Simply Cruises, the dedicated MSC Cruises-only OTA, has celebrated hitting £1m in sales after launching the business just nine months ago.
The online agency, owned and operated by entrepreneurs Chris Hughes & Sara Marshall, launched in November 2022 as a cruise travel agency solely specialising in MSC Cruises and took its first bookings from February 2023. Its concept followed the success and growth of Hughes’ portfolio of MSC Facebook forums and blogs, which now total over 250,000 followers.
Sales leads have all been generated organically, thanks to the widespread popularity of the forums and word of mouth, with no advertising spend required for the business’s launch.
Bookings over the last six months have predominantly focussed on two MSC ships – MSC Virtuosa and MSC Euribia – with plans to expand to include the remainder of the MSC fleet during Q3 of this year. A new integrated online booking platform within the website is also on track for the end of the year.
Founder, Chris Hughes, said:
“When we came to market with Simply Cruises in late 2022, I said we were coming in as a disruptor. Few people saw the value in such a niche proposition, specialising in just one brand but breaching £1m in sales within the first six months of our first booking is a testament to the fact that people value a highly specialised service.”
“Our business is modelled on authenticity: We sell the products that we know inside out to ensure that we can guarantee the best advice for our clients. It’s clear this model works, and we can now scale up as part of our growth strategy. We’re gradually bolstering our knowledge of other ships within the MSC fleet and will then extend our offering accordingly.”
The business expects to grow its team of experts over the next year.