Saga is to invite more than 500 agents on board new ship Spirit of Discovery next year as it looks to expand its third-party distribution.
Iain Powell, who became Saga’s head of trade sales for cruise and holidays in January, wants to “reach more people” by hosting shipyard visits and an overnight tour of the vessel.
Forty agents will visit the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, during two trips in October and November.
Powell is also planning to invite hundreds of agents on a ‘sneak peek’ overnight stay on the 999-passenger capacity vessel in the UK in June 2019.
The tour of Saga’s first new-build ship will take place at either Dover or Southampton, three weeks before Discovery launches.
A second new ship, Spirit of Adventure, will start sailing in summer 2020.
Powell said: “[The tour] is an opportunity to show Discovery off to the trade and showcase where Saga is going.
“It’s a big leap for Saga because they are new-build ships.
“We are determined to get more than 500 people to see Discovery next June – that’s the plan.”
“Top sellers and key partners” will be invited on the ship visit in June, but Powell indicated that places could also be secured in other ways.
“We are looking to reach more people,” he said.
Powell, who previously worked as a business manager within the national travel partnerships team at Carnival UK, would not reveal the agencies he had been talking to.
But he said: “The new ships are five-star luxury boutique – they fit the luxury market particularly well.
“The average selling price is more than £3,000, but with the new ships, we see that going only up.”
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