Mara Nieuwsma

30th September 2021

Case Study

The Cruise Line sails to success

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Founded in 1993, The Cruise Line is the UK’s original luxury cruise specialist and is renowned for providing outstanding service with competitive pricing and value for money. Based in Sussex, they are experts in creating tailor-made, worldwide itineraries unique to each customer.

The Cruise Line are proud that over 60% of their first-time clients return to book with them again. From solo travellers to full ship charters, they have the experience and knowledge to deal with all types of cruise enquiry.

The Cruise Line utilised its combined 250 years of experience to get creative during a period that was extremely difficult for most businesses in the travel sector. After miraculously turning a £250k profit for 2020, the team looked at the current state of travel restrictions combined with customer preferences to determine their strategy.

Managing Director Robin Maclear explains, “We have diversified our product range to include more land programs, adding safari and wildlife programs through our Exclusive Expeditions website. During the lockdown period, we also launched an app and a new website. This provides our customers with a greater variety of choice and an enhanced customer experience.”

From November to August 2021, The Cruise Line has confirmed a record number of bookings, mostly for ‘22/23, while handling £5 million of protracted refunds for the 2020 summer season – all while keeping their customer base happy. This means they head into their new financial year starting with a record amount of business on the books.

The success of the business means that they are now looking to expand. In addition to appointing a new marketing person and a PR company in London, the company has set its sights on acquisitions. With a £1.2 million budget set, The Cruise Line turned to Plimsoll to target the best companies to fit their criteria.

Maclear explains, “We are looking to invest further in niche travel retail, including safari, education, and wellbeing. The Plimsoll Analysis sheds light on opportunities to acquire small companies while understanding their performance in context of the wider industry.”

The Cruise Line already has a short list of potential targets that they are reviewing, and hope to buy a business in the next 6-12 months. “The team at Plimsoll have been very helpful in supporting us over the last few years – they understand the market and provide insights that give me the confidence to run my business.” Maclear commented.

Check out their website for more information.

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