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Cruise West Gains Speed

May 7, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

Line expands staff, product offerings, agents' earnings

Cruise West, a Seattle-based cruise company operating tours across the world (see Travel Agent's April 2 issue), is rapidly building up its management team in recent months, promoting Al Petrone as chief marketing officer and adding Jerrol Golden as director of public relations. In addition, the company is ramping up its Alaska product, offering tours that range from soft adventure to leisure cruising.  A Cruise West ship passes sun-bathing sea lions

"New programs are a product of guest demand as well as
new vendors that approach us," says Karen Kuest, program manager for
Cruise West.

A popular new Alaska
itinerary offered by Cruise West is "Overnights in Glacier Bay,"
which gives guests the opportunity to spend the night in Glacier Bay National Park,
where few other cruise vessels are permitted. "The vessels are pretty
shallow, so we can go close to the shore and see sea lions," Kuest says.
"On one trip we were able to latch out on Glacier Bay
30 feet from the shore and watch wolves for a half hour." Guests also can
participate in shore excursions, which include hikes along the coastline or
through the forest. Cruises run May through September. Visit

Cruise West also operates a very lucrative commission
program, where agents can earn up to 20 percent. "Agents can select up to
three itineraries they want to promote; they come up with a campaign and we
provide them with whatever they need for marketing," says Melanie Cole,
vice president of sales for the company. For every booking of a marketed tour,
the agent earns an additional 10 percent, which they can keep or pass along to

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