If Seabourn's first-quarter bookings are any indication, people are still taking vacations and taking advantage of unreal deals.
Seabourn announced that it achieved record bookings during the three months that ended March 31. The line attributed its success to a "surge in both first-time guests and first-time travel agents who responded to its Yachting Collection Savings program for 2009 voyages." This included cruises as much as 65 percent off the list price.
The line said the number of first-timers rose by 67 percent in the first three months of 2009 versus the first quarter of 2008. Concurrently, the number of travel agents who booked clients on Seabourn for the first time increased 36 percent.
Prices for a seven-night European cruise start at $2,499 per person and $1,599 per person for the Caribbean.
Seabourn's value pricing has allowed clients to cruise with a luxury line—something they weren't able to do prior the promotions. Case in point, Ginny Wilson-Gordon, of Travel Group, Inc. in Greenville, SC, reported that, "With this promotion I have been able to market itineraries on Seabourn to my five-star clients that they wouldn't have considered in the past, and now I am making final payments totaling $60,000."
The debut of Seabourn Odyssey, which begins its maiden voyage from Venice on June 24, has also helped propel bookings. The ship is the first of three new ships the company will introduce between 2009 and 2011.