British based cruise operator, CMV Travel and Leisure Group Limited (CMV), has announced the deployment of the 46,052grt Magellan to the Pacific Coast of Mexico for winter 2019 to support the launch of a Cruceros Marítimos Vacacionales and Mexican Riviera cruise programme, aimed exclusively at the Mexican domestic market.
Magellan will commence operations on 3 February 2019 with an introductory winter debut season of eight seven-night sailings homeporting from both Acapulco every Sunday and Manzanillo every Friday with the season finishing on 31 March 2019. The voyages to/from the UK will be marketed internationally.
Christian Verhounig, CEO explained, “CMV specialise in the development of dedicated source markets having successfully established markets and programs in the UK & Ireland, Germany, Australia and France. CMV will currently be the only exclusive Mexican cruise product available on the domestic leisure market. The Mexican market offers great potential and we plan to extend the season in 2020. This exciting new initiative is part of the Group’s continued strategic international development plan in achieving our longer-term growth objectives”.
The itinerary will include calls to Manzanillo and Cabo San Lucas in the Baja California peninsula plus two days at sea. Acapulco will be the primary gateway port serving the region of Guerrero and Mexico City. Both Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta, apart from being transit calls will also provide secondary gateway ports to the cities of Guadalajara, Leon and the northern Mexico States.
John Dennis, Vice President Sales & Marketing of the CMV North American Fort Lauderdale based sales office will assume responsibility for the commercial management and business development of the Mexican operation with a maiden season capacity of 12,000 passengers.
John Dennis explained, “Following extensive development work over the past year which has involved numerous visits and meetings with many of the key stakeholders and Government officials, I am delighted that the Board have sanctioned this exciting and ground breaking new venture. We will be opening a dedicated sales office in Mexico City and officially launching Cruceros Marítimos Vacacionales and the debut 2019 Magellan program during Q1-2018 with big trade launch events planned in Mexico City, Acapulco, Guadalajara and Mazatlan, at the 2018 “Tianguis Turistico” the most important event of the tourism sector in Mexico.”
John added, “The marketing strategy will include national consumer press and on line digital campaigns backed up by a strong PR and social media presence and the appointment of key trade partners supported by cooperative promotions. A dedicated Spanish language brochure, website and on-line booking facility will be unveiled during the launch.”
Special introductory fares will be on offer with deals for children and just a 25% single supplement for the solo traveller market. Attractive honeymoon packages plus group deals offering further savings, free places and other benefits, will also be available.
Chris Coates, Group Commercial Director added, “With the recent growth of domestic tourism in Mexico we firmly believe that the market conditions are now suited to the launch of an authentic Mexican cruise product, multi-resort and vacation experience. The product will be very much tailored to Mexican tastes and aspirations. We believe that Magellan’s quality, size, bed configuration makes her ideally suited to this business with the focus very much on the domestic home market and developing a product for Mexico.”
John Dennis, who is fluent in the Spanish Language and his sales team will be targeting the growing affluent ABC1 middle class sector, 30-55 age group, couples, families, solo travellers, groups and honeymoon market.
The 46,052grt Magellan joined the CMV fleet in March 2015 (ex-Holiday & Grand Holiday). She has 726 cabins including 14 balcony suites and can accommodate up to 1800 passengers. Dining options include the Waldorf and Kensington Restaurants as well as an additional specialty restaurant and the more informal Raffles Bistro. There are five lounges, seven bars, a casino, spacious spa and wellness & centre, a fully equipped gym, a new specialty coffee shop plus a library, card room and shopping galleria. Two pools and three whirlpools.