Archive for the ‘travel agents’ Category

5 Reasons to Book A Cruise Vacation With A Travel Agent

October 7, 2017
Bermuda_100213_024e2 (c) Karen Rubin-RCL-Nor

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines ships docked at the Royal Naval Yard, Bermuda © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

October is Plan a Cruise Month and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the international cruise industry are highlighting the vital role travel agents play in helping travelers navigate the sea of cruise vacation options.

“Travel agents play an important role in the vacation experience for both new and seasoned cruise travelers and can help cruisers create the most unique and personalized trip,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Agents are an integral part of the cruise industry and those interested in cruising will find working with an expert leads to the best overall experience and vacation satisfaction.”

Here are five top reasons to use a travel agent to book a cruise:

  1. A Totally Tailored Trip:  Today, there are more cruise vacation choices and experiences than ever before making it possible for travel agents to tailor trips to each client’s travel preferences. For example, Francophiles with a penchant for cuisine? An agent can help book a perfect Parisian cruise and maybe even provide tips for finding the best crepes and macaroons during onshore excursions.
  2. In Expert Hands: Travel agents are a wealth of information with plenty of real world travel experience. Agents can provide incredible advice for making the most of a cruise like the best onboard cafes or cruise ship activities for children as well as expertise on travel insurance, dining times and cabin location.
  3. Deals & Discounts: Many travel agents have access to deals and discounts that aren’t available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book in bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing for booking through an agent.
  4. Perks & Personalized Travel: There really are more perks when working with travel agents! Many agents can offer clients incredible perks like complimentary bottles of wine, vouchers for free specialty meals, prepaid gratuities, and onboard spending money.  In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalized travel details for cruisers like gluten-free dining or post-cruise travel back home.
  5. A Stress-Free Travel Experience: For a stress-free travel experience, contact a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent. These accredited cruise counselors are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client every time. Go to www.cruising.org to find a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent.

Add to this list the fact that a cruise vacation often entails other services, like airplane transportation to or from the departure or arrival; hotel accommodations the night before or after, pre- and post-cruise tours.

To connect with a CLIA-certified cruise specialist to book a cruise vacation, visit: https://www.cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder. For more information about Plan a Cruise Month, visit: www.Cruising.org.

 

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Virtuoso Luxe Report Picks Top Destinations for Affluent Travelers in 2015

January 28, 2015
 Miami/South Beach, Florida, is the top domestic destination for 2015 for affluent travelers, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com


Miami/South Beach, Florida, is the top domestic destination for 2015 for affluent travelers, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

NEW YORK Virtuoso®, an international network of luxury travel agencies, has unveiled its 2015 Virtuoso Luxe Report, the results of which are based on an annual survey of its professional travel advisors. Recognized throughout the industry as an authoritative trend-predictor, the report forecasts luxury travel trends and favored destinations while offering insight into the patterns and decisions of the world’s most affluent travelers.

For the first time in five years, river cruising trumped multigenerational travel as the number one trend and Croatia secured the top spot in the “Emerging Destinations” category (the country didn’t make the “top 10” in 2014). Iceland is on the rise while Cuba, Myanmar, and Bhutan continue to be favored emerging destinations. “Adventure travel” surfaced as a dominant trend for 2015 with Costa Rica and South Africa sweeping the top two spots, respectively, proving travelers are less interested in sitting still.

The love affair with Italy continues as it reigned supreme for the “Top International Destination” as well as the favorite country for family travel and honeymoons.  France, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia follow as top international locales, respectively.

Within the U.S., New York City maintained its top spot, followed by Maui, Napa Valley/Sonoma, and Las Vegas. Miami/South Beach climbed three places to reach the “top 5,” bumping Hawaii’s Big Island to ninth place.

Honeymooners showed they are seeking romance at tried and true favorites, as well as some more exotic locales. The most popular honeymoon destinations included Italy, Maui, French Polynesia, France, and the Maldives.

Exploring new destinations, seeking authentic experiences, rest and relaxation, and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones prove to be the key motivators behind high-end travel.

Key findings from the 2015 Virtuoso Luxe Report:

Top Travel Trends

  1. River cruising
  2. Multigenerational travel
  3. Active or adventure trips
  4. Celebration travel
  5. Family travel (immediate)

Top Domestic Destinations  

  1. New York, NY
  2. Maui, HI
  3. Napa Valley/Sonoma, CA
  4. Las Vegas, NV
  5. Miami/South Beach, FL

Top International Destinations

  1.  Italy
  2. France
  3. Mexico
  4. South Africa
  5. Australia

Top Family Travel Destinations

  1. Italy
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Mexico
  4. Hawaii
  5. England

Top Adventure Destinations

  1. Costa Rica
  2. South Africa
  3. Galapagos Islands
  4. New Zealand
  5. Peru

 Top Honeymoon Destinations

  1. Italy
  2. Maui, HI
  3. French Polynesia
  4. France
  5. Maldives

A record total of 599 travel advisors from Virtuoso member agencies in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe participated in the survey.

