It’s been a very successful year for the Cruise Challenge, and there’s more to come in the next 12 months.
The Cruise Challenge – organised by Cruise Trade News – has been back on the road, visiting cities across the UK, delivering travel agent training with a difference.
This unique event, which fuses informative presentations from cruise lines with a gameshow format, has travelled far and wide yet again, to give agents the opportunity to learn and grow their businesses.
One of the cruise lines that regularly supports the Cruise Challenge is Oceania Cruises. The company’s director of sales UK & Ireland Louise Craddock says: “We are a small team so these events help us engage with multiple agencies at once, which makes great use of the team’s time.
“It is a fun way for agents to learn about the brands, catch up in person with key contacts in a relaxed environment, and of course agents have the chance to win some great prizes.”
Meanwhile, A-Rosa River Cruises business development manager for the south Joe Lavers says that it’s vital for the brand to network “as agents have a lot of choice to offer their clients and it is so important to keep our products front of mind and communicate our key messages”.
He continues: “The Cruise Challenges is also a great way to engage with homeworkers ,who are harder to visit on a stand-alone basis.”
Hays Travel cruise development executive Phoebe Thompson, who attended one of the events in 2022, adds: “I think events like the Cruise Challenge are important for agents as it gives them an opportunity to further their cruise knowledge in a fun environment.”
Win prizes at the Cruise Challenge
A key difference with the Cruise Challenge compared to other training events is the gameshow element, which has been crafted to provide not only essential cruise knowledge but also entertainment. Prizes are also on offer throughout the evening.
Thompson says: “The fun atmosphere and the gameshow set up makes it so enjoyable. I would 100 per cent recommend it to all agents – it was so beneficial.
“I went away feeling a lot more confident about the cruise suppliers that were there, about what they offer to their guests, what they can expect on board and what their values are.
“This makes it so much easier when talking to other people about why cruise is so great. The prizes were just an added bonus.”
Travel Counsellor Stephanie Rae agrees: “It was such a fun evening, offering something very different with lots of laughs while learning. I would recommend to other agents and hope to attend another one soon.”
Lavers adds: “Agents who give up their time to attend are clearly serious about learning more and this is why we value them so much.
“Agents can gain so much from hearing the cruise lines directly and they are able to really get under the skin of the different products – it’s so much better than just reading a brochure.”
For more information on 2023 dates and locations, go to the Cruise Challenge website.