At this point, most major cruise lines have only released itineraries through April 2019. However, 2020 can be booked now for certain itineraries. For example, take Regent Seven Seas’ recently announced 2020 World Cruise. It starts in San Francisco (departing January 24, 2020) or Miami (departing January 6, 2020). The 131 night itinerary includes 6 continents, 30 countries, 66 ports of call, 3 oceans crossed, 11 seas cruised, 36 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 13 overnight stays, 330 free shore excursions to choose from, and 33,871 nautical miles sailed.
Of course there are the standard Regent Seven Seas inclusions and more, like free First Class Air, an exclusive pre-cruise gala event and 1 night hotel stay, door-to-door luggage service, comprehensive visa package, free unlimited laundry including dry cleaning and pressing, free ship to shore phone time per suite, a commemorative gift, and free onboard medical service (however I would not skip travel insurance).
What does this cruise cost? A double occupancy deluxe veranda suite starts at $133,998 and if you are at 10% commission with Regent Seven Seas your commission would be approximately $11,328. The most expensive suite tops out around $350,000. And that’s why a 2020 itinerary is already available to book. The deposit alone will be at least $26,799 (for that deluxe veranda suite), and there will be approximately 24 months to the final payment date. World cruises are not something you book at the last minute.
What do you do when you have a client interested in a world cruise, or a portion of it, but they can’t afford to shell out $133,000 or more for a suite? Or they simply cannot be away for 131 days? World cruises are first offered as an all-or-nothing proposition. But, after a set amount of time, or after they’ve reached a predetermined percentage of suites sold, then smaller portions of the itinerary will become available to book as individual itineraries. How those shorter itineraries may be laid out might be alluded to in the description of the World Cruise itinerary segments: Bay Area to Bora Bora, Reefs and Relics, Awe of April, and Pompeii to Panama.
So don’t limit you marketing to only clients that you THINK can afford a world cruise. You may be surprised to find out that the teacher in your client database has been saving all of her career to do something just like this. You won’t know until you present the idea. Also, you may have clients that can’t afford the time or money for the full world cruise. However, if you share the itinerary with them, they may see something they are interested in and may be able to afford when smaller segments of the itinerary are opened for booking. Plant the seeds now, build the desire and excitement about the itinerary, and continue to follow up.
Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel located in Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through their division Kick Butt Vacations, she focuses on travel for 18 to 23-year-olds. Susan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 221-1209.