Agents onboard for Princess Cruises’ new group policy

Princess Cruises has revealed more than 4,000 groups were set up by travel agents on the first day of its 2012/13 programme going on sale last week.

The new groups programme was among a number of selling tools opened up to UK travel agents after the decision by Complete Cruise Solution to reduce base rate commission to 5%.

The new groups deal offers guaranteed fares and other booking incentives, plus the chance to agents to earn up to 6.25% extra override.

Agents are also being offered up to six week-long Cruise Sales periods during the year when they can offer reduced deposits and onboard spend.

The line has also altered its cancellation policy, bringing it in line with the US market. Pieter van der Schee, Princess Cruises UK head of brand marketing, said: “We are very grateful for the support of so many agents and are pleased that they have found our tools attractive and easy to use.

“There is still plenty of opportunity for agents to set up groups on the new cruises and as agents lock in the best benefits at this early stage, I urge them to do so soon, to maximise their earnings and offer the best deals to their customers.”

The Princess Cruises 2012/13 programme went on sale last Thursday simultaneously worldwide for the first time. It offers nearly 600 cruise options on 150 itineraries to more than 300 destinations around the world.

The programme includes the operator’s largest deployment in Europe and over 40 sailings on three ships from UK ports.

Jason Peters, Creative Cruises director, said the selling tools would help agents back Princess following the cut in commission. And he added the new cancellation rule allowing no fees up to 180 days from departure was “a great thing to offer customers”.

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