Travel Weekly caught up with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)’s director of sales for Australia and New Zealand, Damian Borg, to find out how agents can maximise their success and convert clients to book their next cruise.
Tip #1: Utilise those future cruise credits
Future cruise credits (FFCs) are the lowest of hanging fruit and are ripe for the picking, according to Borg.
“Start looking at how you can connect with these guests so that you can maximise conversion of FCCs,” he said.
“In most cases, they have chosen credit over a refund for a reason, so we already know they have plans to cruise again in the future.”
The cruise line offers trade partners a range of tools to identify and connect with FCC clients, including an editable flyer that travel agents can add the FCC value to, a report of their FCCs/details, and a guide on how to apply FCCs to new bookings.
Tip #2: Don’t ignore 2023
While 2022 is definitely trending right now for international travel, NCL has also noticed an increase in interest and bookings for 2023.
“There is no harm in testing the waters with your clients, particularly if they are still a little anxious about committing to travel in 2021 or 2022,” Borg told Travel Weekly.
“If you would like to know what NCL’s current hot destinations are for 2022 and 2023, you can lock in a ‘NCL WAVE update session’ on our Book-A-BDM platform at a time and in a way that suits you.”
Tip #3: Lean on NCL’s handy resources
Sales and marketing planning may not have been your top priority in recent months, but that’s okay, because NCL has been busy behind the scenes building a suite of tools to help you re-engage your clients.
“Whether it be a planning session for a cruise consumer event, an update on our current promotions or a strategy session on maximising FCCs, we are here to kickstart our partners’ 2021 plans,” Borg said.
“We also have a range of collateral items available for agents to get the ball rolling, with tools available through our travel agent platform, Norwegian Central. These tools include our WAVE checklist, promotional toolkits, our NCLU training courses and more.”
Tip #4: Europe in 2022 is HOT
As a fly-cruise specialist, Europe has always been one of NCL’s top destinations.
Borg said consumers have been dreaming of returning to the pristine waters of the Mediterranean, and the cruise line is seeing strong conversions for Europe enquiries for travel in 2022 and 2023.
“The great thing here is that agents are almost certain to generate even more revenue opportunities from these guests, as they are likely to extend their holiday beyond the ocean into rivers and tours,” he added.
“You don’t have to find more customers to sell to – you just have to sell more to those you have.”
Tip #5: Take advantage of close-to-home itineraries
The all-new Norwegian Spirit will be coming Down Under for the first time in December 2021 for her inaugural Australia and New Zealand season.
“For guests that are eager to explore more of Asia, there are plenty of unique and immersive itineraries on sale for Norwegian Sun throughout 2022 and 2023.”
To help you sell your way to even more success this wave season, check out NCL’s top destinations below:
- 7-Day Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain on board Norwegian Epic (April-September 2022, May-October 2023)
- 12-Day Australia & New Zealand: Auckland & Melbourne to Sydney on board Norwegian Spirit (4 January 2022)
- 9-Day Baltic: Germany, Russia, Sweden & Finland on Norwegian Getaway (May-August 2022 and 2023)
- 7-Day Hawai`i: Inter-island on board Pride of America (departs every Saturday, year-round, 2022-2023)
And, if that’s not enough, NCL also has a timely promotion that sees all stateroom categories across all ships and destinations receiving all five free Free at Sea offers, with 50 per cent reduced deposits also available.
With NCL’s ‘Take 5 Free’, guests can enjoy a free beverage package, shore excursion credit, specialty dining package, WiFi package and access to the cruise line’s offer of the third and fourth guest sailing at a reduced rate (on select sailings) – worth US$2,900 in overall value.
Australian and New Zealand guests can take advantage of this promo across any vessel in NCL’s fleet, with over 300 stunning destinations to choose from including Europe, Hawaii, Alaska, and Asia, along with closer-to-home voyages in Australia and New Zealand.