Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, recently invited its top-producing travel advisors from the Cruise Planners franchise network on an exclusive week-long trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Each year, Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia, co-owners of Cruise Planners, travel to a spot across the globe with top producers. This year the group set sail on Celebrity Cruises' 48-passenger Celebrity Xperience.
“The goal of our exclusive trip for our top producing advisors is to expose them to new destinations and create buzz about the places we visit,” said Fee, also the franchise organization's CEO.
“Our agents have access to 'fam' trips throughout the year but we always select bucket-list destinations for this annual tradition such as Australia, the Holy Land, Italy and India, to name a few," she noted. "This year, we were excited to select the Galapagos on Celebrity Cruises.”
Invitees jetted from their hometowns to Baltra Island, Ecuador, where they departed on Celebrity Xperience. Hosted by a team from Celebrity Cruises, the group explored such islands as Isabella, Santa Cruz, Genovesa and Batolome.
"Cruise Planners' agents are some of the best in the industry, especially when it comes to selling Celebrity's premium Galapagos sailings and unique itineraries," said Keith Lane, vice president of field sales and national accounts, North America, Celebrity Cruises. "Cruise Planners' agents know how to sell Celebrity, so it was a natural fit."
Wildlife sighting -- from marine iguanas to blue-footed boobies and tortoises -- was a major part of the trip. The Cruise Planners producers set out to view wildlife and scenery via Zodiacs, kayaks, hikes and other excursion options. The agents also visited such historic sites as the Charles Darwin Research Station and El Barranco, more commonly known as Prince Philip’s Steps.
“Celebrity Cruises created a relaxing atmosphere on board Celebrity Xperience and an exciting itinerary jam-packed with adventures on shore,” Fee said. “The islands are filled with such incredible creatures. Who wouldn’t be impressed by a 100-year-old tortoise?”
Cruise Planners attendees gained first-hand insight into sailing the Galapagos Islands with Celebrity Cruises, and can now share their experiences with future travelers and help sell getaways to those adventurous shores.
Fee says the trip is already paying off: "One Cruise Planners top producing travel agent posted about the trip to her social media page, which resulted in securing a five-cabin group on a future Celebrity cruise to the Galapagos.”