Tickets go on sale today for the 2011 Ace UK Cruise Convention with agents being encouraged to take advantage of an early bird offer for bookings made before 31 January.

For the first time, the convention will feature Columbus Day, an invitation-only event specifically for agent owners, managers and Ace ambassadors to meet key business associates and to hear industry opinion.

Andy Stuart, executive vice president of global sales and passengers services for Norwegian Cruise Line and Jan Swartz, executive vice president of sales, customer service and marketing for Princess Cruises, have been confirmed as speakers for Columbus Day and will cover topics including maximising profitability through social media and how UK agents can benefit from the experiences of the more mature and competitive American cruise market. 

Ace director Flo Powell said: “The 2011 Ace UK Cruise Convention is focussed on helping both managers and front line staff to increase their cruise sales. 

“We’re delighted that two very senior cruise executives from the USA, Jan and Andy, will be in Southampton sharing their views and experiences of the competitive US cruise market.

“We have many new initiatives for 2011 including pre-bookable meetings and we’ll soon be announcing details of guest speakers from outside the industry who will bring a different business perspective.  Convention tickets are now on sale so I would urge agents to take advantage of the early bird rates and book now.”
The Convention is taking place in Southampton between 3-5 May with an early bird rate for a three day ticket costing £125, including Columbus Day, while the cost for a two day ticket is £75.  These costs rise to £150 and £95 respectively from 1 February 2011.

The Convention is taking the theme ‘365’, highlighting that no matter what day or time of year, there’s a cruise holiday for everyone.

It is expected to attract more than 600 delegates and will include business seminars on ocean, river, expedition and small ship cruising, debates with key note speakers, networking opportunities, a trade fair and up to four visits to ships including Cunard Line’s newly launched Queen Elizabeth, P&O Cruises’ Aurora, Fred Olsen’s Balmoral and Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas.