Cruise lines know how important travel agents are to their business, which is why they have taken agents’ feedback and listened. Many have enhanced their online agent tools, and made their marketing materials more customizable, while others are offering higher commission rates and sales, or thanking agents with cabin giveaways to allow them to experience the ship for themselves.
Sales & Cabin Giveaways
Collette is having a sale on select river cruising tour dates, offering two-for-one airfare, and savings of up to $1,600 per couple. As a bonus for travel agents, Collette is also offering a river cruise for two on any of the four special departure dates for the agent with the most bookings before Dec. 31, 2014. For more information, call (800) 611-3361 or visit gocollette.com.
Amras Cruises, a recently launched travel company for North American travelers, announced the inaugural sailing of the Tulip Serenade, a week-long cruise through the waterways of Holland and Belgium. The new Amadeus Silver II ship is scheduled to depart on April 16, 2015, with rates starting at $2,950.
“The Tulip Serenade offers travelers a fully immersive experience in the region, including visits to many of the world’s most famous museums; fully guided tours of Amsterdam, Volendam, Arnhem, Meddleberg, Ghent and Kinderdijk; a visit to a local cheese maker in Edam; and of course, seeing the world’s most famous windmills up-close and witnessing the most famous flower show on earth,” says Rudi M. Joham, president and managing director, Amras Cruises Worldwide.
In celebration of the inaugural season, Amras’ executives will be on board as part of the host team; guests will receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne in each cabin; and travelers will also receive $500 off international airfare pp when purchased with the cruise, and a $200 off pp first-time traveler benefit. Amras Cruises pays agents 15 percent commission on all cruise bookings, including the Tulip Serenade. For more information, call (844) 462-6727 or visit amrascruises.com.
Carnival Cruise Lines is giving away 25 cruises everyday in October to show agents their appreciation. Agents must be part of Carnival’s trade email list (accessible through the agent Internet portal) to qualify.
“Our complimentary cabin giveaways have been a huge hit with travel agents from a sales education standpoint as they offer them an opportunity to enjoy our product the way their clients would,” says Joni Rein, vice president of worldwide sales.
Now through Oct. 31, 2014, agents who are on Carnival’s trade distribution list will be automatically entered to win one of the 25 cruises given away daily. Agents who are not currently subscribed can do so at any time by visiting goccl.com. Winners are chosen randomly each day and informed via e-mail.
Making things a little more interesting and to celebrate CLI’s National Cruise Vacation Week on Oct. 6-13, Carnival will offer triple giveaways of 75 cruises each day as part of the Sail-Away Giveaway. Agents will be able to select from a variety of itineraries, cruise duration, and cabin categories; and will also be able to bring up to three guests (based on availability). Agents will be responsible for government fees and taxes, gratuities, and onboard expenses. For more information, visit goccl.com.
New Agent Tools
Carnival has also beefed up its Fun eCollateral Library, which features electronic flyers, brochures, deck plans, and web banners for agents to use as marketing materials. New enhancements include 400 new customizable flyers for agents, updated information for destination and group flyers, refreshed content and images, customization fields for eBrochures, and specific web banners for each Carnival sales promotion. For more information, visit goccl.com.
Crystal Cruises has also enhanced its online Travel Agent Center and main website to include a new flight booking engine, Personal Select Air; a customizable flyer creation tool; and additions to Cruise Builder, Crystal’s booking portal. They also modified the policy for booking shore excursions in advance by lifting the requirement of submitting a final payment to make reservations. Now, travelers can pre-reserve Crystal Adventures excursions up to six months in advance upon booking and deposit.
“Travel professionals know that luxury travelers value details and ease, from choosing and booking a cruise to disembarkation, and will benefit from the ability to further customize their clients’ booking experience with more services and options,” says Edie Rodriguez, president of Crystal Cruises. “These new features and upgrades offer agents more choices in an easier, more streamlined format, which allows them to better serve their clients long before their vacation even begins.”
For more information, call (800) 446-6620 or visit crystalcruises.com/agent/home.