Regent's 2008 Circles of Interest Touch on Art and Architecture
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will offer three Circles of Interest focusing on art and architecture this year. Circles of Interest is Regent's enrichment program, which features activities such as onboard lectures, special meals and shore excursions related to a specific topic. The new art and architecture programs will be held on sailings in Europe and northern Africa aboard Seven Seas Voyager (below) and Seven Seas Navigator. Lisa Hahn, president of Art Horizons International, a special-interest tour company, will lead the activities on the Navigator's Mediterranean cruises departing July 26 from Venice and September 9 from Istanbul and the Voyager's Med cruise departing June 9 from Monte Carlo. Other Circles of Interest focus on history, wellness, photography, food and wine and other special interests. Visit www.rssc.com.
CLIA Provides Online Business Guidance to Agencies
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has launched an online program to help travel agents deal with the everyday minutiae of running their businesses. CLIA's new "Your Business Resource Center" feature was designed as a one-stop shop for many of the necessities of running a small business, such as insurance, training resources, financial services, destination information and business management. An exclusive benefit of CLIA membership, the program provides easy access to all these services.
"One of CLIA's top priorities is to develop innovative ways to help our members maximize their productivity and business efficiency," said CLIA's president and CEO, Terry Dale. "The new online tool will enable our members to save time and effort." Visit www.cruising.org.
French Line's Intro to Barging Deal
French Country Waterways has lowered fares by 40 percent on six-night cruises aboard the 18-passenger barge Esprit, to $3,200 per person from the regular rate of $5,295. The special is good on select June departures of cruises through Burgundy's Côte d'Or wine region.
The Esprit has a partially canopied sundeck, lounge, dining room, library and only nine staterooms, which makes for a very intimate voyage. Fares cover accommodations, meals, wine, open bar, sightseeing, bicycles and transfers. Visit www.fcwl.com.
Crystal Introduces Incentives for Agents and Families
Crystal Cruises has a slew of new programs and selling tools to help travel agents increase their Mediterranean and Baltic bookings. To give agents incentive to sell more of these cruises, the line will award Mediterranean cruises to them for achieving certain booking levels. It also has designed a new sales kit to assist agents and launched a family promotion.
Agents booking three staterooms on most Crystal Mediterranean and Baltic cruises can sail free with a guest in a veranda stateroom on a choice of Med cruises. Julie Dibble, a spokesperson for Crystal, tells us that the impetus for the new promotion was twofold: It entices agents to sell more Crystal cruises, and it gives them the opportunity to experience a Crystal cruise firsthand. "It helps educate them," Dibble said.
For families, Crystal is unveiling a package featuring a host of amenities, including one complimentary passenger for every 10 paid passengers. This especially pays off for multi-generational family travel or groups. The promotion is available on Crystal Serenity itineraries from May to October 19 and includes prepaid gratuities for the group, $100 per person shipboard credit, a group portrait, free third berth for guests under age 18 and a $500 credit toward a Crystal Private Adventure shore excursion of $2,500 or more. Visit www.crystalcruises.com.