Saga has reported a record launch of its 2024-25 ocean cruise season with its river sailing and tour operating divisions set to return to profitability.

In a trading update today (Tuesday) for the period from February 1 to June 19, the over-50s travel and insurance specialist reported a booked ocean cruise load factor for 2023-24 of 79% at June 18 was 79% – seven percentage points ahead of the same time last year. 

The full year load factor projection is in line with previous guidance of at least 80% and Saga said it remained on-track to deliver £40 million profit for each of its two ocean-going ships, excluding overheads. 

“Due to expected seasonality in the late summer, this will be weighted towards the second half of the year,” the company added.

“The launch of the 2024-25 ocean cruise season was the strongest on record, already having secured a booked load factor of 34%.”

The booked river cruise load factor for 2023-24 was 74%, equating to revenue of £39 million – 37% ahead year-on-year.

Meanwhile, booked 2023-24 revenue for Saga’s tour operations  was 37% ahead year-on-year at £150 million, described as largely driven by an uplift in touring.

The tour operations are on track to return to an underlying profit before tax for the second half and full year, in line with previous guidance, Saga reported.

The sale process for the group’s insurance underwriting business is ongoing, “consistent with the ambition to reduce debt and move towards a more capital-light model”.

Group chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “Four months into the financial year, we have continued to build on the momentum in our cruise and travel operations, while making further progress in our growth agenda through the development of our newer businesses. Year-end underlying profit is expected to be well ahead of the prior year.

“We have taken strong bookings for our ocean cruises with a load factor that is ahead of the same point in the prior year, and our river cruise and travel businesses are on track to return to profitability in line with previous guidance.” 

Tokyo Transport Guide

Tokyo has developed a dense network of metro, train and bus lines that serve the Greater Tokyo area. As Tokyo is a very busy city, the public transport is the best way to get around the city. With the multilingual signage and instructions, the public transport is very accessible for tourists.

The rail network dominates the public transport in Greater Tokyo. There are several companies which operate the most extensive rail network in the world. The 13 metro lines cover central Tokyo, especially the area inside the Yamanote circle, around Ginza and east of the loop line. The busiest stations are Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station and Shibuya Station.

JR East is the largest railway company in the world. It provides most of the railway traffic in Tokyo, as well as, to other destinations in Japan. There are several other companies that provide commuter train service to the nearby area. The Shinkansen (Bullet Train) is fast train service that connects the major cities in Japan. The travel time from Osaka/Kyoto to Tokyo is about three hours.

The bus network is not heavily used in the city centre. It's more convenient for places outside the central area. They are not as frequent as the trains, but they are a good alternative if you want to avoid the crowds.

Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) is the main one serving Greater Tokyo. It is located on the border between Narita and Shibayama, around 60 km from Tokyo. There are regular train, bus, taxi and private airport transfer services to Tokyo and the surrounding area.

Narita Airport is served by express and commuter trains. Narita Express is connected to Tokyo Station via the Narita and Sobu lines. The suburban JR rapid service train follows the same route to Tokyo Station with several intermediate stops which makes the travel time longer. Keisei provides train services to central Tokyo and the suburbs, as well.

Regular bus services run from Tokyo Narita Airport to the Tokyo City Air Terminal, major hotels and railway stations in the Greater Tokyo Area. Buses are generally slower than trains because of the traffic conditions. An overnight bus service to Kyoto and Osaka is available, as well.

The airport taxi service in Tokyo is fast and reliable. They charge by the meter and additional charges may apply for night rides.

To stay away from the crowds, it's best to book a private Tokyo Narita airport transfer with us. Our premium service includes a door-to-door airport transfer in comfortable and luxury vehicles at fixed cost. The English-speaking driver will meet you at the arrivals gate and take you directly to your hotel, and we hope you enjoy the airport transfer from Tokyo Narita Airport to Tokyo city centre.

Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) is the second one that serves Greater Tokyo. It is located closer to the city centre, around 14 km. There are regular train and bus lines that run to Tokyo. The latest prices for a private airport taxi from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Tokyo city centre are on the link.

In Japan, we offer private transportation in Kyoto and Osaka.

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