EasyCruise is in talks with major consortia and The Co-operative Travel to strike distribution deals as it launches its first trade brochure.
The cruiseline goes live with its new bookable trade website next month. Currently many agents use customers’ credit cards to book and charge an administration fee.
Sales and marketing director Paul Ellerby said talks were under way with Advantage, Worldchoice and The Co-operative Travel Trading Group.
He added: “The new site will also allow us to work with agents in the traditional way, but we have an education issue and need to get the concept across to agents.”
The brochure does not have prices but has itineraries and is intended as an information tool.
About 20% of the cruiseline’s sales are from operators and agents. It is targeting 50% for 2009.
The cruiseline also hopes to work with agents specialising in Greece. “That’s as important to us as the cruise agents,” added Ellerby.
Mark Godden is in the newly created role of sales manager for the UK and Ireland to improves ties with trade partners. He said: “Our product has matured and agents who sell it will have customers coming back.”
EasyCruise plans to work with the Association of Cruise Experts to offer further educationals and has a second fam trip planned for next year with bed bank youtravel.com.