Hays Travel invests in world's first cruise booking app

Hays Travel invests in world's first cruise booking app

Dame Irene Hays was "so impressed" by My Kind of Cruise CEO

My Kind of Cruise, the world’s first cruise booking app, has unveiled it has secured investment from Hays Travel Group.

Created by CEO Sefton Monk, and described by Forbes as “a true 21st century revolution for the cruise industry",  the app has amassed 303,000 users across mobile app, tablet, and web platforms since its launch in 2022. 

Over half of users are Millennials or Gen Z, with repeat bookings averaging at 46%. 

My Kind of Cruise believe its users are of all ages because they are "attracted to the app for its ease of use and ability to search, compare, and book with big-name cruise operators, all in one place".

Dame Irene Hays said: “When we first met, we were so impressed by Sefton and his innovative approach – making the decision to invest in his growing business was the obvious next step. 

"We are delighted to be on board and look forward to supporting My Kind of Cruise’s growth ambitions.”

Sefton Monk, founder and CEO of My Kind of Cruise, said: “As a tech consultant and cruise fan, I had seen a gap for an app that would simplify and modernise booking a cruise for people in my generation, who are used to doing pretty much everything on their phone. 

"In March 2020 I was wondering what to do with myself, so unable to make banana bread, I got cracking on the app. Two years later we launched, and the response has been incredible.”

Two of Hays Travel directors will join the My Kind of Cruise board to support Sefton and his team with their business growth ambitions. 

Chief operating officer, Jonathon Woodall-Johnston, and finance director, Ken Campling will support the start-up.

Sefton continued: “Our ambition is to move beyond the UK cruise marketplace and diversify our product offering to appeal to all sectors of the public, including those new to cruise. To scale up well, we need access to experience, as well as financial support, and were impressed by the drive and ambition of the Hays team, who continue to grow and innovate in the travel arena.

“Partnering with Dame Irene and the Hays Travel team, including Jonathon and Ken was an easy decision; it’s the perfect opportunity to work with a business partner who can provide expert advice and guidance, whilst strengthening our reach via their long-standing and successful relationships with their river and cruise partners.

“Having Hays Travel as our partner ideally places us to continue our rapid pace of growth and development of both our technology and product offering over the coming years. 

He added: "Who better to give us the access to the infrastructure, commercial buying power, and business acumen we need than the UK’s largest independent travel agent?”

As the world’s first fully bookable cruise app, My Kind of Cruise markets its app mainly through social media and recommendations, and over 58% of its bookings are from customers who are new to cruising.