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New training portal for cruise travel agents U

LTRA-luxury cruise line Silversea has launched an innovative new online training portal for Trade agents. The Silversea Academy allows agents to become experts across all areas of the company with the portal offering a wealth of information to help build knowledge of the award-winning brand. Complete with training modules, a news section and exclusive resources, the new academy has been developed with travel agents in mind to assist them when selling Silversea’s extensive global itineraries. In time, the portal will have multiple modules to choose from with agents able to select the modules they complete based on their individual needs and interests. The brand new resource is now live at Agents are currently able to complete the ‘Silversea Graduate’ module and ‘Silver Muse’ module with more to be released soon as Silversea’s products grow and evolve.

To celebrate the launch of the Silversea Academy, agents who achieve 100-percent on the Silver Muse module before 31 March 2017 will be entered into a

March 2017 Travel News

prize draw to win a cruise onboard the new ship. The winner will be amongst the first to experience Silversea’s flagship, which is due to launch this April. Embarking in Rome on the 27 July 2017, the winning agent will enjoy the ultra-luxury Silversea experience on a 12-day voyage to Venice with return flights included in the prize.

“With our new flagship Silver Muse ready to make her maiden voyage in less than two months and the transition of Silver Cloud to the expedition fleet set for November, the launch of the new Silversea Academy couldn’t come at a better time. We are delighted to reveal this new resource which we have developed with agents’ needs in mind” said Connie Georgiou, Silversea’s Head of Trade Sales and Partnerships, UK and Ireland.

Elsewhere, Silversea has also revamped its travel agent portal MySilversea. The site allows agents to view and manage bookings; review recent marketing material and emails; and access promotional flyers which allow their own contact details to be added.

Agents’ evening with the ‘Big Yin’

WTC and Travelport recently hosted a group of competition winning agents in a private suite at the SSE Arena for an evening with Billy Connolly. Brendan Mallon of WTC, said: "Everyone had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the 'Big Yin' who

was on great form. Hopefully they won't be repeating too many of his stories to their customers!" The agents are pictured above right enjoying the evenings' hospitality. Included are David Taylor, Travelport, and Brendan Mallon, WTC.

RCI’s first Trade Awards ceremony

CLUB Royal, Royal Caribbean's industry leading loyalty programme, has announced its first ever 'Trade Partner & Club Royal Awards Ceremony', to recognise the incredible work that agent partners are doing to raise the profile of cruise amongst holidaymakers in the UK & Ireland.

Taking place on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at iconic London venue, The Gherkin, the event is set to be Club Royal's biggest and best of 2017.

To celebrate, Club Royal is offering its members the chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to attend this exclusive event as part of a new competition, ‘Who’s Extraordinary?’. To be in with a chance of winning a ticket, Club Royal members are invited to nominate their most extraordinary colleague and explain what makes them stand out from the crowd.

La Terrazza on Silverseas’ Silver Muse Travelport/Emirates co-operation

TRAVELPORT, a leading Travel Commerce Platform and Emirates has announced the ability to select and pay for seats in advance according to the Emirates Fare Brand chosen - available for the first time to book on Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform.

The launch of advanced paid seating options for certain economy fares on Travelport continues to promote Emirates’ ongoing investment in inflight customer experience which includes numerous new and innovative products. Previously only available on Emirates’ website, the enhancement allows over 68,000 Travelport-connected online and offline travel

agencies and travel management companies operating in over 180 countries across the globe an even more personalised and enhanced service to travellers.

Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Air Commerce, Travelport, commented: “This is an exciting development in Travelport’s longstanding and deep relationship with Emirates. Their decision to launch advanced paid seating through Travelport - in an industry-first move - is testament to how we are able to help Emirates market their unique offerings to the global travel Trade and end travellers.

