P&O Cruises is targeting 20,000 agents for its loyalty scheme – 5,000 more than the current number of agents registered with industry body Clia.

The line launched its Shine Rewards Club in December and has just over 10,000 agent members, who earn points for bookings which can be exchanged for P&O sailings, designer goods, experience days and other options.

Alex Delamere-White, the line’s sales and distribution vice-president, said his “bold ambition” was to add 5,000 agents by the end of the year and to grow the total to 20,000 in the long term.

According to Clia, each year about 15,000 agents are active with the cruise association.

Delamere-White said eight out of 10 P&O Cruises bookings were being registered on Shine.

“Shine is the mechanism to do that,” he said. “It is a loyalty scheme, but it also inspires people to sell cruises too. There are plenty of agents not selling cruises. We need to reach that audience so we can grow the brand.”

Delamere-White was speaking on board Ventura in Southampton during a P&O Cruises ‘One Day Holiday’ event. The programme sees agents invited on board its ships to see and enjoy the features.

The line expects to host about 1,000 agents, all Shine members, at 30 One Day events this year.

“We have reinvented ship visits,” said Delamere-White. “Previously, a ship visit [would see] agents rushed around and then have to get off pretty quickly.

“One Day Holidays are about making ship visits more experiential and interactive.

“If you remove those [onboard] experiences, it makes the ship visit quite hollow.”

By 2022, P&O Cruises is due to launch two 5,200-passenger ships, including Iona.

The line plans to scrap daily service charges across its fleet from May 2019.

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