EXCLUSIVE: European River cruise charters for Luxury Escapes

First private departure sold out in days

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As part of an ongoing strategy to add new products to its inventory, Luxury Escapes has secured three private European river cruise charter sailings.

The e-commerce travel company is now selling a third charter on the Enchanting Europe 15-day all-inclusive cruise operating between Amsterdam and Budapest on the five-star Royal Emerald, overseen by Cruise Commerce. The cruise is valued at $7,500 per person twin share, but Luxury Escapes is offering cabins on its charter starting from $4,500 per person twin share. The first charter, scheduled for 14 September 2019, sold out in a flash, with a second sailing on 28 September now only offering limited spaces. Such is the demand that a third departure on 12 October 2019 has now been introduced.

Luxury Escapes Managing Director, Adam Schwab told LATTE the addition of European river cruise private charters was driven by the company’s members.

“After the success of our Created by LE tours and the unbelievably positive feedback from our members, it made sense that the next step in expanding our product offering was European river cruising,” Schwab said.

“By partnering with one of the best ships on European waters, and taking exclusive charters, we’ve been able to tailor a true ‘Luxury Escapes’ experience – it’s like getting a top five-star experience for a three-star price.”

With a multitude of luxury river cruise operators already heavily promoted in the Australian market, Luxury Escapes was keen to work with a brand with a lower profile.

“We wanted to offer our members something unique and work with a luxury vessel that doesn’t currently operate with the Australian market. Through our partnership with Cruise Commerce, we’ve been able to have a lot of input over the entire customer experience as well as work with a company who also shares a lot of our philosophies and values,” he explained.

Luxury Escapes will also be able to tailor the full experience for guests, with members able to access a range of “LE Insider” perks.

“We’re working closely with the team so that the crew are essentially de facto LE team members and are well versed in the LE message and brand. The other benefit of booking with LE for any product, be it cruise, tour or hotel stay, is that our team is available 24/7 every single day of the year by phone or email so if there are any small issues, we can get them resolved in hours,” Schwab told LATTE.

“Our first departure sold out within days and now the second cruising has also now sold out. We have added a third departure just to allow all our members who may have missed the original notification. While we expected them to be super popular, we were shocked that the first cruise sold out in virtually days.”

Given the immediate success of Luxury Escapes’ maiden private charter ship offering, the company is already looking beyond Europe, with Schwab confirming that Egypt and China are “absolutely on the cards”.

“We are always speaking with our members and getting feedback on the experiences they want.”

That strategy may also see Luxury Escapes take the next step beyond the rivers and into small ocean-going ships.

“One of the best things about Luxury Escapes is that we are able to be really agile and very quickly respond to what our customers want, so experiences like small ships and even private jet charters are absolutely on the horizon. Because we cut out the retailer and wholesaler, and we take a smaller margin than most competitors due to our marketing strength, we can pass on huge savings to customers, so it’s really a win-win and we can provide the world’s most luxurious holidays for a much better price than anyone else on earth, ” he said.

Schwab also confirmed Luxury Escapes’ European private river cruise charter program would be available for TravelManagers and italktravel agents to promote and sell, earning them a commission on sales.

Details on Luxury Escapes’ private cruise charters can be found here.

Note: An earlier version of this article referenced a partnership between Luxury Escapes and Noble Caledonia. This has since been clarified, with the charter arrangement of Royal Emerald organised through mediator Cruise Commerce. Further, LATTE has been advised there is no partnership between Luxury Escapes and Noble Caledonia of any form.

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