There haven’t been any ‘record booking day’ announcements of late from Regent Seven Seas, but President Mark Conroy joins the chorus of luxury suppliers reporting very good business: “We have not had a huge boom since the New Year, just steady volume since March of last year,” he told Cruise Week.
Conroy says Regent has already sold 75% of all available space for 2010. “The first quarter is pretty much sold out, but we have some space in April in the Caribbean and May in the Canal and transatlantic,” he says.
Looking ahead to summer, Conroy says Alaska is nearly sold out, but there’s significant space available in the Baltic and on some Med cruises in June and July, and plenty of Europe space open in the late summer and fall.
Conroy is still worried about selling the remainder of available space, but not due to lack of demand. “What keeps me awake at nights these days is agents and guests thinking we are sold out, so they don’t bother to check availability,” he says. “In fact, we still have 25% of our capacity open, which has a value well in excess of $100 million.”
Conroy cites Regent’s pre-recession adoption of a pricing policy similar to Oceania’s as still paying dividends. “This strategy has really helped expand the booking window,” he says. “As we get closer to sailing, we actually have been increasing the price on most sailings. It’s interesting, as we have a price increase planned for April 1, and each week as we get closer to that date, we see our sales volume pick up.”
Contending that Regent has held prices better than some of its competition in this segment, Conroy is bullish about how the year will play out: “We plan to sail full in 2010, and we are hoping to have that almost accomplished by the end of June, so we can begin concentrating all of our efforts on 2011 in order to be in even a better position for the beginning of next year.”