Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Celebrity’s new-look team, Viking to host interactive webinars + MORE

Have you been at home pretending your washing machine is a porthole? Get out of the laundry and get stuck into this whopper of a Cruise Wrap.

Celebrity Cruises reveals new-look team

Celebrity Cruises has announced its new, recently single-branded team (pictured above) for Australia and New Zealand.

Cameron Mannix, who recently held a tri-branded position heading up field sales, has been promoted to Celebrity’s director of sales for Australia.

Mannix is joined by three previously tri-branded team members – Nicole Stojic, Jessica Jones and Daragh Robbins – who now exclusively represent Celebrity and provide their dedicated attention to trade partners.

The sales team also includes Fiona Heron, who returns to the brand from Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours; and Hannah Taylor, who joins from Wendy Wu Tours.

Stojic, Jones and Robbins will be based in NSW, covering a broad region of trade partners throughout Australia. Heron will be based in Queensland to support agents in the region, and Taylor will be responsible for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

In addition to the newly announced sales team, Emma Mumford has joined Celebrity as head of marketing, having most recently worked at Cruiseco.

Tenneal Baker also joins the marketing team as PR and social manager, having most recently worked at Club Med.

Anamaria Torres Mosquera joins Celebrity as commercial manager, bringing over five years of industry experience in revenue management.

Lastly, Lauren Lloyd brings her extensive experience in executive and office management to the team after working at AMP Capital for many years.

The Celebrity Cruises team is led by Susan Bonner, who was named managing director and vice president for Australia, New Zealand and Asia in January.

CLIA’s next-gen education platform goes live

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has launched its next-generation education platform, giving travel agent members access to a new learning experience in a single, streamlined location.

The entirely new platform has introduced fresh features and content, along with simplified services to make agents’ work easier and boost their cruise knowledge.

Viking to host interactive webinars for guests and agents

Viking is launching a suite of interactive webinars for Australian travellers to tune into from the comfort of their home, each focused on a different topic tailored to the type of cruise they are interested in discovering.

Designed for both seasoned cruisers and new-to-Viking guests, the virtual information sessions replace the postponed in-person sessions initially scheduled for March and May.

During these sessions, viewers will have the opportunity to learn all about Viking’s global range of cruise products on the rivers and the oceans, including brand new expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as new voyages on the Mississippi River.

Commencing Monday 11 May and running each weekday over two weeks, travellers will be provided with destination information and a sneak peek at the future of cruise travel, with Viking departures now available in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The 45-minute sessions have been designed to run entirely virtually, including a presentation from a Viking destination and product expert, followed by time for an interactive Q&A session with clients.

Though designed for consumers, agents are welcome to register too. Registering means they will have access to view and share the presentation with their clients after the livestream to view in their own time.

The webinars are free to join, but registration is essential. Bonus booking offers will be available for viewers.

Click here to register and for more information.

Hurtigruten launches ‘Explore From Home’ hub

Hurtigruten’s has unveiled a new online hub that it’s describing as “the next best thing” to going on an expedition with the company

Travellers will find a world of inspiration via Hurtigruten’s “Explore From Home’ hub, which includes behind-the-scenes stories, 360-degree destination footage, destination videos, webinars, and expert insights and information.

You can find the new hub via Hurtigruten’s website.

Carnival pledges to agents

Carnival Cruise Line has announced its ‘Onboard with You’ pledge to travel partners, designed to support and sustain them during this unprecedented pause in operations.

This includes an additional one per cent bonus commission on new retail bookings made through GoCCL.com.au through to 30 June 2020.

Carnival has also made significant investments to enhance GoCCL Navigator, the line’s online booking and service tool.

Quark suspends entire Arctic 2020 season

Due to travel restrictions across the globe, Quark Expeditions has decided to suspend its entire Arctic 2020 season and have begun officially communicating this to affected travel agent partners and guests.

All of the cruise line’s guests and travel agent partners are being protected with a 120 per cent future travel refund credit (FTRC) on fully-paid expedition bookings for travellers to choose any Quark voyage for travel up until September 2022.

Additionally, Quark’s sister companies at Travelopia have banded together to expand the FTRC to be used across a range of participating Travelopia brands, including Enchanting Travels, Exodus Travels, TCS World Tour, Sunsail, Moorings, and Zegrahm Expeditions.

Quark is also offering an amended payment and rebooking policy applied to the Antarctic 2020/21 season, commencing November 2020.

Uniworld unveils enhanced health and safety protocols

In preparation for the line’s expected return, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has announced enhanced health and safety protocols.

After an extensive review of current procedures, and consideration of every touchpoint and interaction between crew and guest, new measures will be added to every facet of the experience, from on board dining and the maintenance and service of guest suites to excursions and crew etiquette.

