Have you missed any recent cruise travel updates? Expert cruise contributor Sally Macmillan helps bring you up to speed with the latest intel in this weekly wrap of what’s making waves in cruising right now.
1. Riding the Wave
CLIA Australasia will hit the road again in 2024 with its nationwide CLIA LIVE training showcase, visiting Brisbane on March 19 & 20; Adelaide on April 10 & 11; Perth on April 16 & 17; Auckland on April 30 & May 1; Melbourne on May 7 & 8; and Sydney May 14 & 15.
Each CLIA LIVE event consists of a two-day seminar with a series of presentations from member ocean, river and expedition cruise lines which will share their latest product updates and sales incentives to empower agents to confidently sell more.
CLIA members attending will be able to network with cruise line representatives and have any questions answered, with events designed to suit both experienced agents and those new to the industry.
“This year’s CLIA LIVE is designed to give agents all the insight they need to capitalise on cruising’s rising popularity and understand the latest evolutions in the market,” said CLIA Australasia Director of Membership and Events, Marita Nosic.
“We’re seeing an exciting rise in new-to-cruise guests and a greater diversity in age groups, which is reflected in the increasing choice of cruising styles and onboard experiences available.
“CLIA LIVE is about understanding the latest innovations in cruising and learning how to match the right client to the right cruise.”
Events are exclusive to CLIA members, who can attend on either one day or both, with 30 CLIA points available per day to put towards their Ambassador or Masters training or certification status.
Do you have clients who are looking for an ultra-personalised cruise experience – to celebrate a wedding, special anniversary or birthday, perhaps – in the company of only close friends and family?
The much-awarded cruise line SeaDream is promoting private charters of its two boutique motor yachts, SeaDream I and II. These classic vessels, which sail in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, can accommodate 30 to 56 couples.
SeaDream offers an “unsurpassed boutique luxury experience with casually elegant voyages”, on three- to 14-day itineraries custom-designed for corporate incentives, affinity groups, milestone events, and family celebrations and reunions.
Both ships offer incredible service – a one-to-one crew to guest ratio – al fresco gourmet dining featuring superb wining and dining, luxurious spa and wellness services, a golf simulator, and an onboard marina stocked with water toys. Meeting spaces can accommodate all guests.
SeaDream says travel agents can earn 10 times the commission selling just one of its charters than you can selling 10 other travel experiences.
For a brochure about chartering opportunities, a consultation with a SeaDream charter specialist or more information, visit seadream.com.
3. Wind Class Refresh
Having recently spent millions of dollars stretching and rejuvenating its three Star Class vessels, Sea Breeze, Sea Legend and Sea Pride, Windstar Cruises is now turning its attention to its three classic sailing ships.
The 148-guest Wind Star and Wind Spirit and 342-guest Wind Surf will be redesigned and updated in a multi-million-dollar program that will run over the next three years.
Wind Star has already completed the first phase of her transformation, which includes a full redesign of the lobby, lounge, spa and fitness centre, pool deck and technology. She will return to the shipyard in 2026 to have her staterooms, main dining room Amphora and lunch/breakfast restaurant Veranda updated in phase two of the operation.
Wind Spirit will complete her renovations in 2025, and Wind Surf will undergo phase one in 2024 and phase two in 2026.
“The design inspiration really developed from the yachts themselves,” explains Jessica Payne, Windstar’s Manager of Interior Design. “I studied classic and modern yacht architecture to develop the sophisticated design foundation, and then went on to add pops of fun and peeks of relief inspired by our sails, the sea, the cities we visit, and our guests.
“Stepping into the lobby as you embark is about feeling a sense of stepping onto your own private yacht but experiencing the service of a luxury boutique hotel.”
Sea Breeze, the first Star Class ship to be dramatically stretched (from 134 metres to 159 metres long) and refurbished, is now in local waters for a short series of cruises in Australia and New Zealand before heading to her new homeport of Papeete in French Polynesia in February 2024.
Silversea is welcoming in the New Year with its $6,000 Reasons to Sail with Silversea campaign. Luxury and expedition cruisers can save up to AU$6,000 per suite on a range of voyages departing from January 2024 to April 2026 – when booked by February 29, 2024.
“Our new wave season offer is a value-rich invitation for travellers to discover the world with Silversea and a strong opportunity for our travel partners to grow their businesses,” said Adam Radwanski, Silversea’s Managing Director, Asia Pacific.
“With reduced deposits of just 15 per cent on Door-to-Door fares and up to AUD$6,000 savings per suite, based on two sharing, this is the ideal time for travellers to start planning a memorable adventure in 2024 and beyond.
“Our valued travel partners also benefit from the opportunity to boost their sales, incentivising their clients to experience regions they may not have considered before, such as Antarctica or the Kimberley Region.”
Silversea’s all-inclusive fares include butler service for every suite category; multiple restaurants serving diverse cuisine; in-suite 24-hour dining service; wines, spirits and beverages served throughout the ship; onboard gratuities; unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi; and more. Oceangoing voyages include one shore excursion per guest, per day, while all shore excursions are included on expedition voyages.