All About Cruise with Karavan Tourism Cruise Director and Celestyal Cruises Turkey Director
While cruise lovers are looking forward to good news, longing is growing exponentially. On the one hand, the unique comfort and pleasure of being on a cruise ship, on the other hand, the passion to explore cruise destinations. And yet, we asked the expert when this longing will end,… Here are the most curious things about Cruise …
When will the cruise tours that we stay away from and miss so much because of the pandemic start?
Our industry is one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, as is the case all over the world. We have been away from our guests for more than a year. But we have good news: As Celestyal Cruises, I can announce that we will meet again this summer. We will be on our first trip at the beginning of the summer.
If we recall last year briefly; how did Celestyal Cruises spend this period?
As you know, 2019-2020 was a promising year for the cruise industry. The number of ships and cruise passengers visiting our country started to rise again; Total 271 cruise ships came to Turkey’s ports. Celestyal Cruises was the company who frequented our ports the most in 2019 by visiting Turkey 104 times. 2019 was also a year when we took Istanbul on our route again, we were the only cruise company that regularly came to Istanbul with 6 flights we made.
In April 2020 Celestyal Cruises ships would be the first cruise ship visiting Galataport and the cruise company which arrived at Turkey’s ports the most. While the plans were like this, the pandemic broke out suddenly; It affected our industry as well as the whole world.
Since our priority is the health and safety of our guests and crew as Celestyal Cruises, we did not open the season in 2020 and there were no cases on our ships.
By launching the Future Cruise Loan program, we have secured all tickets sold. We made our payments to those who requested a refund. Many of our guests continued to use the cruise loan by using the price advantage they received on time due to the fluctuations in foreign currency.
We spent this process focusing on development and structuring; We added a new ship to our fleet. Our ships have been developed in line with global and current conditions; All health and sanitation policies and practices were revised. In ships and ports of call, our crew was trained in line with the increased measures in line with the recommendations of international health authorities.
Is Celestyal Cruises ready for the Season of 2021 s?
We constantly update and develop all these precautions for the 2021 season, according to the world’s health authorities. For this purpose, disinfection stations were placed, the air conditioning system was changed, the whole ship was rearranged according to the social distance rule, and the number of doctor teams working in the first medical intervention was increased.
How do you evaluate the demand for cruise ships for the new season?
People longed to travel freely the most. Currently, the occupancy rate of our June programs is around 30 %. It is around 40 % in September. With new reservations, we expect these rates to increase for our September tours. Our goal is to reach the 60-65 percent range. We can say that the most missed tours are the Greek Island Tours. As you know, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete are among the most preferred routes by Turkish travelers and vacationers. The most missed cruise tours; Idyllic Aegean and Iconic Aegean tours covering these destinations. Thessaloniki was added to our destinations this summer.
What are your predictions for the first tour?
We have no plans for commercial gain. The important thing is to make our ships float again and to restore the trust of our customers. The first program of the new season will be All 7-night Inclusive Idyllic Aegean Tours. Celestyal Crystal ship will depart every Sunday by picking up its passengers from Kuşadası. The long-stay tour route to Santorini and Mykonos will include Rhodes, Athens (for Lavrion, Temple of Poseidon), Milos and Crete. As more countries reopen with increasing demand, other ships of the fleet will be deployed for the 2021 season.
As Celestyal Cruises, what will be your advantages awaiting passengers in the new season?
Our priority is to bring our passengers to cruise in a healthy way. Therefore, we did not increase our prices, this will be an important advantage for our guests. Since we mainly organize Greek Islands tours, there is no need for plane and transfer costs. We offer you the opportunity to travel multiple routes in a single trip. All-inclusive prices, including shore excurisons, port taxes, offer a real advantage compared to many other holiday products. One of our important advantages this season is the inclusion of Covid insurance in the all-inclusive package. Putting these together, Celestyal Cruises is the safest and most controlled way to travel under the conditions we live in.