“It’s the Chinese market that is the growth driver for us,” said Dennis Dziedzic, U.S. marine specialist at G Adventures, in the 2019 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.
“We have tripled our (Chinese) passenger count from previous seasons, which is significant growth for us.”
The one-ship expedition brand put its 2020-2021 Antarctica season on sale a full month earlier, in February of 2019, allowing it to get early booking incentives out to the market, said Dziedzic.
he Antarctica product includes 12 sailings, ranging from 11 to 21 days, with the 11-day cruise being the company’s core Antarctica product, roundtrip from Ushuaia to the Peninsula.
A 21-day cruise heads to the Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, south Georgia and the Falkland Islands, with pricing starting at $15,999 per person.
A summer season follows in the Arctic and Svalbard, while shoulder season is spent on the Norwegian coast.
Trips that start or end in Edinburgh and head to or from the Norwegian coast and Svalbard for 2020 included free air from New York if booked by April 30, 2019, and the company has also introduced an optional three-day land program in Scotland.
The Norway program has also evolved, with all shore excursions included in the ticket price and multiple wide-ranging activities on offer: bus tours, hiking, or museum visits.
The company’s ship, the Expedition, is limited to just 134 passengers.
The ship has 1B ice class and a 360° top observation deck. The ship originally launched as the Kattegate in 1972 as a car ferry for service in Denmark year-round. G Adventures took over in 2008, with a major refurbishment happening later that year.
“In Antarctica, we try to do two landings a day, and we are able to embark and disembark in less than 30 minutes. Having a small ship is a huge advantage,” Dziedzic added.
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.