Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced the winners of its Travel Partner Awards presented during Norwegian Gem’s inaugural events in Boston and New York in December 2007. For the first time, NCL presented five awards honoring the cruise line’s most innovative and successful partners:
“Our agency partners and their clients are the reason we’re in business,” said Scott Rogers, NCL’s senior vice president, marketing and sales. “These awards celebrate the collaboration with our partner agencies that allows us to provide the best possible experience for our clients and honor partners who display excellence in customer service, innovation and sales.”
The awards were presented during special award ceremonies on board Norwegian Gem, with more than 2,400 of NCL’s top travel partners aboard. During the festivities, NCL travel partners were given the red carpet treatment while enjoying the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising aboard Norwegian Gem, the newest addition to the NCL fleet – the youngest and most distinctive in the industry. In addition, travel partners on board were the first to hear about Freestyle 2.0, a major enhancement to its on-board product fleet wide, that will further improve the guest experience, including an increased investment in food of $50 million over the next two years, and an upgrading of stateroom bedding and amenities across the fleet. They also were introduced to a new travel agent program, Partnership 2.0, which includes major changes to the way NCL does business and is designed to strengthen its relationships with travel partners.
The award recipients included:
Elite President’s Club Travel Partner of the Year:
John Keen from CruiseDeals.com of Charlotte, NC
While only in its fourth year of business, CruiseDeals.com had the highest percentage increase in 2007 revenue of any NCL Elite President’s Club member, selling through online, brick and mortar, call center and home-based channels. In 2007, John and his team made a focused decision to significantly increase their NCL business because of the high demand for Freestyle Cruising. This agency has clearly demonstrated that the cruise business still has significant room for growth.
Freestyle Partner of the Year:
Helen, Tom, Greg and Chris Coiro from Direct Line Cruises of Hauppauge, NY
Founded as a home-based, part-time job by Helen Coiro in 1995, Direct Line Cruises (DLC) now handles reservations for more than 25,000 cruise passengers in the United States. The agency demonstrates true Freestyle partnership spirit which resulted in one of NCL’s highest agency mix of group business, with four times the average materialization rate. In addition, the personal touch shown by the DLC staff by writing a blog dedicated to the cruise industry, and in particular to cruising on NCL, further solidified their position as NCL’s “white fish” Freestyle Partner of the Year. By only working with three cruise lines, DLC’s focused efforts were recognized and rewarded.
Home-Based Travel Partner of the Year:
Brad and Van Anderson from America’s Vacation Center of Vista, CA
With the highest year-over-year percentage increase in overall home-based sales volume, America’s Vacation Center (AVC), founded in 1964, continually evolves its training, marketing and sales models to reflect the needs of its clients, including developing its own patent-pending travel technology. AVC has demonstrated the key elements to successfully sell cruises: focused training, focused marketing and focused Independent Affiliates. The results have put AVC in NCL’s award categories for two years in a row.
Fastest Growing Travel Partner of the Year – US:
Bill Price from Your Man Tours of El Segundo, CA
Created in 1967 to provide mature adult travelers with affordable, full-service tour vacation packages, Your Man Tours (YMT) packages air, motor coach, hotel, cruise and sightseeing into a carefree, escorted experience. For NCL, the company dynamically packages tours, air and hotel with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawai`i and Mexico. In addition, not only does YMT customize the travel arrangements, but the experience as well, creating a true “Freestyle” product.
Fastest Growing Travel Partner of the Year – Canada:
Jean-Pierre Caron and Lucie Paradis from Incursion Voyages of Quebec, Canada
With the highest year-over-year percentage revenue increase among all Canadian NCL travel partners, Incursion Voyages, which focuses on exotic vacations, was also named Quebec Agency of the Year and Travel Agency of the Year in 2007 by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. This marks the first year that NCL has recognized this category, and Incursion Voyages is a deserving recipient with a keen focus on selling NCL as their preferred cruise line.
NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America and Orient Lines.
NCL is building two new Third Generation Freestyle Cruising (“F3”) ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships in the market, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.