Virgin Voyages vice-president of international sales Shane Riley shares his top tips on how to sell the line to customers looking for a cruise with a difference.
What’s your advice for agents to help them sell Virgin Voyages to adult groups?
The core of what we offer at Virgin Voyages is premium experiences. Since our ladyships are all exclusively adult, it’s given us the opportunity to dedicate all our spaces on board to what adults like.
My advice for agents is to focus on the uniqueness of what we have to offer their clients – boundary-pushing entertainment and our diverse eateries and menu options.
We’ve given our guests an elevated, relaxed, and worry-free way to see the world. Who wouldn’t want to experience that on their next holiday?
We also have a series of ‘perks’ available for those sailing as a group (we call them circles). The perks include on-board credit and a free cabin for every 10 cabins booked.
What are your top tips for selling to solo travellers?
We’re for anyone who enjoys dancing, the latest in technology, wellness, and simply having a good time. The guest sets the pace for the holiday, whether they come aboard solo or with others.
With a range of solo cabins, guests can have their own space without single supplements.
Our immersive entertainment will also help them interact and meet new, like-minded people.
And the same for parents and their adult children, as well as foodies and spa lovers?
There is nothing like traveling with adult children. They’re all grown up and now you get to create even more memories, doing things you both enjoy. Celebrating special occasions at sea as a family is unforgettable.
A family can enjoy some of the most incredible meals on board while visiting dreamy destinations.
We purposely offer a festival of choice, allowing guests to choose their own path. Whether it’s a late night dance party or namaste in the Redemption Spa, there are plenty of ways to detox and retox.
What’s the one on-board experience you would say is a must for each of these categories of guest?
For a family, it has to be dining at Pink Agave, experiencing something unique together, while for couples, dining at The Wake, taking a yoga class together, sipping champagne with the ‘Shake for Champagne’ app, or catching a live show like Duel Reality in The Red Room, are good suggestions.
As for solos, get a massage at the Redemption Spa and meet new friends in the Galley, or simply retire at night to the cabin, watch a movie and have Ship Eats deliver a pizza.
How can agents convince clients who are loyal to other brands to switch to Virgin Voyages?
It’s time to try something new. Virgin Voyages is exclusively adult, with unique itineraries and great service.
We offer well over $600 of value on each sailing, including all the food at more than 20 eateries, tips, group fitness classes, essential drinks and wifi.
We also recently announced the Virgin Voyages Sailing Club – offering status to many cruise lines (and airlines). This means guests can choose to sail with Virgin Voyages while still enjoying the perks they’re used to with other brands.
First Mates (agents) can be confident their clients will have an incredible experience.
In general, how are your agent partnerships going?
Our agent partners are a vital part of our strategy and we are seeing great success across many of our partners.
Over the last 12 months we’ve invested a huge amount into these partnerships, including hosting almost 2,500 agents on board Valiant Lady.
The most successful partners are those who have embraced the opportunity to reach new audiences, introducing a new way to holiday to customers that would have never previously considered a cruise.
We’ve seen agents expand their database and attract new clients as a result of offering Virgin Voyages. Social media is a core channel and we regularly see Virgin Voyages outperforming other types of holidays in this space.