Travel agents who participate in the World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) promotion will benefit from a diversity of offers for client vacations, including shipboard credits and as much as $2,000 in savings on selected cruises, CLIA reports. In addition, there are valuable incentives for agents, including bonus commissions and the chance to win a cruise for two.
CLIA is offering a sampling of special offers and incentives CLIA member lines have already announced in support of travel agents, and the association anticipates more as the WLCN nears. CLIA is also offering specific examples of how travel agents and agencies are marketing the event.
Last year, the WLCN generated an expected $45 million in cruise sales and nearly $6 million in new commissions for travel agents, CLIA reports. Judging by the preparations and announced plans underway, both agents and CLIA member cruise lines are gearing up for an even bigger WLCN 2010, which is scheduled for October 13.
World’s Largest Cruise Night is the 24-hour centerpiece of CLIA’s National Cruise Vacation Month and the largest promotion of the year for the cruise industry. In 2009, over 1,300 travel agencies held special WLCN events attended by nearly 50,000 consumers. The events were held in offices, hotel ballrooms, restaurants, luxury car dealerships and other venues.
Nearly 2,800 agencies participated in the “Virtual WLCN” option, sending e-mail invitations to consumers inviting them to visit their customized WLCN Web site with cruise line videos, agency contact information and special offers. The Virtual WLCN extends throughout the month of October and, this year, allows agents to team up with as many as seven cruises lines by showing their videos on individualized agency WLCN microsites.
In 2010, agencies are participating in a variety of ways, CLIA says. BTS Cruise Center in Baltimore, for example, is doing a direct mail campaign to a list of 1,200 current and prospective customers advertising the event. The agency also has extended its hours until 9 pm on October 13.
CLIA reports that Gateway Cruise and Travel Club, founded by two Cruises Inc. independent contractors in Fort Myers, FL, is targeting the 4,500 upscale home owners in the gateway community. Only formed last May, the club has wasted no time to get into the World’s Largest Cruise Night spirit. After organizing a tour of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas for interested members, founder and Cruises Inc. agent Candie Steinman says she was immediately interested in developing a WLCN marketing plan. The result is a partnership with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with both lines participating in their WLCN event. Noting that her marketing will include special brochures and local advertising, Steinman said, “We are hoping for several hundred to attend. We have worked with the Cruises Inc. corporate business development and marketing teams to develop an ad for our local Gateway Lifestyles Paper, which includes co-op and a cruise giveaway prize.”
Wendy Cushing of Cruise Planners in Sagamore Beach, MA is hosting the “World’s Largest Cruise Night – Round the World with Chocolate!” Four “destination” rooms – Bermuda, Alaska, Hawaii and Pirates of the Caribbean - will feature special delicacies such as a chocolate fountain, rum truffles and a “chocolate train to the wilderness of Alaska.” NCL, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International are all helping. And, in northern Virginia, a marina will be the setting for another Cruise Planners event featuring door prizes and a mini-cruise trade show, with seven CLIA member cruise lines in attendance.
CLIA member programs to date include:
AmaWaterways is featuring “2 For 1” pricing; savings of up to $2,000 per stateroom; free upgrades plus shipboard credits of up to $200 on select November and December 2010 departures. Itineraries include Paris to Amsterdam, Romantic Danube, Rhine Winter Voyage and Christmas Time Cruise. Additionally, the line is offering “Companion Flies Free” or “$1,000 Savings per Stateroom” on a variety of 2011 cruises, including Romantic Danube, Europe’s Rivers and Castles and Vineyards of the Rhine and Mosel.
American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines is offering a $500 per stateroom savings on March 2011 departures. This promotion is good for new bookings made during the World's Largest Cruise Night promotional period of October 1 - 31, and is not combinable with other offers.
Travelers can save $2,000 per stateroom on select 2011 European river cruises with Avalon Waterways through November 30. And to help agents sell the line, a new Avalon video can be debuted in-agency or online just in time for WLCN. The company is also providing agents with an HTML email that they can forward onto their clients, an online banner ad for virtual promotions and a WLCN promotional flyer for CLIA agencies. Also, the Avalon sales team will be out in force to participate in in-agency events as well as provide support and marketing materials leading up to WLCN
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival is helping travel agents entice new and existing clients with cruise upgrades available on virtually all “Fun Ship” departures through December 2011. To sweeten the deal, Carnival will offer not only best available upgrades, but up to a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for all Carnival Magic Europe voyages booked on October 13. The WLCN best available upgrade offer applies to new individual bookings. The Carnival Magic Europe offer includes best available upgrades and a $100 onboard credit per stateroom for seven-day Europe sailings and a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for nine- and 12-day sailings.
Celebrity is hosting a three-day sale beginning October 13 for sailings departing April 2011 through December 2011 for select seven- to 14-night sailings featuring onboard credits of $50 per stateroom for oceanview accommodations; $100 per stateroom for veranda accommodations; and $150 per stateroom for AquaClass (only on Solstice-class ships), suites, and Concierge Class. The offer applies to new FIT bookings. Certain restrictions apply. To support travel agents' efforts to maximize its WLCN deals, Celebrity has created a "Trade Show in a Box.” Agents can access this at the line's agent portal, www.cruisingpower.com; it includes invitation templates, professionally designed customizable flyers, lead cards and more.
