Cunard has revealed plans to double its trade ship visits this year, giving 700 agents the chance to experience a Cunard vessel.
New sales director Gary Anslow said Cunard would be showcasing its ships to agents around the UK, with visits in Southampton, Greenock, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.
“We’ve often been Southampton based with our ship visits, but this year we’ll be hosting regional visits as well,” he said. “We wanted to give more agents the chance to see our ships, wherever they’re based in the UK and Ireland.”
Cunard said visits would focus on “specific elements of the lines’ product”, including its Alaska programme, transatlantic crossing on Queen Mary 2 and Grill Suites, and would feature a “revised onboard agent experience” to provide “a more immersive experience than the traditional ship visit”.
It comes as Cunard continues its drive to distinguish itself from sister line P&O Cruises, after Carnival UK announced in September that Cunard and P&O Cruises would split their sales team into separate entities.
The move led to the appointment of Anslow, formerly Monarch’s sales director, who joined Cunard in January.
The team is now set to grow to 18, including two new business managers, Gemma Scarff, who joins from Qatar Airways, and Fiona Radford, who has a background in sales and marketing in luxury hotels. Radford will focus on the luxury market, Anslow said, adding: “Her background is luxury hotels, so she’s well placed to focus on the luxury side. We’re looking to talk to more agents in a more effective way.
“As we launch a new and dedicated Cunard trade sales team, we have identified a number of trade engagement opportunities that we will develop [this year], with the ambition of supporting the trade in building its knowledge of Cunard and what makes it unique. Getting as many agents as possible on to the three Queens is a logical way of demonstrating what that difference is.”
Agents wanting to join the visits can apply after the trade launch on March 19 through the Complete Cruise Solution agent portal.