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Have you used your Future Cruise Credit? Travel agents say most have been redeemed

Hundreds of thousands of cruisers had millions of dollars of future cruise credits held with travel agents and cruise lines.

But agents have said their clients have used their FCCs and are ready to travel.

Landmark Travel owner and director, Gerd Wilmer said his agency had around a million dollars-worth of FCCs. But now, he is down to only around $100,000 of FCCs.

The common trend was that many cruisers were using their FCCs to upgrade cabins and are looking for voyages closer to home.

“I’ve got clients who are upgrading from a balcony to a junior suite. Someone who booked a $40,000 holiday may spend an extra $5,000 whereas someone who spent $10,000 may spend an extra $1,000. What I’ve found is that cruisers are spending around 10-15% extra.”

Kathy Pavlidis from Travel Associates said that around 80 per cent of her clients had used their future cruise credits and are using them to rebook their original voyages.

“I have a few couples that had booked a Broome to Darwin voyage aboard Ponant and they are finally sailing next week,” said Ms Pavlidis.

“Most of my clients are rebooking voyages that they had missed during the pandemic. And they are just looking to travel on the sailings and itineraries that they missed.”

Ms Pavlidis, who traditionally books luxury clients on lines like Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Silversea and Ponant said most of her clients are repeat cruisers.

She also said cruisers are only keen on one destination.

“It’s all about Europe, Europe, Europe. There is only one destination on people’s minds, and they are booked for next year and 2024.

“But what I’m finding with some of my clients is that they are spending more than they did before the pandemic. They are using the FCCs to upgrade their cabins and book longer voyages. Instead of a seven-day voyage to 14-day voyages.”

Trendsetter travel agent, Adrienne Witteman said that she’s also experiencing the same, with clients upgrading due to pent up demand of not being able to travel the last two years.

“The most popular destinations are the Mediterranean on Seabourn and Arctic cruising on Silversea because there’s a sense of people wanting to do the bucket list rather than waiting because the opportunity could be robbed.”

Like Ms Pavlidis, Ms Witteman said most people were not changing their itinerary.

“Most people are still keen on going to Europe but the few people who have decided to change to New Zealand. They are great option for those are hesitant and it’s not too far to fly.”

She said her clients have mostly been booking with Seabourn and Viking.

Find out when each of the following lines have expiry dates for FCCs

  • Princess FCCs must be redeemed by December 31, 2022.
  • HAL does not have a specific expiration date. Customers are advised to login online and check the expiration date.
  • Carnival FCCs expired on March 31 2022 and travellers must sail by September 30, 2023.
  • P&O customers must book by November 30, 2022 for a departure prior to November 30 2023.
  • Seabourn does not have a specific expiration date. Customers are advised to login online and check the expiration date.
  • Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises has removed the expiration dates of FCC customers.
  • Azamara customers must use their FCC for a cruise that departs on or before December 31, 2022 or one year from the original sailing date, whichever is later.
  • Regent Seven Seas FCCs must be used within one year of the date they were issued.
  • Oceania future cruise credits must be used within one year of the date they were issued.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line FCCs must be used for sailings that depart on or before December 31, 2022.
  • Silversea FCCs are valid for two years from the date of issue. Sailing must take place no later than one year after the expiration date.
  • Ponant FCCs are valid for departures within 24 months of the original sailing date.