Summit equips agents to boost cruise sales

Summit equips agents to boost cruise sales
By admin

The World’s Leading Cruise Lines Partnership Summit 2014 concluded over the weekend with agents on board the Carnival Spirit leaving equipped with knowledge and updates on the future of cruising from Australia.

Carnival Australia chief executive officer Ann Sherry addressed agents on the current cruise market and future plans to drive 10% market penetration by 2030.

Sherry thanked the agents at the Summit 2014 for their commitment and strong relationship, something she said was “paramount” as agents are the most influential in client’s cruise choice.

“Seven out of ten cruisers will take a cruise on Carnival,” Sherry added.

Each of the cruise brands engaged with key industry partners through informative sessions revealing the inside story of what’s happening within the ‘House of Brands’.

Carnival Cruise Lines will go troppo, with the exotic flavours of Mexico and Caribbean spicing up Carnival Spirit. As part of the ship’s $44 million makeover scheduled for August 2015, Carnival Spirit will welcome a Mexican cantina and Caribbean rum bar.

Carnival Cruise Line’s vice president Jennifer Vandekreeke said the recent launch of Carnival Legend saw the ship “hit the spot” with Australians, and is something the company is looking to move across onto Carnival Spirit.

“We are 69% ahead on bookings already, and it is important to note that 11% of passengers on Carnival are repeat cruisers,” Vanderkreeke added.

Princess Cruises is preparing to celebrate 10 years of its signature long cruises from Australia by launching two world cruises in 2016, including its first circumnavigation to visit the Baltic region. The cruise line has also announced the return of its popular 75-night Circle Pacific voyage making four new port calls to China and San Francisco.

Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz said customers can expect to see longer cruise itineraries with multiple launch points on the world cruises.

“So far Australians can cruise to 161 ports from Australia without even getting on a flight,” Swartz pointed out.

P&O Cruises will undergo one of the biggest transformations in Australian cruising, announcing a food revolution that will see buffets banished from its latest cruise ships.

As part of a major overhaul of dining at sea, the cruise line has revealed that when Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden join its fleet in November 2015 they will no longer feature the buffet, but instead its largest ever array of restaurant offerings– including a market place of fresh food outlets.

Cunard revealed a bumper year of Australians cruising with the luxury line, with passenger bookings for 2015 up by more than 40%. This is due to the growing popularity of its world voyages and the new fly-cruise Mediterranean program.

The newest ship to join the Holland America Line was announced as the ms Koningsdam. The 99,500-ton ship slated for delivery in February 2016 will carry 2650 passengers and is an evolution in design for the cruise line dubbed the new Pinnacle Class.

The informative sessions were wrapped up with the announcement of the inaugural World’s Leading Cruise Lines award winners. Australian and New Zealand travel agents voted Andrew Thwaites as the top Business Development Manager while Athena Mok has been selected as the Sales Support Person of the Year.

Launched earlier this year, World’s Leading Cruise Lines is the trade marketing umbrella of cruise operator Carnival Australia, representing seven brands in Australia: P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, P&O Cruises World Cruising, Holland America Line and Seabourn.

For all photos from the Partnership Summit 2014 visit the Travel Weekly & Today facebook page here.

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