Virtuoso® is a leading network of luxury travel advisors and entities.  This by-invitation-only organization comprises 355 agencies with more than 8,900 travel specialists in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe, as well as over 1,700 travel providers and destinations.  The network’s member agencies generate over $14 billion annually in travel sales, making the group one of the largest in the luxury travel segment.  Their relationships with the travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. For more information, visit http://www.virtuoso.com. To view Virtuoso’s latest videos, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/VirtuosoTraveler.

 

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CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. Launch Mobile Websites

October 15, 2013
During the CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. national conference aboard NCL's Breakaway, Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes), raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions. In all, the agents raised $108,000 for Make-a-Wish during their conference. © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During the CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. national conference aboard NCL’s Breakaway, Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes), raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions. In all, the agents raised $108,000 for Make-a-Wish during their conference. © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The best way to learn about the deals being offered by major cruiselines and sort through the myriad choices is to go through a travel agent or cruise-agent, and one of the leaders in the field, CruiseOne franchise and Cruises Inc. network of hosted home-based agents has made the information more accessible with a newly introduced mobile website.

CruiseOne franchise and Cruises Inc are part of World Travel Holdings, with 13 entities that collectively sell $800 million worth of cruises. Cruisegoers benefit from their collective buying power, inventory and relationships with the cruise companies.

On the cutting edge of technology and meeting the demands of its new and existing customers, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® announced the official launch of their mobile-friendly consumer websites CruiseOne.com and CruisesInc.com at its annual National Conference onboard the Norwegian Breakaway.

“With smart phone capacity growing and online cruise travel searches up 48 percent year over year according to Google, it was only natural for us to take this next step in providing a mobile-friendly shopping experience,” said Sandi Szalay,  vice president of information technology at CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. who oversaw the creation of the mobile platforms.

The new user-friendly mobile sites provide a lean version of the homepage, cruise search/cruise finder and cruise line promotional pages. New features include “Find An Agent Near You” enabling users to search for an agent by geographic location according to zip code or state, as well as an option for consumers to sign up for free promotional emails offering exclusive vacation deals.

“Our clients are on-the-go and we want to make sure they can connect and engage with an agent regardless of time and location,” noted Dwain Wall, senior vice president and general manager of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “At National Conference, we emphasized that innovation is one key to success in meeting consumer demands and keeping ahead of the competition. The mobile websites are just one of the many innovative tools we provide our agents to help in their success.”

CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. agents’ personal websites are also now mobile-friendly, providing an improved shopping experience that makes it easier for consumers who are not near a computer to shop for deals and research itineraries.

For information, visit www.CruiseOneFranchise.com or www.SellCruises.com. 

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WTH’s Sean Tolkin Sets Record for Marathon at Sea; Raises $50,000 for Make-A-Wish

October 6, 2013
Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes) onboard Norwegian Breakaway, and raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH's CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes) onboard Norwegian Breakaway, and raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Sean Tolkin, business development director at World Travel Holdings, became the first American to run a marathon at sea, doing it in record time (3 hours 43 minutes) onboard Norwegian Breakaway, and raising $50,000 to benefit Make-A-Wish®, the official charity of WTH’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. divisions.

The “Run Like a Champion, Cruise Like a Norwegian” marathon was held during the CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® National Conference. As of race time, Tolkin raised nearly $50,000 for the non-profit organization, that is dedicated to helping children feel stronger, more energetic and able to deal with their life-threatening medical conditions.

“I am beyond thrilled with the outpouring of support I received from my colleagues, friends, family and passengers leading up to and onboard Norwegian Breakaway this week,” said Tolkin, whose final laps were cheered on by hundreds of cruise agents attending the conference. “This marathon blended my love of the travel industry with my passion for running all in the name of a good cause, to benefit our signature charity Make-A-Wish.”

During the time it took Tolkin to run the 26.2 miles, or 210 laps around the track, the ship, Norwegian’s newest, traveled 74 nautical miles. Hundreds of onlookers cheered on Sean during each lap, with several agents and World Travel Holdings employees joining Sean for each mile.  As a result of the marathon, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant five wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Keri Rivera, corporate alliances manager for Make-A-Wish®; Sean Tolkin, business development director for World Travel Holdings, parent company of CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc. ®; and Captain Evans Hoyt, Norwegian Cruise Line® © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Keri Rivera, corporate alliances manager for Make-A-Wish®; Sean Tolkin, business development director for World Travel Holdings, parent company of CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc. ®; and Captain Evans Hoyt, Norwegian Cruise Line® © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Combined with $53,000 raised by the 700 agents attending the national conference, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® raised more than $103,000 for Make-A-Wish.

CruiseOne franchises home-based travel agencies; Cruises Inc. is a host network for home-based cruise agents who are independent contractors. For more information, visit www.CruiseOneFranchise.com or www.SellCruises.com. 

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