Agents are being sought by the world’s largest cruise retailer as it prepares to launch its US franchise brand in the UK.


CruiseOne is operated by World Travel Holdings (WTH), which took a stake in UK agent Cruise118 last year and is a leading retailer in North America. As part of that deal Cruise118 agreed to establish WTH’s other brands in the UK, including Cruises.com, which launched in June 2010.


There are currently 720 CruiseOne franchisees in the US, Canada and Holland, and Cruise118 aims to have up to 10 in place in the UK by the turn of the year. James Cole, director at Cruise118, said: “We expect this to appeal to homeworkers who are active in their local communities.


“But if someone wants to have a physical retail presence or wants to do UK-wide marketing we would love to support them in achieving that.” CruiseOne offers franchisees full back-office and web support and 70% retained commission.


It claims agents making six bookings per week at an average value of £2,950 will make £54,836 a year after marketing and technology costs. The model is similar to the GoCruise franchise that is owned by Fred Olsen Travel.


Cole said the venture was a member of the British Francise Association and it has a deal in place with Barclays to help fund start-up franchises. Cole said: “We are keen to speak to anyone who has a real passion for starting a new business. “They do not need travel experience, but that would certainly be a benefit.”


He added: “This is a business model we are absolutely committed to and we want to grow with the right people.” Cole said he was looking to have up to 20 franchises within 12 months.