Royal Caribbean International had more than 200 Irish trade on board a preview sailing of its newest ship, Symphony of the Seas, from Barcelona. “We are delighted to have our key trade partners onboard,” said Ben Bouldin, Managing Director UK & Ireland. They know what a good ship this is and we are totally committed to working with Irish travel agents.
“Already 20 % of Irish bookings for this year are for Symphony of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona. Royal Caribbean International has consistently maintained its position as the market leader on the island of Ireland. However, the market is changing and, despite increased competition, we have retained market share. In fact, Northern Ireland is the strongest performer in the region.
“One of the challenges we are facing is to tackle the growing family market. We have a quality product that is second to none and this is a growth area for us.”
He added that 40% of guests from Ireland are new to cruising,
40% of Irish guests are going to the Caribbean – whereas in comparison only 14% of UK guests are choosing the Caribbean.
He sees further growth to the Caribbean now that Aer Lingus is flying from Dublin non-stop to Miami. He also welcomes the new route by Aer Lingus from Dublin to Seattle, which will open up the Alaska gateway for Royal Caribbean.
When asked was he optimistic about the future for cruising, Ben Bouldin said: “RCI has 10 new ships on order for delivery over the next 10 years.” Now that’s confidence in the product!