RCL claims the AirWaves system will remove the need to use multiple processes when booking fly-cruise holidays.
AirWaves will apply across Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, allowing agents to find flights from 30 regional UK and Ireland airports and access more than 2,500 four and five-star hotels.
Claire Stirrup, Celebrity Cruises’ sales director, UK and Ireland, told TTG: “Agents will have full access to published, private and low-cost fares, which is massive for us. They will also have access to more airports, which we have never been able to offer before.
“We also give our agent partners the documentation and a summary of the holiday they’re going on to pass onto their customers.
“We are hearing from agents that it is the ‘ultimate booking system’. It’s the largest pilot and collaboration with the trade that we have ever done, as we are working with 10% of the trade to get this rolled out. In November it will be accessible to all.”
RCL claims AirWaves will provide four key benefits for agency partners; reduced time and effort when selling a cruise, full commission on the entire package, the ability to tailor cruise holidays and full consumer protection.
Samantha Wilkinson, a travel consultant at Delmar Travel, who was involved with the research process said: “This new innovative booking system will revolutionise how we can book and tailor-make fly/cruise.
“We can now choose which airline our clients fly with - an industry first - meaning we no longer have to call or hold an option first to find out a flight route.”
Stirrup added: “Agents will be able to see the flight times, the airlines and the routes straight from the search result screen. We know their time is limited, so we have integrated the system so all of our hotel locations are on Google maps.”
Amanda Darrington, Royal Caribbean sales director, UK and Republic of Ireland, said the new selling platform, enabled the three cruise lines to have more “personalisation”.
“It was about asking ourselves how we can become more relevant for our agent partners and our customers and bring something that can simplify the whole process for them.
“This system offers a fully bonded package for our customers. If for example the flight is delayed and a customer misses their cruise, they’re protected and we have a 24-hour duty care line that will take care of all of those details.”
Agents will also be supported with an online hub, along with virtual classroom training videos and a fully trained field support team that travel around the UK and Ireland.