The new measures are as follows:

  • All guests must complete health screening prior to embarkation.
  • Fruits, cookies, chips, nuts, candies, and other treats will be served to individual guests by the crew only. These treats are no longer available for self-service.
  • Disinfect wipes will be available throughout the ship, including at coffee stations and in the public restrooms.
  • Any onboard payments will be processed using a contactless payment method and credit card machines will be wiped after each pin entry.
  • All restaurant dining will have reserved seating, with guests at the same table, with the same people, each day.
  • Items that are usually shared, like bread and butter, will now be served to each person individually.
  • Gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitiser will be readily available for all guests.
  • For excursions, the maximum occupancy per bus will be adjusted to reduce the total number of people together at one time.

MSC extends fleet-wide halt of operations

MSC Cruises has announced a further extension of the pause of all its cruise departures fleet-wide through to 10 July 2020.

The cruise line previously announced the temporary halting of all its ships globally through to 29 May.

MSC is offering guests affected by this measure a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for 125 per cent of the original cruise fare paid to a future cruise of their choice through to the end of 2021.

In addition, guests who are currently booked with MSC between 11 July through to 30 September 2020 will now be covered under an extension of its Flexible Cruise Programme, which allows guests who are already booked either directly or through a travel agent to move their cruise at no cost.

Guests and their travel agents will be able to move their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021 on any itinerary in the MSC Cruises fleet.

Cruise Traveller buoyed by big jump in bookings

Australian small-ship cruise specialists Cruise Traveller has embarked on a concerted campaign to sell 2021 product, with bookings for expedition sailings next year already up 27 per cent.

Cruise Traveller managing director Craig Bowen said he was buoyed by robust bookings for future departures and resilient confidence amongst loyal cruisers, which he said showed all signs of continuing over coming months.

“Our cruise bookings for 2021 product to the end of March 2020 are 27 per cent up on the same period last year for 2020 sailings,” he said.

“This is a combination of new 2021 bookings and all the re-bookings from cancelled 2020 sailings, and I am confident that this pattern will continue over coming months.

“This trend is evident elsewhere in the industry as well. Clearly then, pent-up demand will constrict availability in 2021 – particularly for small ships – which is why we are urging our guests to secure their bookings for next year as soon as possible.”

Avalon unveils new ‘Active & Discovery’ experiences for 2021

As we all experience this unconventional layover together, Avalon Waterways has shared news about its 2021 season, giving travellers more opportunities to dream about – and anticipate – their next getaway.

The company has announced that its exclusive ‘Active & Discovery’ series of customisable cruises is growing by 19 per cent, with more departures and a new itinerary.

In addition to offering itineraries on the Danube, Rhine and Rhone Rivers, Avalon is adding a new, eight-day Active & Discovery in Holland & Belgium cruise priced from $3,795 (which includes the current promotional discount of $900 per person).

P&O extends pause in operations

P&O Cruises has extended its voluntary pause in operations in Australia and New Zealand to 31 August 2020 in response to continuing travel restrictions due to the impact of COVID-19.

President Sture Myrmell said everyone at P&O looked forward to resuming cruise operations as soon as it was safe to do so, but it was clear an extension to the pause was necessary while Australia and New Zealand continue to make progress in combating coronavirus.

Silversea shares Tale of Tales anthology exclusively with guests

Silversea Cruises has published the Tale of Tales anthology, an inspiring collective of works from 10 celebrated creatives who each travelled aboard Silversea’s World Cruise 2019.

First published last year and presented exclusively to world-cruising guests, the Tale of Tales has now been published online as a gift to Silversea’s global community to enrich their time at home.

Adventure Canada offers bonus commission and relaxed booking conditions

Credit: Michelle Valberg

Arctic voyages operator Adventure Canada is offering Aussie travel agents an additional five per cent commission on new bookings made from now until 30 May 2020.

The May bonus commission applies to expedition voyages aboard Adventure Canada’s 198-guest, ice-strengthened vessel, Ocean Endeavour, excluding Antarctica.

And for travellers, Adventure Canada has announced new relaxed booking terms for new bookings made until 30 June 2020. Until then, new bookings can be secured with a half-priced deposit of US$500 ($778) per person.

Until 30 June, a flexible transfer policy also allows travellers to transfer their booking up to 121 days prior to departure to another Adventure Canada departure, or select a future travel credit, with an alternative departure available within 30 months of the original expedition date. Conditions apply.

Genting extends support to Singapore with accommodation for foreign workers

Genting Cruise Lines has successfully completed stringent evaluation checks by the Singapore government for SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius to extend support and provide temporary onboard accommodation for foreign workers in Singapore who have recovered from COVID-19.

“On behalf of Genting Cruise Lines, we thank the Singapore government for their confidence in our ships to pioneer such an important initiative for the country and the region during these challenging times,” Genting sales chief and Dream Cruises president Michael Goh said.

“Singapore has been our homeport for over 26 years, and we are proud to extend our support with SuperStar Gemini, as well as SuperStar Aquarius that had recently arrived in Singapore.”

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