Cruise retail networks expand to land products

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Insight logoCruiseOne and Cruises Inc., the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based cruise retail networks owned by World Travel Holdings, are broadening the scope of their businesses with offerings beyond the seas.

The sister firms have established a land division and announced 10 "preferred land partners" that their franchise owners and independent agents can sell.

The division, which will be rolled out in stages, signed on top-tier brands as its initial supplier partners: Apple Vacations, Club Med, Disney, Funjet Vacations, Globus, Gogo, Sandals Resorts, Trafalgar, Travel Impressions and US Airways Vacations.

Phases expected to launch over the next 24 months will include the addition of "Official Land Partners, in order to fully support consumer demand and agents' growing needs for suppliers," the firms said.

In preparation for the rollout, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. said they implemented several strategic initiatives to ensure a seamless transition for agents and consumers. Operations enhancements included designing a land-friendly invoice and crafting a "train-the-trainer-style," continuing-education program for the companies' headquarters staff.

The cruise retailers also have started integrating land content into their initial training program for new agents and have created a continuing-education program for existing agents.

"While our new land division will evolve over time, the network of preferred land partners we have assembled out of the gate will be our primary focus," said Dwain Wall, senior vice president and general manger of both firms.

"We are fully prepared to offer our official land partners the same unprecedented level of support we have offered our top cruise line partners over the past 27 years, with an array of innovative marketing, training and sales support programs," he said.

"In exchange, our franchise owners and agents will now have access to exclusive land-based travel promotions and the highest possible land commissions," said Wall.

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