Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2021

8 2 look after our mental and physical well-being,” explains Hebblethwaite. “I suspect that people will prefer to take life a bit slower and enjoy a travel experience with more fresh air and a better view. Ferries are perfectly suited to that view of the world.” To become popular with everyone, however, ferries must offer far more than just a way to get from A to B. “People are more conscious about their finances now and will want better value for money in future,” says Hebblethwaite. “We know that long-haul travel will take a hit, so this is a golden opportunity to prove to people that ferries provide access to incredible adventures closer to home and that the journey itself is also a fundamental part of the adventure. “Travelling on our ships is already inspiring but while we have greater access to an audience that has traditionally travelled further afield, we must seize the opportunity to improve the whole end-to-end journey and showcase what we can offer closer to home. We need to make it easier and more enjoyable than ever to book and travel on ferries.” Hebblethwaite adds that P&O Ferries must create more reasons for people to travel too, particularly on its shorter routes. “Day trips and weekend breaks will be more popular and so we’ve got to respond with competitive options for shorter trips – both onboard and at the destination.” One draw for many UK-based passengers is that the completion of Brexit means they will now be able to reap the benefits of duty-free shopping during their ferry journey. “Duty-free shopping was a huge part of the industry 20 years ago and is set to be so again,” says Hebblethwaite. “The prices are a great motivator for getting on a ferry and we’re delighted to have partnered with retailer World Duty Free. Our shops now have an amazing “ Ferry travel has a strong play in a post-Covid world as we are all reflecting on how we live our lives” INTERV IEW P&O Ferries has continued providing vital services to key workers and others throughout the pandemic, including on the route between Larne, Northern Ireland and Cairnryan, Scotland