Established in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.) is part of Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation’s family of travel companies, which also include Grand Circle Cruise Line and Grand Circle Travel. For more information about Overseas Adventure Travel, visit: https://www.oattravel.com
Cruise Waves talks exclusively to Brian Fitzgerald, Chief Operating Officer, Overseas Adventure Travel
Why is cruising on a small ship better than voyaging on a mega ship?
Small ships are more culturally enriching and educational: Because of their size, our small ships can sail into remote, hidden harbors off-limits to larger vessels. They offer the opportunity for a more authentic experience closer to the local culture and way of life. Smaller destinations are also easier to explore on your own and engage with the local people.
Travellers can reach locations only accessible by small ship such as Visby, Sweden, the Galapagos, or Chilean fjords. Onboard with O.A.T. small ships, travellers have the personalized service of their Trip Leader and on many trips an expedition team who will foster connections with locals and provide a deeper understanding of the locations visited.
There is a perception that smaller ships are for the older generation. What’s your view?
Small ship cruising is for travellers who seek adventure and experiences off the beaten path. It is trending in the travel industry because travellers want to get away from the large ports and have access to more remote ports, which is possible via small ship.
What is the top destination that your company sells to?
Our top destinations include the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan, Israel), South America (including Patagonia and the Galapagos), and Europe, including sailing both coasts of Italy and the Adriatic and Aegean Sea.
Is the UK’s planned EU Exit (Brexit) impacting on your business?
We are seeing a dip in our passenger numbers in the United Kingdom, but we attribute that more to travel trends moving to other regions. The dollar is still performing well against the British pound, making it a good value to travel to the UK.
What is your favourite cruise destination?
Ireland and the Galapagos—getting to my roots at home and seeing local authentic culture when docked in fishing ports, and seeing wildlife and flora/fauna that only exists on the Galapagos Islands like nowhere else in the world.
What’s the first thing you do when you step on-board a cruise ship?
Grab a cocktail and sit on the sundeck to relax and watch the cozy harbours we sail by.