For many clients cruising in or out of Southampton, Tilbury, Dover or Harwich, all they need are transfers to/from the ports or, time permitting a 2-night stopover in London. For others who’ve become anglophiles because of frequent business or pleasure UK visits, they have a very good idea of what they’re missing as they hurtle past great castles, stunning gardens, historic pubs and locations used in the filming of Downton Abbey, Inspector Morse and Father Brown.
These customers represent huge untapped sources of extra profit because many of them will thank you for adding a 2-3 night extension, tailored to meet their interests, time frame and budget.
England has a great deal to offer these ‘prospects’ and more information on this collection of conversation starting ideas go to www.customgb.co.uk/category/tours/uk-european-cruise-extensions/
Read on. Apply your imagination and let me help you to convert what your clients are looking for into a customised addon to the great cruise you’ve set up for them.
Ah! The Cotswolds
For frequent UK travellers, invite them to discover privately owned castles, stately homes and privately-owned gardens chosen when at their peak for colour and fragrance in one of the loveliest corners of England. With a pause in Oxford, access from LHR is dead easy and the journey to Southampton includes visits to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. The pubs in the itinerary will be my own personal recommendations! I lived there for over 5 years.
It’s as Easy as ABC
A is for Austen, B is for The Bard and C is for the Cotswolds. Served up with some flair and imagination (and at the right price) you have a commission-generating ABC tour of England. Also included is a journey through time at Stonehenge and Old Sarum, some ancient coaching inns, a connoisseur’s choice of beautiful gardens and living history experiences at the Shakespeare Houses.
The Bulldog and The Bard
The Bulldog (Churchill, Blenheim Palace and his final resting place at Bladon) and the Bard (Shakespeare and Stratford upon Avon) are the foundations for a tour that includes some of the Cotswolds’ famous villages and market towns. The final choice of stately homes and gardens will be determined by your date of travel so that you’ll see the best when at their peak for colour and fragrance.
Oxford’s Literary Landscapes
Based in this great university city, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien, Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour in Oxford join forces with Sir Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace and Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s superb collection of art treasures at Waddesdon Manor. Because of its literary theme, I’ve also included Jane Austen’s home at Chawton and her final resting place in Winchester Cathedral.
Tip Toe Through The Tulips
For green-fingered customers cruising in/out of Dover or Southampton, this late April tour brings together leisurely visits to the extensive and breathtakingly beautiful tulip displays at 11th century Arundel Castle, the fabulous, award-winning gardens at Pashley Manor and Chenies Manor and 3 more internationally renowned gardens. It’s highly likely that your garden loving clients will not have been offered this tantalising combination before.
A Profusion of Colour
This fragrant and colour filled tour blends 3-4 award-winning gardens with several privately-owned properties that open as part of the National Garden Scheme. With some traditional coaching inns for a pub lunch or two. It makes a great pre or post addition to a day at Chelsea (end May) or the Hampton Court Flower Show (early July) and can be adjusted to suit a Dover or Southampton cruise sailing.
Garden loving cruise clients sailing in or out of Southampton need to know that just to the west of the city there are 5 former winners of the prestigious, annual Garden of the Year competition. Sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and Christies, they include Abbotsbury, Athelhampton, Exbury, Forde Abbey and Heale House as a unique pre or post cruise extension.
Myths and Legends
To help you generate serious interest in this tour, I’ve taken the iconic words Cotswolds, Bath and Stonehenge and added to it others like the Royal Garden at Highgrove, Arthurian legends at Glastonbury Abbey, Salisbury’s original footprints at Old Sarum and Choral Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral. The end result? A fabulous 4-night itinerary that will captivate clients who are looking for a closer look at their old friend England.
Highways and Byways of Olde England
For a genuine, living history encounter with Olde England when cruising in and out of the east coast port of Harwich, this 4 Cambridge-based nighter will tick all the boxes. It includes leisurely paced visits to stately homes, stunning gardens, 2 cathedrals, pubs, tearooms, a Dick Francis-themed walking tour, a visit to locations used in the filming of Grantchester, American World War II connections and some of the prettiest villages in England
Paull Tickner, owner of U.K.-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.