KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. -- Cruise411.com, the online cruise seller minority-owned
by Lee Rosenbluth, launched an affiliate program for agencies and
other businesses that want to refer their Web visitors to the site.
The Affiliate Cruise Partner Program enables agents and others,
including nontravel sites, to establish a link on their sites to
Cruise411.com's cruise inventory and BookItNow reservations
When consumers click through from a referring partner site and
book Cruise411.com cruises, the referring site receives 2%
commissions on the gross cruise revenue, including the air
component, when applicable, but excluding fees like port charges
As an introductory promotion, it is doubling that rate to 4% for
cruises booked before March 1.
The four major CRS companies already operate Web-based cruise
booking tools that offer agents higher commissions than they would
get through a 2% commission affiliate program.
David Lucas, chief executive officer of the online cruise
seller, acknowledged the relative attractiveness of the CRS
offerings but said the affiliate program would benefit agencies
"that do not have an especially strong presence in the cruise
category" and want to give clients an online platform with
Just started, the affiliate program has more than 20
participants, including the AARP, The Knot (a wedding planning
portal) and the Washington Post, who were on-board before the
The affiliate program, which is free to join, includes two
options, Lucas said. Agents can establish a site link to the
Cruise411.com booking engine or they can use frames that provide
similar access, but have the agency brand on every page.
Cruise411.com's BookItNow reservations technology interfaces
with Sabre, which acts as a switch to the cruise lines.
Majority-owned by TL Ventures, Cruise411.com, said it has booked
$40 million in cruises since 2000.
Lucas said the firm achieved "profitability" in June, but fell
into the red after Sept. 11.
Bookings "are creeping back up to those levels," Lucas said,
adding that January through March have "tremendous potential."