A new website allows agents to sell cruise excursions direct to their clients at prices up to 60% less than cruise line rates.
Birmingham-based Cruisingexcursions.com is targeting the dynamic packaging cruise market, a sector expected to see rapid expansion following Complete Cruise Solution’s decision to cut commission to 5%.
Cruising Excursions, which will also sell direct to consumers, will pay agents up to 8% commission. Founder Simon Purchase said the company would give cruise lines in Europe their first real taste of competition for excursions.
“We see this as potentially turning the cruise industry on its head. I envisage agents using excursions to sell cruises,” he said.
Cruising Excursions has contracted all of its tours, mimicking some of the programmes cruise lines offer, and also brought in a selection of its own itineraries, such as Ferrari driving in Monte Carlo, helicopter tours in Barcelona and Segway tours in a variety of destinations.
As the site was launched this week, the start-up had 1,000 tours available in 240 European cruise ports up to the end of 2012. It plans to expand to the Americas, the Caribbean and Australasia.
Purchase said all the shore excursion suppliers had been vetted to ensure they were insured and offered high levels of service. Travel agents can set their own margin on customer bookings through a voucher code system or earn 8% commission if they work through the travel professionals section of the site.
“Agents usually find the job stops after the cruise is sold. Now they have the chance to earn extra income,” said Purchase (pictured with colleagues). Cruising Excursions has added a Seashore Academy trade training section to the website and plans to run fam trips to European ports towards the end of the summer.
Shorex, another relatively new company in the sector, offers pre and post-cruise add-ons but not excursions during cruises.
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