Celebrity Cruises will welcome 1,000 agents on board in 2024 in its biggest ship visit programme since the pandemic.
The line will operate a series of ship visits around the UK and in Europe as well as five seminars at sea, which will see agents have the opportunity to join two seminars in the Caribbean with visits to private island destination Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, two seminars in Europe and one seminar in Alaska.
Sales director UK & Ireland Claire Stirrup told Travel Weekly she is “hugely excited” for the ship visit programme, and wants to offer agents the chance to “immerse” themselves in destinations.
Sixteen visits are scheduled around the UK on Celebrity Apex which is homeporting in Southampton in summer 2024.
“We are going bigger for our ship visit series next year with 1,000 agents which is really exciting,” said Stirrup.
“We won’t just be taking people on Apex from Southampton, we will use local ports all around the UK with visit opportunities in Scotland, Ireland and Liverpool as well.
“There will also be a couple of visits on Celebrity Ascent which is sailing in Europe and we want to offer them as immersion experiences within the destination it is docked in so agents can come on board, have dinner, watch a show and then depart and stay on land in the evening.
“We don’t want to just do normal 10am-3pm ship visits, we want to make full use of the ship when it is in port.”
Stirrup said the line is changing the way it offer ship tours for 2024 based on agent feedback and will give them more flexibility to explore in the way that suits them.
Agents can choose to join a guided tour or use the line’s app while on board to lead them around the ship if they would rather go on their own.
“Trade partner feedback is really important to us and we’ve found that some agents would prefer to take their own tour rather than join a group so we’ve developed our app to allow them to walk around alone and still receive all the information they need,” said Stirrup.
“Everyone has a different way of learning so we want to make it as easy as possible for our agents to get what they need.”