Crystal River Cruises will host “as many agents as want to go” on two fam trips in the next three months, the line’s boss has revealed.
Two five-night sailings will be offered on Crystal Mozart in November, as the ship sails the Danube. Meanwhile, a seven-night itinerary will be offered for agents on Crystal Bach on the Rhine in December.
The line has previously hosted UK agents on ship visits in Amsterdam, with 10 this year and more planned for 2019. However, Walter Littlejohn, vice-president and managing director for the river cruise brand, told TTG he was keen to ramp up focus on the trade and offer opportunities for them to spend longer onboard, especially since around 95% of Crystal’s business comes through the trade (across both its ocean and river divisions).
The fam trips will be open to the international trade, but Littlejohn said he was particularly keen to welcome UK agents.
“The UK is a very important market to our team,” he said. “We want to make a real investment with the trade. They are extremely valuable to us and we will do more fam trips in future,” he added.
Littlejohn said any agents wanting to apply for a place should contact the line’s GSA, The Cruise Portfolio.
Meanwhile, Crystal has introduced a policy enabling its travel partners to take advantage of last-minute availability on its ships. “If we have space on one of our ships 60 days in advance of the sailing date, we open it up to agents at an agent rate,”
Crystal has also relaunched its Partner Resources Centre, where agents can access images and videos, as well as sales and marketing materials, while it also hosts regular webinars. “We’re big on webinars – it’s a great chance for agents to train themselves,” said Littlejohn.
Elsewhere, asked whether Crystal was planning new river vessels, Littlejohn said the line was currently focused only on its new ocean expedition yacht Crystal Endeavor.
But he added: “We’ve never rested on our laurels. We will always make sure we stay ahead of the curve.”