Margaret White of Expedia Cruiseshipcenters in Harvest Hills Calgary, Alberta, became the 10,000th graduate of Holland America Line’s award-winning HAL Academy Training Program that began in May 2001 and was created by travel industry training expert Dr. Marc Mancini.

White completed the training consisting of six core courses and 20 total lessons with exams in December.  As the 10,000th graduate, White received a verandah stateroom on a Mexican Riviera cruise aboard ms Oosterdam and a framed art print from Holland America Line’s current advertising campaign.

“It’s exciting to have our 10,000th graduate of the HAL Academy program and we are pleased that so many travel sellers have found this a valuable training program,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs.  “Congratulations to Margaret White and all the other graduates.  And we look forward to achieving 20,000 graduates very soon.

“HAL Academy is recognized across the industry as one of the top training programs for travel sellers,” added Meadows.  “It’s easy to begin and free.”

HAL Academy offers an in-depth educational program designed to provide travel sellers with the necessary tools and sales techniques to achieve greater sales success.  The program certifies those who pass as Five-Star Agents, able to utilize this status and their new knowledge to become much more effective in selling cruises.   Utilizing video and the latest interactive technology, the complimentary program is conducted completely on-line at the student’s own pace. 

Subjects covered in the program include an introduction to premium cruising, a sales primer, identifying Holland America Line and cruise prospects, an overview of destinations and an overview of available sales support.  Two advanced strategy courses focus on building groups and writing a marketing plan. 
The premium cruise line also recently added two advanced courses with 10 lessons each that cover creating a marketing plan and developing groups to its curriculum.   

All graduates receive a signed certificate with their name on it and a $50 shipboard credit for any time a graduate sails on a Travel Agent Appreciation fare.   Graduates also are eligible for up to 15 Cruise Lines International Association continuing education credits,  8 continuing education units from The Travel Institute (formerly ICTA) or 12 Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors education credits for Canadian graduates.