urquestions answered

Tackle your clients’ cruise questions with answers from the lines themselves, writes Katie McGonagle


here’s never been a tougher time to be a cruise agent. With lines pushing back plans to resume sailings, and consumer sentiment in

the doldrums, agents face an uphill climb to rebuild confidence in the sector. Yet it’s also never been more important to be ready with the answers when customers call, keener than ever for the advice and expertise of their trusted travel agent, whether they’re looking to rebook a cancelled sailing or seeking reassurance that their cruise holiday will still be worth taking once departures resume. Those conversations are undoubtedly challenging, so to help you answer your clients’ questions, we’ve canvassed some of the key lines for their latest advice. Many are still hard at work and unable to offer full details of their revised plans as yet, but stay tuned to Travel Weekly for all the up-to-date information you need to reassure your clients and restart sales.

Q. My client’s cruise was cancelled – what will happen to my commission? A. Lynn Narraway, managing director, UK and Ireland, Seabourn: “Travel partners are vital to our business and we really appreciate all the efforts you are making to encourage guests to rebook any Seabourn cruises we have, regrettably, had

to cancel. If a client chooses a full refund on their cancelled cruise (and the payment has been made in full), agency base commission is protected. If the client chooses a future cruise credit (FCC), then the travel agent will receive base commission on both the existing booking (if paid in full), and the future reservation, where the FCC is redeemed at 100%. Our Early Bonus Savings promotion gives clients 10% off the base cruise fare on select 2021 cruises, when they pay in full by July 31. This means agents benefit by earning their commission early, upon full payment. Perhaps most importantly, we are offering agents a 4% bonus (on base commission) for any new 2021 Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England cruises booked by July 31. Take out an allocation of suites on any of these sailings and you can also boost commission by up to a further 5%.”

Q. What if my client wants to cancel their 2020 sailing? A. Peter Shanks, managing director, UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa, Silversea Cruises: “Guests can cancel up to 48 hours prior for 2020 sailings. Plus, we are only asking for a deposit of £750 for new bookings, and when paid in full that is turned into a $1,000 onboard credit. As a huge ²



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