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Croatian cruise boom inspires new brand in Australia

March 24, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cruising in Croatia is doing so well out of Australia that that the Beyond Travel group has established Australia’s only dedicated Croatian cruising holiday brand, Cruise Croatia – tying in perfectly with Emirates’ start of services to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, in June.

Senior management of Beyond Travel met yesterday to launch the new brand at the Mediterranean inspired Sydney harbour-view restaurant Café Del Mar.

From left: Peter Smith, general manager business growth Beyond Travel Group; Michael Lavilles, managing director and owner Beyond Travel Group; Tim Hallowell, regional manager NSW commercial operations; Bryce Crampton general manager sales and marketing Beyond Travel Group.


Beyond Travel’s general manager business growth, Peter Smith, spoke of “unprecedented growth in the number of new ships servicing the region”.

Separating the Croatian cruising product from the mainstream product was the only way to keep up with demand from the Australian market, he said.

“In 2013 we utilised less than a dozen ships in our range, but in 2017 we are offering over 30 with 10 newly built vessels for the upcoming season.”

There’s a new website to help with bookings:

The site was yesterday promoting a classic eight-day Dalmatian island cruise on MS Agape Rose (a new ship in 2017) between Dubrovnik and Split from AUD 1190 per person. An eight-day cruise aboard the first class MS Princess Aloha between Zadar and Dubrovnik, complete with comprehensive included sightseeing, comes in from AUD 1328.

“It’s fantastic value – just over AUD 1300 for a first-class ship,” Smith said.

MS Princess Aloha 2

“Soon we will get 2018 departures in there. It’s fantastic for travel agents, aggregating everything in Croatian cruising on one site.”

Smith said the new brand was created to capitalise on huge demand from agents and clients over the last four years, which in turn had fuelled a major increase in modern purpose-built deluxe ships in the region.

Emirates regional manager NSW/ACT, Tim Harrowell, said Zagreb was the 39th Emirates destination in Europe. Daily flights from Australia would begin on 1 June 2017 via Dubai.

“Connect to flight EK129 in Dubai, which is scheduled to depart at 8.15am and arrive in Zagreb at 12.20pm local time.

“The return fight, EK130, will depart Zagreb at 3.35pm and arrive in Dubai at 11.05pm local time.

“We are the largest market and the biggest source of revenue to Zagreb,” Harrowell added.

Holiday image from Cruise Croatia website

Outlining development of the destination and Beyond Travel, Smith said that Beyond Travel had grown from the former company Russia and Beyond. Over the years it had seen such impressive growth in Croatian cruising that forming a new brand devoted to that niche had become essential.

Smith said Croatia had come of age as a cruising destination – “and the best way to see it is on a small ship allowing you VIP access to the harbours,  islands and inlets as well as mooring right where you want to be in the historic towns of Dubrovnik and Split.

“In true Beyond Travel style, we have built a team of dedicated handpicked travel professionals who, with their extensive knowledge, will offer exceptional service to our Cruise Croatia customers and travel agents”.

Cruise Croatia’s ships are often family-owned and operated ships, with experienced and dedicated crews working to provide idyllic Adriatic holidays.

Written by Peter Needham

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