Responding to agent interest, CLIA announced today that the Virtual WLCN promotion has been extended. Beginning October 3 through October 31, registered agents can go high tech and promote cruise vacations and their agency via a Virtual WLCN event. The enhanced Virtual WLCN option enables them to customize a Web page featuring their agency information and choose several informative videos from participating CLIA member lines. These videos are designed to be sales stimulants and assist agencies in maximizing their participation in this event. A unique URL will then be created that can be distributed to their clients and new prospects, inviting them to participate remotely.
All agents of a CLIA member agency can register for an individual WLCN URL and web page.
“Last year some 900+ agents participated in WLCN events and another 3,000 conducted online Virtual WLCN promotions. They generated almost 35,000 bookings, $43.3 million in sales and over $5.8 million in commissions, which represented a 20 percent increase over the previous year,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA. “By all accounts this year promises to be even bigger and better.”
World’s Largest Cruise Night, the centerpiece of October’s National Cruise Vacation Month, is designed to rivet consumer attention on the incomparable value and variety of cruise vacations. Once again, agents have the option to participate in the highly popular Virtual WLCN program that allows them to create a customized web page for their own promotions as well as cruise line videos, and also to host a special consumer event ranging from a breakfast to a full-scale cruise night. Some agencies are pulling out all the stops to take advantage of the opportunity.
Outside of Vancouver, for example, Carol Mackay and TravelOnly have teamed up with the Giggle Dam Comedy Dinner Theatre to create an entire evening of festivities with guests seated in lifeboats where they will be entertained by the likes of “The Skipper” and “Gilligan.” In Satellite Beach, Florida - Sherry Kennedy, owner of the Vacation Shoppe Travel Agency, will host a gala Cruise Night Celebration at the Holiday Inn Meeting and Conference Center in Melbourne that features live entertainment, cruise line presentations, door prizes, special cruise promotions and discounts. Travel Leaders, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has rented the city’s Expo Center for a trade show involving 15 cruise lines and teamed up with a local radio station to promote the event. And, building upon the success of their 2007 WLCN experience, every Liberty Travel agency location is conducting a World’s Largest Cruise Night event in 2008.
To demonstrate their support for participating travel agents, CLIA member cruise lines have come up with a variety of incentives, enticements and offers that agents can pass along to consumers. Crystal Cruises is offering a complimentary Verandah stateroom accommodation on Crystal Symphony for the Crystal Cruises-CLIA Seminar at Sea to the travel agent who books the most cruises during World’s Largest Cruise Night.
For every cruise booked between October 15 and 17, Holland America Line will enter the agent into a drawing for a Caribbean/Mexico cruise for two. Second prize is ten $100 Starbucks cards. And, Norwegian Cruise Line enters all travel partners who register for NCL’s World Largest Cruise Night and who book and deposit at least one cruise by October 16 in a drawing to win a five – seven or a nine day Caribbean cruise for two.
The following is a preliminary list of WLCN offers from participating CLIA member cruise lines:
- American Cruise Line: A $75 bonus incentive for travel agents for every stateroom booked on voyages through June 27, 2009 (booking window: October 16)
- Disney Cruise Line: Onboard credits of up to $50 on cruises and land & sea packages through December 13, 2009 (booking window: October 16 - November 15)
- Carnival Cruise Lines: Complimentary upgrades on all bookings made October 16 for virtually all 2009 “Fun Ship” departures (travel agents are invited to use Carnival’s special WLCN micro-site and Cruise Night Tool Kit at www.BookCCL.com/wlcn to make all arrangements)
- Celebrity Cruises: Onboard credits up to $200 per stateroom based on cruise length for seven Celebrity ships with sailings between January 1 and June 30, 2009, plus a 50 percent reduced deposit (booking window: October 16 - 18)
- Crystal Cruises: $100 per person discounts on most 2009 sailings for bookings made during WLCN (booking window: October 14 - November 7)
- Holland America Line: Special fares to be communicated to travel agents and reduced deposits up to $300 for bookings made during WLCN (booking window: October 15-17)
- MSC Cruises: Special prices on a variety of sailings in the Caribbean and Europe with rates as low as $399 for a seven-day Caribbean cruise, plus shipboard credits of up to $200 (booking window: October 16 - November 3)
- Norwegian Cruise Line: Double onboard credits up to $500, plus reduced deposit on sailings of five days or more (booking window: October 15 - 23)
- Princess Cruises: Reduced deposit of $100, plus a Princess coupon booklet with more than $120 in onboard discounts Regent Seven Seas Cruises: $100 per person shipboard credit on departures of seven nights or longer (booking window: October 16 - November 16)
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Line: A compelling special offer to agents will be announced on the company’s WLCN micro-site:
- Uniworld Grand River Cruises: $100 savings per person on all 2009 cruises if purchased through an agent having a cruise night on October 16 (booking window: October 16 - 23)
- Windstar Cruises: $50 in shipboard credits per person (maximum $100 per stateroom) on any Wind Spirit sailing between January 31 and March 28, 2009 and any Wind Surf sailing between January 4 and March 15, 2009 (booking window: October 16-November 9)
To take advantage of these special WLCN booking incentives CLIA member travel agencies should register their planned event with CLIA. For specific details and conditions of each offer, agents are requested to contact the cruise lines directly. For more information about World’s Largest Cruise Night, and to register please visit www.cruising.org.