Paul Ludlow (P&O Cruises UK’s President) reported that booking levels were more than 100% up in the 2-week period since Christmas versus 2019 as he confirmed an intention to hike prices.
Speaking on the company’s newest ship Arvia last week, Paul Ludlow said the wave peak sales period had been a really important time of the year and revealed how the line was booking “twice the volume” of cruise passengers compared with “a normal year” in pre-COVID 2019.
He confirmed his ambitions to hike prices when asked about cheap, attractive fares for voyages during the Easter holidays.
Ludlow said he would like to put prices up - it was phenomenal value. They had led their creative proposition with the ‘More Holiday For Your Money’ tagline which was about the value proposition that they offered.
Asked if prices were too low and the cruise industry was entering a price war, Ludlow said:
“At the moment, people are playing pretty sensibly. It’s all about supply and demand and where we can see opportunities to push prices we absolutely do that.
“If we need to drive price down to drive more volume we do that as well. The whole cruise industry wants to put prices up because the value we offer is unbeatable.”
He added that “typically” P&O Cruises prices were ~£100 per person per night on average.
Asked about newbuilds beyond Arvia, Ludlow said they had not got any vessels coming in for the next few years and would have a couple of years of consolidation.