Why just sell a cruise when you can add a bucket-list train journey to the trip?
Why sell just a cruise when you can package it with a rail holiday, adding value for your client and boosting your commission?
Cruise agents Imagine Cruising and Reader Offers regularly package rail/sail holidays for clients – for instance pairing the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express with a voyage from Venice or the Eastern & Oriental Express in Asia with a sailing from Singapore.
This can be time-consuming work for agents. Which is where Jetline Cruise comes in. The company produces a Cruise & More brochure in partnership with Advantage that features ready-made rail-cruise packages that consortia members can buy into.
Jetline general manager – cruise Chiara Brooker said it is a growing market. “Customers get the best of both worlds – the cruise and the chance to see more of the destination by train journey. It is all packaged with flights and transfers, so it is very easy.”
Jetline options include a holiday combining a three-night stay at Lake Como in Italy with a train ride to Venice, a night in the city and a one-week cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s Vision of the Seas from £879 per person, including flights.
If you don’t want to fly, a 26-night USA Grand Circle holiday, priced from £2,919 per person, combines a cruise from Southampton to New York on Queen Mary 2 with an Amtrak train tour to New Orleans, Los Angeles and Chicago, and then back to the Big Apple for a return voyage to the UK on Queen Mary 2.
Brooker said: “The tour is popular but Canada tours combining the Rocky Mountaineer train with an Alaska cruise are the big sellers. Clients like Canada as it is good value and seen as safe.”
The 15-night Grand Canadian tour pairs costs from £3,580 per person departing June 4 2017, including flights. A 24-day tour pairing a journey on Canada’s Via Rail from Toronto to Vancouver with a one-week Holland America cruise costs from £3,269 per person departing May 2 2017, including flights.
Cosmos Tours head of product David Binns said: “These holidays combine two bucket-list experiences and appeal mainly to clients aged 65-75 with a fair disposable have been doing it for many years. The Rocky Mountaineer train is comfortable and reaches places you can’t get by road.”
Closer to home, he said customers can opt for a rail-sail option with all Avalon Waterways’ European river cruises, although those departing from Paris, Lyon and Amsterdam are the most popular. “A lot of people don’t want to fly because of the hassle. Many will take the train even if it is more expensive.”