Creating cruises that have something for everyone

Guido Laukamp tells Rebecca Gibson how Nicko Cruises develops diverse itineraries with multiple shore excursions for all types of guests

Creating cruises that have something for everyone
Nicko Cruises offers excursions to destinations such as the Norwegian Fjords

Germany-based river and ocean cruise operator Nicko Cruises’ motto is to create itineraries that offer guests “more experiences, enjoyed in comfort” in destinations such as the Arctic, Baltic Sea, Northern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean and West Africa. The company has renewed its commitment to achieving this goal with vigour ever since its ocean vessels World Voyager and Vasco Da Gama returned to the seas in April and July 2021 respectively.   

“I’m very proud and happy that we have been back in operation for several months,” says Guido Laukamp, chief commercial officer at Nicko Cruises. “Despite many changes and other hinderances, both ships have sailed multiple safe cruises and we’ve had many happy guests.”  

Laukamp attributes the success of Nicko Cruises’ safe return to operations to his team’s tenacious efforts to continue building consumer confidence and travel agent loyalty throughout the pandemic. “I’m confident that our hard work will also pay off financially in the mid-term,” he says. “In addition, I cannot express enough how grateful we are to the destinations and ports that convinced decision makers it was a good idea to receive our guests and did a great job to ensure safe operations when our ships arrived.  

“I also want to thank our travel agent partners in our source markets who promoted cruising as a safe holiday option and encouraged consumers to come and cruise with us – often via last-minute bookings.”  

To drive consumer demand for these cruises, Nicko Cruises has developed several itineraries that incorporate maiden calls at new ports and destinations. For example, both Vasco Da Gama and World Voyager visited the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores for the first time this year.  

“The islands are impressively diverse, which allowed us to offer guests exciting experiences in a destination that only a few cruise operators visit,” says Laukamp. “We received a lot of positive feedback on these trips, both from guests and the media.” 

Another new destination for Nicko Cruises in 2021 is Cape Verde, an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean.  

“Vasco Da Gama will offer five roundtrips from Spanish island Gran Canaria to five islands in Cape Verde between November 2021 and April 2022,” says Laukamp. “Each cruise will last for 13 days and one of the highlights will be a visit to Senegal to enable guests to enjoy a safari.”  

World Voyager also made a maiden call to Cape Verde this November, visiting as part of her journey to the Caribbean, where she is sailing Nicko Cruises’ first-ever itineraries in the region. “World Voyager, which is a small expedition ship with a family-friendly atmosphere, offers five different routes to various destinations in the Caribbean,” says Laukamp. “Guests can look forward to plenty of sunshine, as well as the chance to immerse themselves in the Caribbean lifestyle, explore the region’s impressive natural beauty, and enjoy snorkelling trips and Zodiac tours wherever possible.”    

Finding destinations that offer a wide variety of shore excursion opportunities is a key priority for Nicko Cruises when developing itineraries, says Laukamp.  

“We want everyone to find a suitable shore excursion when they’re sailing with Nicko Cruises, whether they are looking for relaxing, sporty, culinary or cultural experiences,” he explains. “In addition to classic panoramic bus tours, we offer special experiences where guests can see animals in their natural environment, such as whale watching in the Azores, snorkelling in Barbados or taking a safari in the Bandia nature reserve in Senegal.  

“In addition, we enable guests to get up close and personal with the culinary delights of the destinations they’re visiting. For example, they can participate in regional tastings or a cooking class in Mexico. Meanwhile, those who like sports can enjoy the Jambalaya sailing in Grenada or come along on one of the numerous hikes in national parks.”

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
02 February 2022

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