Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

MSC Cruises is Gaining Traction with Agents in the U.S.

MSC Cruises is the largest privately-owned cruise line in the world. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, they’re the market leader in Europe, South Africa and South America, but they’re kind of the new kid on the block in the U.S.

This is all changing, however, as they’ve just recently celebrated 10,000 graduates of their travel advisor education program and are setting their sights on growing their share of the North American cruise market. Because if a travel supplier really wants to make an impact in a new market, where should they start? With agents, of course, since we all know that agents run the travel industry.

MSC Cruises offers a pretty amazing deal for agents who are new to the cruise line. “Don’t wait for us to have a seminar at sea,” Wayne Peyreau, MSC’s regional vice president of U.S. sales, said at CLIA’s Cruise360 event in April of this year. Their seminars at sea are popular and sell out quickly, so they offer the Get on Board MSC Program, which is really flexible. All you have to do is graduate from MSC Academy (hot tip: it’s just one module and takes about 35 minutes to complete) and you’ll be eligible to get a $499 per person reduced travel advisor rate for seven nights in a balcony room aboard MSC Meraviglia or MSC Seaside. There are few other perks, too. “You book it for whatever date works for you,” Peyreau said. “And you can bring a guest and get an Easy Drink Package!”

MSC sweetens the deal even further. After you complete your cruise, “if you come back and sell 10 state rooms on MSC’s booking engine, they’ll give you back the $499 value,” Peyreau said. It’s important to know that the bookings must sail from Miami and must be seven nights or more. Still, this offer demonstrates MSC’s confidence that their product is unbeatable and that the U.S. market is ready for a cruise experience with “that European feel,” according to Peyreau.

With two new ships coming by the end of 2019 plus the opening of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve (“The largest private island of any cruise line out there,” according to Peyreau), MSC has plenty of exciting things to offer U.S. travelers. Now it’s just a matter of reaching even more agents and continuing to spread the good word about MSC Cruises.

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