The lucky winners will receive a VIP place at the invitation-only awards ceremony for the nominee and themselves, including an exquisite three-course meal and show-stopping entertainment set in front of stunning 360 degree views of London; plus travel allowance and a night’s stay at a local luxury hotel. The competition was open for entries from Wednesday, February 1 until Feb 15, 2017. To enter, Club Royal members should simply send a video, email or photos to, explaining why their colleague is truly extraordinary. Winners will be selected by the Club Royal team and entries will be judged on how innovative and unique their nomination is.

Ben Bouldin, Associate Vice President and Managing Director for UK & Ireland, Royal Caribbean said, “As we celebrate a milestone 12,000 members in Club Royal, it is great to take the time to celebrate the phenomenal engagement our members

have shown.

“We truly value the support of our agency partners and what better way to recognise their extraordinary work than via our very first Club Royal awards ceremony. Since its introduction two years ago, Club Royal has grown from strength to strength and as we continue to work even more closely with our agency partners, this awards ceremony is another way we can stop and say thank you for all the support provided.”

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean has announced the appointment of Amanda Darrington as Sales Director UK & Ireland, following Ben Bouldin’s promotion to Associate Vice President and Managing Director UK & Ireland.

Starting on April 24, 2017, Amanda will lead and oversee the 30-strong Royal Caribbean sales team in the UK & Ireland, bringing with her a wealth of experience earned across her career in the travel industry. During that time she has held the position of Sales Director for Funway Holidays and, prior to that, acted as Head of Trade Sales at Kuoni Travel UK for over three years.

Ben Bouldin, Associate Vice President and Managing Director Royal Caribbean International, UK & Ireland said: “Amanda is the perfect person to lead our sales team into 2017 and beyond so it’s with great pleasure that we welcome her onboard.

Amanda Darrington MSC ups the ante with two new appointments

MSC have marked their best WAVE period ever in the UK & Ireland with the hire of two new Regional Sales Managers. MSC Cruises has marked several landmarks for the cruise line, Antonio Paradiso moved to the UK exactly a year ago and promised to totally transform the UK & Ireland business. One of the major pillars of his commitment to the UK was to restructure the UK & Ireland Sales team which now sees the hire of two further regional sales managers to complement the already expanded sales team.

Luke Vanderhoeven will be joining the team as RSM South West & Wales & Claire Smith will be filling the newly created role of RSM Scotland, North East & Northern Ireland which will be complementing the recent hire of Colin Rillie as National Account Manager in the same region. Both will report to Andrea Stafford Head of Retail who also recently joined the cruise line from Thomas Cook.

Steve Williams, MSC Director of Sales said: "We are absolutely delighted to have Luke and Claire join our team to further develop MSC cruises on the high street as we embark on a period of rapid expansion, they will be instrumental in supporting, developing & training our trade partners in their respective geographical regions, both have an

Antonio Paradiso MD said: "It is so rewarding one year on from my move to the UK to be in such a great position as we embark on the huge expansion plans earmarked for the cruise line as we embark on 11 new ship builds over the next 10 years. "I see the UK & Ireland as one of the biggest opportunities globally for MSC and we now have a fantastic sales team in place to be able to educate the trade about what an amazing brand MSC is. We are now just 100 days from the launch of Meraviglia, the first of 11 smart ships on order and one of two new ship launches in 2017 alone.

"We are now in full swing for the inaugural season of our first ever full EX UK season with the beautiful MSC Magnifica.

Joining MSC team, Luke Vanderhoeven and Claire Smith who has responsibility for the Northern Ireland region

exceptional background in high street retail travel so will really understand the needs of our partners and work with them closely to grow their MSC cruise business."

“I believe the team we have in place are now one of the best in the industry and personally I am so excited for the growth and opportunities that we have here. We have just experienced a record breaking WAVE period in both the UK & Ireland so we have really started 2017 in great shape, just recently we recorded our best ever booking day in both the UK & Ireland.

“Luke and Claire’s appointments further show MSC’s commitment to our trade partners in helping them understand the brand and ultimately grow their business."

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