The award reflected our long history in the cruise industry, but also the way in which we continued to trade over the last two tough years. Now that we are beginning to be able to put those difficult months behind us, we thought it might be an appropriate time to speak about who we are and what we stand for.
Founded just over 50 years ago on 1st October 1970, what is now Mundy Cruising was the first cruise only agency in the world, specialising from the start in luxury cruise, small ships and river cruising. Current owner and Managing Director Edwina Lonsdale joined the company in 1989, and bought it from the previous owners Paul and Judith Mundy in 1999, in partnership with her husband and co-director Matthew Lonsdale.
Since then, the cruise industry has transformed, and at Mundy, rather than chase after the mass market passenger numbers of the mainstream cruise market, we have actively chosen to continue to specialise in small luxury ships including river and expedition.
It is our firm belief that you cannot be all things to all people, and we wholeheartedly embrace the high touch, low passenger numbers consultancy model. As a privately owned company, we have the luxury of being able to choose partners we enjoy working with, who deliver a great product that we are happy to recommend, and that we understand through and through, and to employ staff who embrace our consultancy approach.
We identified that our role during the time that our clients were not able to travel was to be inspiring, entertaining and positive, and to maintain our position as a knowledgeable, authoritative and dispassionate expert on luxury cruising. We soaked up information from every source: we read every document, attended every webinar and listened to every presentation to ensure we were ahead of the curve when it came to speaking about our industry.
We didn't stop communicating, with an ambition to entertain and inspire; we created online events and online personal consultations, we wrote creative emails and continued to produce our informative magazine, Cruise News. Our clients responded with enthusiasm.
Of course, the majority of our clients had travel plans affected, and anxiety levels were very high: this has required a level of personal attention which plays to our strengths as a high touch, low passenger numbers business model. Availability and empathy are essential: you can't put a value on the reassurance of a positive and cheerful voice at the end of the phone. Alex's team, including Sharon, Hayley, Helen, Cathy and Tom, worked diligently throughout, whether from home or back in the office.
We are proud to achieve extremely high levels of repeat business - some think that this is easy, but we know it should never be taken for granted. We have always made it our business to keep in touch with regular clients with or without bookings, if only just for a chat, particularly during lockdowns when we know they will be feeling most vulnerable.
New clients are of course essential, and recommendations are, as we would expect, an important source of new business. We also speak to many who have spent time on our websites learning more about us and our opinions, as we discuss the destinations we enjoy and the ships we recommend.