Costa is offering a $50 onboard credit per stateroom on any sailing. The offer is valid only on October 13, for new bookings that sail and applies to Early Booking Fares, Andiamo Value Fares and Diamond Promotion Fares/Amore Super Saver Fares but not groups. Costa is also providing agents with a $50 bonus commission per stateroom on any sailing for bookings on October 13.
Crystal Cruises is offering a $100 per person additional savings incentive on most 2010-2011 departures for new bookings made during the World's Largest Cruise Night promotional period of October 1 - 31. Offer is combinable with two-for-one fares and Crystal Society Savings and is only applicable to the first and second guest in each stateroom. In addition, participating travel agents have the chance to win a free cruise for two onboard six-star Crystal Symphony by selling the most Crystal voyages during WLCN.
Cunard is offering an on board credit (per stateroom) of up to $300 for Queens & Princess Grill accommodation; up to $200 for Balcony staterooms; and up to $100 for Oceanview/Inside staterooms, depending on length of voyage. Agents can earn a bonus commission of up to $50. Bookings made during the Cruise Sale will receive a waiver of the deposit on the second guest. Agents are encouraged to visit www.onesourcecruises.com to request Cunard promotional and mailing support materials, to order cruise flyers, etc. Agents can build their cruise night evening using POLAR online.
Holland America Line
Special cruise value fares will be announced through the line’s “Three-Day Sale” e-mails to travel sellers for cruises to the Panama Canal, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Alaska, South America and holiday destinations. And by signing up for a “Holland America Line Cruise Sale” event in advance through their sales representative, travel sellers also are entitled to receive an On-Board Value Booklet worth hundreds of dollars off shipboard services for each client booking a stateroom. The company is also providing additional marketing materials to support selling the Caribbean which can be accessed free of charge by clicking on the “Caribbean On Sale” Agent Toolkit banner link at www.travelagentheadquarters.com.
Hurtigruten offers the opportunity for travelers to save 25 percent off on select six-, seven- and 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyages. The offer is valid for new retail bookings on selected sailings departing November 2010 through March 2011. Travel agents booking Hurtigruten during WLCN also will earn 12 percent commission.
MSC’s special offer for World’s Largest Cruise Night includes exclusive shipboard credits, such as $25 per passenger for Inside Cabin/Oceanview bookings; $50 per passenger for Standard Balcony/Superior Balcony accommodations; and $100 per passenger for Suites bookings. This offer is valid for Caribbean sailings booked October 13-27.
Oceania Cruises is celebrating its maiden season in “The Great Land,” or Alaska, as well as World’s Largest Cruise Night with two-for-one cruise fares, plus free, round-trip air and bonus savings up to $1,000 per stateroom. For travel agents there will be bonus commissions for bookings made within a week of WCLN.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
In support of World's Largest Cruise Night and CLIA's 2010 National Cruise Vacation Month, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering a $100 per person ($200 per suite) shipboard credit booking incentive. This offer is valid for any new reservation on a 2010 or 2011 departure of seven nights or longer booked between October 1 and November 15.The offer is combinable with all standard offers including two-for-one Fares plus additional bonus savings, FREE Roundtrip Air, and FREE unlimited shore excursions.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean is committed to helping its travel agent partners sell cruises and grow their business. In addition to a compelling offer that will be announced soon, the cruise line has developed a WLCN microsite to help agents plan and hold an exciting, informative and successful event. Agent partners also can request a Royal Caribbean Cruise Night Kit through CruisingPower.com that includes decorations and a logo item for raffling to help make their World’s Largest Cruise Night the one event their clients should not miss. Royal Caribbean’s WLCN microsite is live at www.creative.rccl.com/e-lite/RCI/2010/Sales/10020578
Seabourn Cruise Line
Seabourn is offering a $100 bonus commission on any new bookings between October1-31, when an agent calls in and makes mention of the WLCN promotion.
Silversea Cruises joins CLIA’s WLCN promotion with an offer of $100 per guest ($200 per suite) savings on any 2010, 2011, or 2012 cruise booked during the month of October 2010.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld will offer a $100 per person bonus savings for all 2011 product and departures on bookings made in conjunction with CLIA’s Worlds Largest Cruise Night. This savings is combinable with all current savings offers and is applicable for bookings made between October13 - 20. Uniworld is promoting WLCN with a special flyer and sales staff across the United States and Canada are working with travel agencies in their respective regions to promote this event.
Windstar’s WLCN participation is a $100 per person shipboard credit on any Wind Spirit, Wind Star or Wind Surf sailing in the Caribbean or Costa Rica, between January 2 and April 2, 2011. The offer is valid for new bookings made between October 13 - November 15 and the credits may be combined with all nationwide offers including two-for-one offers.