Silversea avoids cancellations by substituting Japan stops

SILVERSEA Cruises’ Silver Shadow will not stop at any Japanese ports in four of its Asian voyages in April and May. They will instead be replaced with calls in China, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Referring to the change as a “difficult decision to make”, COO Kenneth Watson told TTG Asia e-Daily that many customers who were booked on those trips had done so to see Japan.

“But the concerns (of the nuclear crisis) far outweighed the guests’ desire to see the sights. We found that a lot of guests were concerned about calling at any ports of Japan, even at ports far away (from the affected area),” Watson explained.

He said there were several cancellations initially for voyages involving stops in Japan, but the revised itineraries and incentives, such as a complimentary two-day land programme in Beijing, encouraged customers to retain their bookings.

Steve Odell, senior vice president, Asia-Pacific, said the itinerary changes had even drawn new bookings, as they now feature an in-depth showcase of China, including Dalian, Tianjin and Qingdao.

Silver Shadow will next return to Asia in September, and the company is deliberating whether to replace Japan with other Asian ports for that season.

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