All Leisure Group, the cruise operator with brands including the culture vultures' favourite Swan Hellenic, yesterday played down the impact of the Costa Concordia accident, saying: "our customers are regular cruisers. They know it's inherently safe."
Roger Allard, the chairman of All Leisure, said that bookings were down 8 per cent on a year ago, mainly because people were booking later.
"Concordia was obviously very sad, but on cruising the impact will be far greater on bigger, newer ships which attract families. Our market is the 55-plus. Our customers are regulars who know how good cruising is."
It posted a pre-tax profit of £5.7m for 2011, after a £2.1m loss in 2010.
A statue of Artemis from Delos