of the new stores in the first half of the 2010/2011 financial year, which will significantly expand our retail footprint across Australia,” Joell said.
“The expansion will provide a massive boost for consumers as we’ll be able to offer a significantly larger pool of dedicated and specialist cruise experts across Australia.
“Cruise is a rapidly growing sector of the travel industry with the number of Australian travellers taking domestic and international cruises skyrocketing every year.
“By strengthening the Cruiseabout brand we’ll be able to better service this broadening market with more cruise deals and a bigger team of consultants.”
Joell said cruise capacity and the selection of cruise itineraries with domestic departures would increase significantly during the next few years with three new ships set to homeport in
Australia during the 2011/2012 summer.
“New ships to homeport at our shores in 2011 include Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Radiance of the Seas and a yet to be named ship from Holland America Line. The new QM2, which has
started taking registrations for interest from customers, is circumnavigating Australia in 2012,” she said.
“These new ships will add to the likes of some of the superliners already gracing our shores including Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Rhapsody of Seas and Holland America Line’s Volendam
which are in Australia for the summer cruise season, Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess and Sun Princess. And in addition P&O’s fleet of three ships that home port here all year round will
be boosted by a fourth vessel, Pacific Pearl, in December 2010.”