Land vacations and
river cruises are popular options this year for rewarding top-selling cruise
For instance, Cruise
Planners took a group of nearly two dozen agents on a weeklong tour of Italy
in April, hosted by Cruise Planners executives Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia.
The group started in Florence and stayed at
the Villa la Palagina in Tuscany and the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa
in Lake Maggiore, among other spots. The trip revolved around shopping; great
food and wine; and authentic Italian experiences, Cruise Planners said.
“This year, we have grown our land-based
business so it was a natural decision to experience Europe with so many of our
top-producing agents,” said Fee, Cruise Planners’ CEO and co-founder.
A month earlier, Vacation.com took a group of
28 of its best-selling agents and
their guests on a chartered five-night cruise to Belgium and the Netherlands aboard Avalon Waterway’s Avalon Illumination as a way to
reward their success.
While in the Netherlands, guests took excursions to the Keukenhof gardens
in Lisse, toured 17th century windmills and spent an exclusive evening in
Rotterdam for a Best of Rotterdam gala dinner event.
V-com President John Lovell said the trip
fostered networking between agency owners, suppliers and the headquarters
“The small and intimate nature of the event
was a real highlight,” said llie Noyes, manager of the vacation division at Acendas
Travel, Kansas City.
At CruiseOne, 17 of the 20 top-producing franchise owners in the network’s
Circle of Excellence recognition program took a Tulip Time river cruise earlier
in May aboard the AmaSonata.
voyage was capped by a dinner with Kirsten Karst, executive vice president and
co-owner of AmaWaterways, and Brad Tolkin, co-CEO/chairman of CruiseOne’s parent
company, World Travel Holdings.
Interestingly, none of the groups took an
ocean cruise, which remains the bread-and-butter product of many travel
agencies, although the Cruise Planners’ trip did feature a tie-in with Oceania
Joe Eastup, regional sales director in South
Florida for Oceania, presented information about the line’s product and
European sailings while on the Cruise Planners river trip.