This year the promotional week, which continues until 23 September, takes the theme of an afternoon tea to encourage travel agents to speak to clients about the potential of cruising. It comes as its YouGov survey found New York and Sydney tied as the UK’s favourite port to visit, with 48% finding multiple destinations the main attraction of cruising. Around 45% also liked that you only have to pack once, while 34% would pick a cruise for its all-inclusive nature and value.
For the trade the week will include ACE’s Columbus Day on 20 September with speakers include econonomist Linda Yeuh; Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein and Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi. The day will see more than 300 delegates gather for the second part of the ACE Cruise Convention and will include the ACE Cruise Excellence Awards.
Meanwhile, cruise lines have launched their own agent incentives and offers during the week to encourage bookings. Here are just some on offer:
CMV: Buy one get one half price on four cruises in 2013 including Marco Polo’s ‘North Cape & Land of the Midnight Sun’ and a Norwegian Fjords itinerary
Norwegian: Norwegian Cruise Line is offering £400 off per stateroom on departures from April 2013, including itineraries in Europe, Hawaii, the Bahamas and Bermuda.
Fred. Olsen: New all-inclusives brochure launched covering the Med, Canary Islands, North Europe, Arctic, Iceland and Norway. Free upgrade to all-inclusive package on first 100 bookings for each departure.
Cruisingexcursions.com: Agents have been asked to send in photos and a brief description of what they would like to see cruisingexcursions.com sell, such as sights, activities or events. Entries can be submitted up to 30 November.
G Adventures: Discounts on selected Antarctic and Arctic departures including 15% off trips in the Arctic in 2013 and up to 20% off Antarctic trips in 2012 and 2013 on bookings before 30 September.
MSC: Free onboard credit on any 2013 booking on any ship. Credit will vary depending on the value of the booking.
RCI, Celebrity, Azamara: At least $100 onboard credit per stateroom on accommodation with a balcony of above on any 2013 European sailing excluding Celebrity Eclipse. Free upgrades, flights, tranfers and car parking also available.
Hurtigruten: Chocolate cake mixtures will be handed out to agents who make a new booking during the week. Agents can send images of the cakes to Hurtigruten to be in with the chance to win an afternoon tea at a five-star hotel.