So cruise (www.socruise.com) came about as a result of its founders passion for travel and frustration at not being able to find quality, free and honest reviews of cruises that were specifically for the British cruise market. Two years on, and the online travel agency, cruise-lovers’ community and news source is booming. As the travel industry gears up for National Cruise Week, September 20-27 2009, so cruise is perfectly placed to reap the benefits of the increased interest in cruise holidays. To prove it, so cruise has recently gained more than 1000 new members.
Booking holidays online has become commonplace, but in 2008, 83% of the 1.5 million Britons who took a cruise still booked through a travel agent. This is because a cruise is a higher-risk enterprise for inexperienced cruise takers: if you make the wrong choice, you’re literally a captive market, whereas if you choose the wrong hotel or resort for a land-based holiday, you can simply travel further to get away from your mistake. But cruises offer great advantages when money is tight: they allow the holidaymaker to visit lots of different places without having to pack and unpack or book multiple destinations, they offer largely ‘all-in’ costings so it is easier to budget for your break and they provide top quality entertainment so you don’t have to pay extra for a great show or some live music.
So clever cruise travelers are looking for agents that combine the ease and deals of online booking with the knowledge and expertise of the travel agent, and those two aspects come together in so cruise, where expert agency staff and passenger-led community come together to provide the best information and the best deals. Ten new cruise ships will be launched this year, with another 29 being launched between 2010 and 2012, and so cruise will offer news, reviews, commentary and debate about the cruise holiday world, as well as bringing some of the best prices to the online booker.