Ensemble Travel Bolsters Ensemble Experience Program

In what is presumably the latest effort to outfit agents with value-added extras to distinguish them from online competitors, travel consortium Ensemble Travel is bolstering its Ensemble Experience program for cruise passengers. The program offers Ensemble clients unique, insider experiences at ports of call during a given cruise itinerary. Now, clients will be met at the end of the gangway by special "welcomers" who, more often than not, will be dressed in costumes suggestive of the local fare. They will perform and pose for pictures for Ensemble cruisers. "It's a way to welcome them into port," says Susan Gannon, a senior marketing director at the company. "It's a taste of local color." Additionally, Ensemble clients will now receive pre-stamped destination postcards, which guides will collect and mail on their behalf; bottled water; and local sweets served during motor coach rides. Ensemble also says that cruise clients will, on some programs, now receive gifts from the local area and a champagne during their motor coach ride. The Ensemble Experience program has been around since 1999, having operated under the former name Select Experiences.

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