Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2022

5 8 “As we start looking at additional itineraries, we might go broader, more exotic and longer. It’s all about building the brand from scratch, so we started with something a little simpler because we wanted to really focus on bringing people into the brand. Once people realise they like the brand, they’re going to want to go to other places too.” Listening to customers’ feedback and being open to continual improvement is important to see what works and how to build the perfect itinerary, says Block. She is happy with how her team has designed itineraries but points out that they will continue to refine and tweak them to keep them fresh and exciting. Virgin’s approach to setting a weeklong itinerary, which includes late night and overnight stays, is to make sure that it delivers an experience where no evening is wasted. “We look at places where there’s great dining and nightlife for people who want to stay late,” says Block. “Our selections fall into two categories, we’re either choosing a place to stay late that gives people enough time to go to a major city and come back, or we’re doing an overnight in a place where the action is right near the ship’s dock. “I see itineraries as a series of destinations, and when we’re looking at a region, we zone in on the one that we think delivers on late night and overnight experiences. Not every port needs to have that because we have such amazing experiences onboard the ship at night and we don’t want sailors to miss those either. It requires a bit of balancing.” With a fourth ship expected to be delivered in 2023, Block is already starting to look at new itineraries. “With our first ship, Scarlet Lady, we had five ports to develop,” she says. “Now we’re getting more ambitious, so we’re looking at ideas of itineraries for maybe 40 ports, all the while focusing on getting some really interesting options and variety.” CFIP The Beach Club at Bimini will feature a large lagoon-style pool surrounded by seating areas and bars PL ANNER PERSPECTI VE