Viking Ocean Cruises is planning a major training programme to ensure UK agents are in a strong position to sell 2017 itineraries when they are launched.
Speaking during one of the maiden cruises on the company’s new ship Viking Star, UK head of sales Neil Barclay said there will be online training, webinars and also day trips to Bergen, Venice and Barcelona so they can see the ship.
He said: “The ship is sold out so we can’t actually get them on any cruises but we hope to take around 60 to look around the ship this year.” Viking also trains more than 700 agents a year though the Bright consortium.
Viking Star’s maiden season was snapped up when it went on sale two years ago and 2016, when one more ship is launching (and another in 2017), is getting heavily booked.
Barclay expects 2017, which he called a ‘big opportunity’ for UK agents, to go on sale in the third quarter of this year.
Viking’s new ocean cruise company aims to push the focus of ocean cruising back to destination. Barclay said: “It is providing agents with a different product to sell.”
The 930-passenger Viking Star is designed in the same Scandinavian style as Viking River Cruises’ Longships. Prices include one free excursion per port, drinks with lunch and dinner, drinks taken from the minibar, speciality dining and use of the thermal suite.