CRUISES will double its presence in the Caribbean next
winter when it brings the MSC Orchestra to the region in January
2009. The 2,550-passenger, 92,400-ton Orchestra is currently the
line's newest and largest vessel; it will operate seven-day Eastern
and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale between Jan.
2 and April 25, 2009. The MSC Lirica will continue to operate
10-day trips to the southern Caribbean. Richard Sasso, president
and CEO of MSC Cruises USA, said that the Orchestra's arrival in
the Caribbean market would be the beginning of MSC's "real
presence" in North America.
PROMOTIONS are in full force:
" Holland America
Line is offering a View and Verandah Cruise Sale Promotion through
Feb. 29 to provide sellers with "extra client motivation" during
Wave. Travel agents sign up for a two-week window and get reduced
deposits; an onboard value book that includes spa coupons and wine
packages; and onboard credits for clients who booked during that
" MSC is celebrating
the Orchestra's 2009 arrival in the Caribbean by rewarding agents
between $500 and $2,000 per week via a drawing of names based on
bookings of the Lirica or Orchestra. The line will draw names each
Friday through Jan. 2, 2009.
" Silversea Cruises
is offering up to 40% savings on Silver Shadow voyages in Alaska
" Crystal Cruises is
offering a 10% discount on Mediterranean sailings through Feb.
CRYSTAL is also giving agents another chance
to qualify for its Annual Sales Achievement Gala, the line's top
producers cruise, which will be held this summer in the
Mediterranean. Noting that several agents' 2007 sales numbers came
very close to qualifying for the gala but did not quite make the
$750,000 sales threshold, Crystal said it would extend agents'
opportunity to qualify by offering them $2 in booking credit for
each dollar booked between now and May 31st. "Book a $10,000 cruise
and you'll get $20,000 in credit to apply to 2007 revenue," said
Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of sales and marketing.
The sales threshold increases every year; in 2006 the number was
CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL relaunched its Seminar at Sea and
the next phase of its University of Wow training programs. Agents
who take the Seminar at Sea courses such as Marketing Plans and
Strategies, Closing the Sale and Niche Marketing can earn up to 40
credits with the Cruise Lines International Association. Royal
Caribbean said the program allowed agents to experience a Royal
Caribbean cruise firsthand and attend workshops that focus on
particular segments of the travel industry.
CRUISE LINE named America's Vacation Center its Home-Based
Travel Agency of the Year for 2007. AVC, which said it was one of
the top-producing travel agencies in the American Express Travel
Representative Network, is supported by a network of home-based,
independently owned and operated affiliates. ACV said NCL chose it
because of ACV's explosive sales growth, high group mix and strong
materialization. The company also received the Partner of the Year:
Revenue Increase Year over Year award from Royal Caribbean
International for 2007.
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