Virgin Voyages has raised travel agent commission to 16%.
The line promised the new structure was “not a limited-time offer” with its base cruise fare containing no non-commissionable elements – meaning no part of the fare is excluded from potential earnings.
Virgin Voyages said the decision to up commission underscored its “unparalleled commitment” to trade partners, known by the brand as First Mates.
The line will “soft open” its first ship Scarlet Lady in October – after the vessel’s maiden season this summer was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Agent support would be “critical” to the company’s success upon resuming operations, it said.
Ahead of Scarlet Lady’s soft launch, agents will also be able to benefit from Virgin Voyages’ “perfect 10” 10% commission bonus – paid on pre-voyage sales such as shore excursions, hotel stays and spa treatments.
“Our First Mates are a true extension of our team, and with a deep and long history of making our industry a success for so many years, we recognise how important their role is,” said president and chief executive Tom McAlpin.
“We have listened to our First Mates and they have told us what they need in order to be successful during this time. In turn, we are investing in our relationship by increasing our commission structure to 16% and honouring their role as essential pillars of the travel community.”
The news comes as Virgin Voyages unveils its “Brilliant To Do Business With” initiative with a range of pledges to further support the trade.
Shane Riley, associate vice-president of international sales, added: “We are delighted to reaffirm the commitment we have to our First Mate partners. This significant increase to commissions is part of a wider programme of support for our partners.”
Virgin Voyages previewed Scarlet Lady to UK trade partners during overnights in Dover and Liverpool (video above) in February.
The line’s second ship, Valiant Lady, is due to be based in Europe next summer, while a third vessel is also currently under construction in Italy.