Increase Your Profits With Inspired UK Cruise Extensions | Travel Research Online


Increase Your Profits With Inspired UK Cruise Extensions

With the Wave Season just around the corner and a steady increase in the number of travel advisors requesting customised pre and post cruse extensions, this week I’m introducing 9 imaginatively themed 2-3-night ideas that will start conversations with clients planning cruises starting or finishing in Southampton, Dover, Tilbury or Harwich. With a little help from me, they will strengthen your relationship with each of them and generate some very valuable extra commission.

Upstairs Downstairs on Location with Downton Abbey

Several travel advisors have confirmed that they’ve watched the new Downton Abbey movie; and, I’m now talking to them about a short 3-4-night pre or post cruise extension or a longer 7-8 night On Location tour. As Highclere Castle and a number of On Location sites are on Southampton’s doorstep, do you really want these fans to miss the chance of seeing one of their most popular TV shows transformed from fiction into reality?

It’s as Easy as ABC

A is for Jane Austen; B is for William Shakespeare the Bard, and C is for the Cotswolds. Served up with flair, 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 which I have tried and tested, and several entertaining living history experiences at the Shakespeare Houses in Stratford upon Avon.

Ah! The Cotswolds

For frequent UK travellers, offer them the chance to discover privately owned castles and stately homes and gardens in the Cotswolds, one of the loveliest corners of England. With a pause in Oxford, access from LHR is dead easy and the journey to Southampton includes the new attraction at Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. Having lived in Chipping Campden, all the visits will be recommended as based on my own personal experience!

Myths and Legends

Prehistoric England in and around Stonehenge, a dash of Roman Britain, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and a Jane Austen perspective of Georgian Bath are the foundations for this tour. The beautiful Abbey House Garden, Prince Charles’ inspirational royal garden at Highgrove, magnificent Capability Brown landscape at Blenheim Palace and my personal choice of Cotswold pubs for lunch will make this a truly memorable top-drawer experience.

Living History Experiences

In just 3 nights/4 days, this tour includes 2 stunning gardens, Brighton’s exotic Royal Pavilion, historic Arundel Castle, some well-chosen pubs and the cathedrals in Chichester and Winchester. Sherlock Holmes and Jane Austen make ‘guest appearances’ as do Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard and the D-Day Museum. With careful timing, I can also include an authentic jousting tournament. Regular visitors might just like this as an alternative to 3 night/4 days in London.

Harry Potter, TM & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

In the Footsteps of Harry Potter

The highlight of this 2-3 night itinerary is a tour of the London filming locations and a visit to Platform 9 ¾ before heading out to the Warner Brothers Studio for an afternoon spent discovering the Wonders of the Wizarding World which includes the Great Hall, the Forbidden Forrest and Diagon Alley. If you can add an extra day, the university city of Oxford provides a fun adventure for Muggles and Wizards alike.

The Best City Hotel in England

The Grand, York’s Five Star hotel has scooped the top accolade at the 2019 Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards. And it is a double celebration for the city, as York beat both Edinburgh and London to be voted Best UK City. 1 hour 51 minutes by train from London, and with its own Cookery School, offer a York-based cruise extension with a side trip to Castle Howard and a sampling and sipping experience on the Malton Food Trail.

Just Apply Your ImaGINation

An intoxicating press release from a Cotswolds Distillery recently coincided with a travel advisor’s gin-themed request for a small group pre-cruise extension. My response? A Cotswolds-based tour with special visits to some wonderful stately homes and gardens and finishing each day on a gin-infused note! It also works really well as a 3-4-night tour before heading into London for the next 3 days. Take a closer look at an unusual perspective of the Cotswolds.

The Battle That Changed England’s History

For Dover arrivals or departures, this 2-night tour includes the amazing WWII tunnels in the white cliffs under Dover Castle, some historic 11th century churches on Romney Marsh, visits to the superb gardens at Pashley Manor and Borde Hill, both former winners of the prestigious Christies/Historic Houses Association Garden of the Year Award and the recently reopened garden at Leonardslee. Change the pace of the tour with a nostalgic ride on the Bluebell Railway.

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 or email him at

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