Group travellers are partly responsible for an increase in bookings with cruise line Voyages to Antiquity.
The firm, which sails the Aegean Odyssey to cultural destinations such as Greece, Jordan, Morocco and South Africa, has reported a 38 per cent increase in UK ocean cruise sales for 2019.
Group passenger bookings are up by a quarter since last year and now represent 40 per cent of total business.
Staff celebrated the news with a private cruise of their own, taking high tea as they sailed down the River Thames in Oxford.
Managing director Jos Dewing said: “I was unsure if we would be able to match the incredible results in the UK for our 2018 programme but to have smashed them year on year for 2019 forward sales is fantastic.
“Our Oxford office is the most focused and engaged team of sales and service professionals I have ever worked with and while we are a small, niche and single ship operator, we seem to have carved out a totally unique place for ourselves in a busy and vibrant industry."
About Voyages to Antiquity
The company’s mantra is ‘small-ship cruising at its best’ and its single ship the Aegean Odyssey is suited to destination-rich itineraries. Some of the cruises have a historic theme, like the Crusades or Byzantine history, while others visit locations to combine ancient sites.
Some of its 2019 voyages include Classical Greece & Southern Italy, The Black Sea & Greek Islands, Italian & Adriatic Highlights and Beyond Burma & the Malay Peninsula.
Voyages to Antiquity offers a free cabin for the group leader plus free places, the opportunity to add a private guest speaker programme as well as flexible rates for fly-cruise options. Shore excursions, including full day tours with three-course lunches as well as gratuities and drinks with dinner are included in the cruises too.
Main image: Voyages to Antiquity's Aegean Odyssey ship at sea.