Albatros Expeditions will grow capacity with the addition of the 186-guest Ocean Victory for the 2020-2021 Antarctica season as the second SunStone newbuild joins the company on a long-term charter agreement. Another ship follows in 2022.
Gorm Pedersen, managing director, told Cruise Industry News in the 2019 Expedition Market Report that over 50 percent of the company’s business is sourced in Asia, and mainly in China.
In Beijing, Albatros has a six-person strong regional office helping drive full ship charters.
The expedition brand will continue to operate the 198-guest Ocean Atlantic year-round, while the Ocean Victory transfers to Victory Cruise Lines for a summer Alaska program.
“What is also new is that we will operate on the Chilean coast as the vessel moves to Alaska,” Pedersen said.
“One of the game changers for us is adding the Chilean and Patagonia fjords, which is a new program and has seen good response.”
While Victory “takes over” the ship for the summer, Albatros will be a partner, also helping sell staterooms.
“It is a very interesting cooperation which is new, and we are working closely together,” Pedersen said. “It’s a new vessel, and we need to build new itineraries and go to market. So far, the response has been very positive.
“There is demand in Alaska for different products.”
Albatros will thus have two unique ships with the Ocean Victory offering a more deluxe, upscale product, and the Ocean Atlantic offering a more medium-range product.
“We have partners trying to work in (different) segments,” said Pedersen. In April, he gathered five of his sales managers for a meeting in Denmark to fine-tune the product details aboard the Ocean Victory. A number of features, including cabin design, on the new ship have been designed with the Chinese market in mind.
About the Expedition Market Report:
The 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News is a comprehensive overview of the booming expedition market, profiling 39 operators, over 40 new ships and projecting capacity growth through 2027. The 196-page PDF is a deep dive into all aspects of the expedition cruise market.