Having spent the majority of my professional career in the travel industry working with both Cruise Lines and Tour Operators, I joined the Celestyal Cruises North American team in February 2019 with a divine passion for cultural exploration, destination immersion and a devotion in expanding our products and services to our strategic partners in North America.
My role involves traveling Western North America to assist our strategic partners in helping grow their Celestyal Cruises business. Much of this time is devoted to client and agency visits, often for training, luncheons or virtual webinars conducted in house to home agents who don’t live in the ‘neighborhood’. In addition, I also conduct many webinars to assist with education for new clients/agencies on our newest product updates, additions, and company advancements.
Additionally, I represent Celestyal Cruises at tradeshow events for both industry professionals & consumers, agency conferences with our preferred partners, regional partner events and assist clients with their marketing and business development needs.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Hi, Ryan. Thanks for joining us today.
Ryan Campbell (RC): Thank you so much for having me, it’s my pleasure.
TRO: How long have you been involved with the travel industry, as a whole?
RC: I’ve been working in travel for nearly ten years, almost my entire professional career, and absolutely love working in the industry.
TRO: Celestyal Cruises is a smaller cruise line (2 mid-sized ships), which affords them a more personal touch with travelers. Can you give us a few other points that Celestyal Cruises has over other cruise suppliers?
RC: Celestyal Cruises is the preeminent cruise line in the Eastern Mediterranean. Home-porting in Athens, we explore the best the region has to offer. We include marquee ports like Mykonos, Istanbul and Santorini but we also visit Greek islands such as Patmos, Samos, Volos, Crete and Rhodes, along with Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. The cruises are all inclusive, which means that our guests don’t have to tip, pay port taxes and that they will enjoy selected guided shore excursions. We also include an unlimited drinks package. All this makes a Celestyal Cruise an amazing value and an easy sell for our agents. Our guests seem to truly enjoy the services we offer as we have collected many prestigious awards in the past years. Agents can sell us with confidence.
TRO: You’re fairly new to the Celestyal team. How are you liking it so far?
RC: I’m very lucky to have been added to such a fun and dynamic team, both in North America and as a part of our Global effort. My team has been tremendous to work with, and I’m very lucky to have been welcomed ‘onboard’ with Celestyal Cruises. It is a perfect fit as passion for travel is a clear component to everyone on the team.
TRO: As Gordon said about being in the travel industry, in a previous interview with us, “Whether it is for business or pleasure, upon arrival there will be new sights to be seen, foods to be tasted, scents to be smelled and people to be met. That is a lot of fun and even more so if you can inspire others to do the same.” What are your thoughts on this on maintaining this passion in the industry?
RC: My passion for travel is the reason I’ve worked in the industry, for both land operators and cruise lines, for the majority of my professional life and continue to do so. I’m driven by culture, educational exploration and learning from the world, and the valuable human experience of meeting new people and seeing the different cultures in the world. It is evident our team shares these values collectively and individually, as we share this same passion and are thrilled we get to share the exciting destinations in which we cruise in Greece and the Eastern Med.
TRO: You travel quite a bit to let new clients and agencies know all about Celestyal’s offerings, and how they can increase their own business in partnership with Celestyal. What are the most common questions you are asked by future partners?
RC: Most of my partners in the West are focused and are curious on the many advancements we’ve made as a company. Most questions are regarding our offering more inclusions, continuing to add more destinations and places we haven’t been, and perpetually improving the quality of our ships. Our company is always evolving, and many partners questions are focused around these topics to allow them to position Celestyal properly to their clients to help them see the region the best possible way, with Celestyal Cruises.
TRO: When informing agents of the ins-and-outs of Celestyal Cruises operations via webinar, what are the specific challenges and perks of this format?
RC: The webinars are very advantageous for reaching many home agents, or those who don’t always commute to an office. They provide background information and a thorough overview of Celestyal. It would be nice to have the human interaction and flow that an in-person training session provides, but the webinars are a valuable first step towards learning our newest products until I’m able to visit the office in person.
TRO: Industry travel shows are a great way to connect and network with all manner of people. What was one of your favorite moments at a travel show?
RC: My favorite moments in 2019 have been hearing all of the positive feedback from agents who have been selling Celestyal in recent years, and often have already sailed with us. Listening to them tell stories of how we truly deliver the destination, and how they can’t wait to get back onboard with Celestyal because of the level of quality and value of our service is really motivating too.
TRO: Can you let us in on any big news in the future for Celestyal?
RC: We just announced our newest itinerary in the Adriatic! This is a very exciting time for us as we move to our goal for year-round sailing. Please contact us or visit online for more information to see our newest itinerary showcasing Venice, Montenegro and Croatia!
TRO: Thank you for your time, Ryan. We wish you and Celestyal the best in the days to come.
RC: Thank you so much for having me, it’s been a pleasure.