Travel Associates unveils Luxury Cruise Guide as demand surges

Droves of new-to-brand clients seeking cruise expertise to decipher who is who

Travel Associates has introduced a new Luxury Cruise Guide showcasing the products and experiences of 18 cruise line partners in the form of a digital magazine. The release of the guide coincides with Travel Associates’ biggest cruise campaign since the pandemic, and in response to demand from new cruise subscribers.

Click the cover to view the eMagazine

The cruise brands featured in the new guide include Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea, Ponant, Scenic, Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Viking, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess, Uniworld, Coral Expeditions, Hurtigruten, Virgin Voyages and Windstar Cruises.

The 58-page magazine provides a spotlight on each cruise line, along with sample itineraries. A hook for Travel Associates’ clients is a credit of up to $300 for new bookings, on top of any additional savings or bonuses the cruise line is offering.

“These inspirational guides are written to give people who are considering a cruise, a really strong insight into which cruise brand may be right for them,” Rachel Kingswell, General Manager, Travel Associates Australia told LATTE.

“We have found that our clients and new customer prospects are responding extremely well to our editorial-style brochures which are accompanying our major campaigns.”

“Our approach has been a comprehensive campaign that includes the cruise guide, an event series and an advertising campaign with a Travel Associates’ exclusive offer.

“We know that luxury travellers have lost their agents during COVID and many want to find the right, new business that can fulfil the needs of luxury clients with our goal being to provide exceptional service.

Travel Associates' Cruise Partners out in force at the Sydney Luncheon on 11 September

Anna Burgdorf, Global Brand & Marketing Director – Premium Travel at Flight Centre Travel Group said that during the pandemic many prospective clients who are new to cruise were entering the market looking for the right cruise or switching between cruise brands for the first time.

“Our role is to support them to find the right luxury cruise or itinerary that is right for every single client,” she said.

Gillian Seller, Director of Sales, AU/NZ for Regent Seven Seas Cruises presenting at the TA’s Sydney Luncheon

“It can be difficult for clients to transition to a new trusted travel advisor, however we have found the magazines are a strong way of showcasing our expertise, our detailed knowledge and our ability to bring together the right luxury cruise lines to provide a broad selection of itineraries and cruising types for clients to consider and ultimately select from.”

That process is coupled with a carefully designed retargeting journey that provides the magazine audiences with personalised product suggestions and introductions to their local Travel Associates cruise expert.

“With both Maddison Done, our National Marketing Manager and Lisa Wright, our National Event & LSM Manager, working hand in hand to provide clients and prospective clients with both knowledge, events and experience in our campaigns, we have found a strong recipe that travellers are thoroughly enjoying,” Burgdorf added.

Alongside the roll-out of the Luxury Cruise Guide, Travel Associates is hosting a series of Luxury Cruise Luncheon’s for prospecting clients. The first of these lunches were held in Melbourne earlier this month with 130 cruise loving guests attending. More than three-quarters of those attendees were new to Travel Associates after many had lost their cruise agent during the pandemic. One couple travelled over three hours from regional Victoria to attend the event.

Following the successful Melbourne lunch, Travel Associates held a Sydney Luxury Cruise Luncheon at Pier One in Sydney last Sunday [11 September 2022], with over 100 attendees and more than 50 on a waitlist. Almost every guest at the Sydney luncheon was new to Travel Associates.

Guests were treated to live classical music, bubbles, canapes and a two-course lunch, with exciting presentations and a bustling Cruise Marketplace with 14 of Travel Associates’ Cruise Partners.

A future event following a similar format is scheduled for the Gold Coast on 6 October 2022, with 150 guests expected to attend. Each event also has a special ‘Hidden Gem’ giveaway, which rides the coattails of the new brand campaign.

Viking was one of the partners at the Sydney Luncheon

“Luxury travellers are lining up to work with Travel Associates, and we are thrilled to facilitate connections with our expert advisors through continued, high-quality events like these,” Kingswell concluded.

View Travel Associates’ Luxury Cruise Guide online here.

Lead image: Anna Burgdorf, Global Brand & Marketing Director – Premium Travel, FCTG; Rachel Kingswell, General Manager, Travel Associates Australia and Lisa Wright, Travel Associates Events & LSM Manager. 

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