SeaDream Yacht Club is showing concern in these trying economic times by offering a "Cancel for Any Reason" program, whereby travelers who book voyages on SeaDream I and II, can change or postpone their travel plans for up to 18 months for any reason, provided they do so up to 48 hours prior to the date of departure. They will receive a 100 percent yacht credit for the voyage tariff, which will be applied toward a future sailing on one of SeaDream’s ultra-luxury mega-yacht cruisers within 18 months of the written cancellation. Cost of the program is $50 per person or a minimum of $100 per stateroom, per voyage. SeaDream says this is about $7 per day, per person to cancel for any reason for a one week voyage.
Travelers should tell their travel agent when they are canceling their booking up to 48 hours prior to embarkation. Cancellation must be in writing. The yacht credit in the amount of what was originally paid, less the waiver fee, applies to the new booking on any 2008, 2009 or 2010 scheduled voyage. When guests elect to re-book within the 18-month period, the yacht credit is applied as a fare reduction on the new booking.
The Cancel for Any Reason program was last invoked by SeaDream after 9/11 and mirrors what other luxury lines are implementing to assuage traveler fears and give them even more incentive to travel. Crystal Cruises and Silversea Cruises are doing their part to entice both cruise consumers and luxury travel advisors.
First, Crystal has introduced incentives aimed at retaining and growing business in a tough economic climate. Now, in addition to its pricing guarantee, Crystal, for 2009, is reducing fare deposits from 10 percent to 5 percent; allowing for a shorter window to cancel a cruise from 75 to 45 days; extending guests an increased period from three to seven days before a deposit is required; and reducing 2010 world cruise deposits by 20 percent.
Meanwhile, Silversea is enticing travel agents by offering 25 percent commissions on all new reservations before December 31 on voyages departing on or before March 31, 2009. The higher commission rates are a step to stimulate sales for both the line and travel advisers, Silversea says.