Silversea Cruises says it's seeing year-over-year growth of about 10 percent in guests who have never previously sailed with the line. Currently, 54 percent of all guests are new to Silversea, the largest percentage the line has ever achieved, it says.
"We are aggressively targeting new-to-Silversea and first-time cruisers by going after a larger share of the lucrative baby-boomer market," says David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "We're encouraging our travel agency partners to check their preconceptions at the door. Younger people have the money and time to travel, and can appreciate the exceptional value a luxury cruise offers when compared to land-based vacations. Our sales force has made great strides in showing our retail travel partners how to tap the client base of upscale hotels like Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons, and the hard work has paid off.
"We've also been successful in attracting guests who are new to cruising by encouraging agents to scour their communities and social networks for luxury travel prospects. Our agency partners are working closely with businesses in their communities that cater to an upscale clientele and launching joint promotions and sales campaigns that benefit both parties. And, of course, we're dedicating the necessary financial resources, with about 20 percent of our sales budget going to cooperative marketing initiatives that support our agents in their efforts to target this new business."
Much of Silversea's sales efforts are being directed toward Canada and emerging luxury markets such as Mexico and Brazil, comments Marilyn Conroy, Silversea's senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas.