MIAMI — Celebrity Cruises, one of the subsidiaries of the Royal Caribbean Group, has started a search for a global PR agency for 2021 to promote its voyages, after a year that has devastated the cruise industry.

PRovoke has learned that the cruise line, which is headquartered in Miami and runs upmarket sailings all over the world on its fleet of 14 ships, is looking for one agency to provide communications support in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada.

The company is in the early stages of the pitch process, having received initial responses from an initial group of agencies. It is hoping to appoint by the end of 2020 and the intention is for a retained brief.

Celebrity Cruises VP and chief marketing officer Peter Giorgi told PRovoke: “Our focus is on consumer communications, but the trade is too important to leave out, so we expect consumer communication to extend to our trade partners as well.”

The cruise line's UK office is the only one currently with PR agency support, from Good Relations, which picked up the account last year. Good Relations’ remit includes consumer PR campaigns, thought leadership and trade communications. Sister agency Newsfeed PR was appointed at the same time to handle the launch of the cruise line’s newest addition to the fleet, ‘Apex’.

A Celebrity spokesperson said: “With this new agency relationship intended to start at the beginning of 2021, it won’t impact any current PR briefs.”

The company’s global advertising agency is Lucky Generals and its global media buying agency is Media Storm; their scope of work will also not be impacted by the new PR agency relationship.

Royal Caribbean Group reported a net loss of $1.6bn for the second quarter of the year, after the coronavirus pandemic caused the cruise operator to cancel all sailings from 13 March. The group, which made a $473m net profit during the same period in 2019, said the Covid-19 pandemic was posing an “unprecedented challenge” to the cruise industry.

Giorgi added: “The challenges are similar to what our industry has faced historically – getting more people to consider cruising as a wonderful way to see the world.”