Cruising has bounced back in the rest of the world. Cruising has bounced back in the rest of the world.

The cruise bounce back is coming for Kiwi agents: Be prepared, says NCL exec

New Zealand travel agents should be learning as much as they can about the new cruising product on offer to prepare for the ‘bounce back’ in customer demand. And they should be confident that the bounce will come, as it has in the rest of the world.

That is the message from Eamonn Ferrin, VP international business for NCL, who was in Australia last week talking to media and partners about (among other things) the new Prima class and the opportunities that brings for trade partners along with the company’s existing and refreshed product.

‘People pay for great service and for help and support. So my advice to travel partners would be to upskill and learn about the new product.’

He says agents should have no doubt that Kiwis will be keen to cruise again. ‘They will be planning for 2023 and 24, they will want to put places like Alaska Greece and Italy in their diaries.’

Ferrin says one of NCL’s key principles (along with ‘people first’ and ‘guests first’) is ‘partners first’.

He points to the travel agents’ portal, Norwegian First, with all the tools advisors need to learn about, promote and sell the cruise line.

‘It comes down to communicate, communicate, communicate so as well as Norwegian First we have BDMs who can service the trade’s needs and help to grow their business.’

Ferris says at a time when some commissions are being squeezed, cruise remains a reliable earner for advisors.

He feels this is even more so in the post Covid environment when customers are making up for lost time – often taking back to back cruises, longer trips and inter-generational holidays.

‘When clients book a cruise there are airfares, transfers, pre and post activities and accommodation and more. Then there is the cruise itself – when you’re booking suites there are substantial commissions to be made.’

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