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Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Eclipse is one of its cruise vessels serving the U.K. where passengers can select luxury chauffeured transportation from London-based Tristar Worldwide.
Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services joins with Royal Caribbean Cruises to offer luxury transportation for cruise ship passengers.
LONDON — For overseas cruise ship passengers landing in the U.K., getting to the cruise ship terminals along the British coast can be a logistical challenge.
London’s Heathrow Airport lies 75 miles, or 1.5 hours, from the port city of Southampton, and 120 miles, or 2.5 hours, from the port city of Harwich where Royal Caribbean docks its leisure cruise vessels.
“Royal Caribbean wanted to enhance its service to customers, especially those coming in from North American and landing at Heathrow and having to find their own way down to Southampton and Harwich,” said Dean De Beer, the CEO of London-based Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services. “That’s quite a journey, especially for someone who doesn’t know the U.K. very well. We wanted to solve the problem for customers and enhance the overall service proposition.”
Tristar and Royal Caribbean formed the agreement in May. The chauffeur driven car transfer service is available for passengers embarking on cruises onboard the Independence of the Sea and Celebrity Eclipse ships, both of which leave from Southampton, and also Jewel of Seas which is docked at Harwich. Chauffeur driven car hire is also available to those customers who are leaving for their cruise from a London-based airport or hotels.
Tristar CEO Dean De Beer says the agreement with Royal Caribbean will help cruise ship passengers find reliable and ready luxury ground transportation to and from England's main port terminals.
“Now they are telling customers, ‘we’ll look after you,’” De Beer told LCT.
The service is an optional extra and can be added to any of the Royal Caribbean Cruise packages for passengers travelling on the aforementioned ships or from a London airport, according to a Royal Caribbean news release. The door-to-door-service will allow customers to start their holiday early as their travel needs are taken care of from the moment they leave their front door.
The projected numbers of Tristar-related cruise client runs were not immediately available.
Tristar has handled ground transportation for cruise ship lines in the past, but this agreement marks the first such arrangement on a large scale and the first with Royal Caribbean, De Beer said. Tristar potentially could handle cruise ship-related business in the U.S. “We’d like to think it could happen in the U.S., but now we are getting the U.K. [service] up and operating, and then we’ll see where we can take it.”
Tristar has a complete U.S. operation based in Beverly, Mass., near Boston that is run by U.S. chief executive Michael Fogarty. Tristar has a combined European and North American fleet of 526 vehicles, according to the upcoming 2011 LCT 100 Largest Fleets List which is still being finalized. Tristar is tentatively ranked second on this year’s list behind Empire CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, based in Seacaucus, N.J.