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How we can help you become an expert in one of the fastest growth and lucrative areas in travel: cruise

With bumper bookings and the launch of 20 new ships in the pipeline, it’s no wonder that cruise lines and industry experts are painting a buoyant picture for anyone keen to specialise in selling cruise holidays.

Just look at the stats from Cruise Lines International Association, the leading voice of the global cruise community that says cruise holidays continue to be one of the fastest-growing and most resilient sectors of tourism. 

  • In 2023 31.7 million passengers took a cruise – almost two million more compared with pre-pandemic days.
  • In 2024 that figure is due to rise even more with 35.7 million cruise passengers forecasted. 
  • The number of new-to-cruise passengers is rising each year – 27% of everyone that cruised in 2023 were first-time cruisers!

Since cruise has some of the highest commissions around and many cruise passengers become hooked on the product, it’s a lucrative market for agents who can help customers choose from the dizzying array of cruise ships and itineraries and build a base of loyal repeat clients.

In fact, 73% of cruise travellers say their travel advisor has a meaningful impact on their cruise holiday.

That’s why our Cruise Division has cruise experts at the helm who are there to train and support consultants who want to focus on this niche area.

They’ll teach you everything from how to navigate complex ship plans to different brands, plus they’ll give you updates and tours of new ships launching, explaining which ones are best for different niche markets. 

With over a quarter of all passengers travelling as a multi-generational families, agents who do their homework can really shine.

For example, did you know that earlier this year Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) launched Icon of the Sea. Billed as the ‘largest ship at sea’, Icon’s 20 decks is home to seven swimming pools, six water slides, plus 40 restaurants, bars and lounges.

The cruise line is also busy putting the final touches to its Utopia of the Seas, a sprawling vessel with eight ‘neighbourhoods’, more than 20 restaurants, a park and underwater wonderland.

Meanwhile, the quintessentially British Cunard cruise line, is ceremoniously rolling out Queen Anne. A notable feature is the retractable glass dome on its top-deck covering the swimming pool, that transforms into an entertainment space with a large LED screen for open-air theatre and live performances.

Other big cruise lines unveiling ships in 2024 include Silversea Cruises, MSC and Princess Cruises while Virgin Voyages is set to launch its fourth adult-only ship next year. 

River cruising continues to gain popularity too, with the Nile attracting much attention. Tui River Cruises makes its Nile debut in 2024 with the launch of Tui Al Horeya, a 145-passenger vessel catering exclusively for adults.

Consultants who join our Cruise Division can also join our subsidised Seminar at Sea, a week-long cruise where experts offer onboard workshops and tours of the ship. 

In fact, at the end of June we host our fourth Seminar at Sea in conjunction with partner Virgin Voyages. 

Nearly 100 agents will step on board Scarlet Lady and cruise the Med on her seven-night “Irresistible Med” trip.

They’ll depart Barcelona and travel to Toulon, Marina di Carrara, Ajaccio and Ibiza. During the trip, consultants will not only level up their businesses through intensive training on cruise from leading experts, hands-on techniques and game-changing strategies, they will be joined by NJT brand ambassador Hayley Sparkes, who will share presenting techniques and on-screen confidence strategies. 

But it’s not all work, there’ll be plenty of time to relax, enjoy Virgin’s amazing entertainment and sample the food from more than 20 eateries.

Agents who have previously experienced a Seminar at Sea have seen a huge boost in bookings following the trip. Said Virgin Voyages sales manager Jack Atherton:

“The Seminar at Sea cruise fast tracked sales to a whole new level.”

Co-founder Steve Witt agrees: “Our Seminar at Sea, which is always hosted by one of our incredible key trade cruise partners, is our ultimate investment in people; we pay for our consultants to open their eyes to the endless possibilities within the cruise market. There is simply no better way to learn than to experience it for yourself, alongside inspirational peers, colleagues and friends.”

Want find out more about how we can make you a cruise guru? Order our free magazine or read it online.

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