London-based Shorex Travel, a company specialising in creating tailor-made pre- and post-cruise stays, had ceased trading today.
The company was launched in 2010, offering tailor-made shore excursions, hotels, transfers and car hire in popular ports like Venice, Rome, Miami and New York. The company was built on the idea that customers could create a comprehensive, custom-cruise holiday by booking cruise add-ons through their travel agent while booking a cruise. In many cases, the excursions offered were similar to cruise lines' own tours, but cost less.
Co-founder and managing director Tom Allen blamed the economic downturn and lack of funding for the company's demise, also hinting that it was perhaps an idea that was ahead of its time. He said in a press statement: "While the whole area of cruise repackaging, particularly adding pre- and post-cruise add-ons, is growing strongly within the cruise industry, agents are still primarily focused on selling the basic cruise and flight packages. Consequently, it has proved impossible for us to get up to required booking levels."
Allen said that there would be minimal effect on members of the public who had booked his company's services as their money was being held securely by their travel agents who would be able to use it to re-book elsewhere.
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor