Cruising Across the Pond

Do you have repeat cruise clients who might be ready to expand their horizons and book something different? Many frequent cruisers have already "been there, done that"—they have the Caribbean and Alaska sailings under their belts, and many have even sailed further from the beaten path.

Most of the cruises they have taken are seven-night or 10-night cruises that call at four or five ports. If you want to suggest something different, consider pitching a six-night transatlantic journey from New York to Southampton, England, this summer and early fall on the classic Queen Mary 2 luxury liner.

Bill the QM2 transatlantic crossing as a "voyage," not a "cruise." There is a big difference. The QM2 sails six days across the open North Atlantic without any land calls until disembarkation. Be up front about that, but also stress the sizable benefits. Ballroom dancing at sea is a signature perk.

Onboard activities and programs are designed to entertain guests around the clock, day after day. QM2 boasts a planetarium at sea, a substantial Canyon Ranch SpaClub, myriad grand dining options and a first-rate gym. Clients can also enjoy pools, whirlpools, computer classes, a 600-volume library, an Internet center, and other onboard perks. And on QM2, your clients can also take acting classes and whirl across the largest ballroom dance floor at sea.

One in five U.S. residents can trace their ancestry back to a Cunard liner crossing from Europe to Ellis Island, NY. For many Americans, that's a cherished past era and their own history is caught up in it. Stress to your clients, from the outset, that the QM2 exudes both elegance and a sense of history. Agent Advantages

Appeal to other cruise clients with such sales hooks as the "star factor" or the concept of returning to the golden age of ocean travel. Many consider the QM2 a "must do" cruise, something everyone deserves at least once in their lifetime. After all, a Cunard transatlantic cruise puts your clients in grand company—up there with celebrities, sports greats, society types and even royalty. Celebrities who have made Cunard voyages include Richard Burton, Julia Child, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bill Cosby, Julie Andrews, Dean Martin, literally every member of the British royal family, several U.S. presidents and multiple world leaders.

Cunard says people who get caught up in the history and glamour of Cunard's past are the best prospects. For jittery flyers, a transatlantic crossing is a welcome alternative to a flight to Europe.

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