My friend from high school puts me to shame. Although I’m the travel writer, she’s the one who has gone on more exotic journeys than I’ll probably ever experience in my lifetime. Her reasons for traveling are the same as most travel buffs – she’s got an inquisitive nature and the desire to see the world. And although she prefers traveling in style and is willing to pay to do so, it wasn’t always that way.
Kerri’s love for travel started off simple. She visited the Grand Canyon with her family and camped; shared a cramped room with friends to a beach location for spring break; and even slept in her van a few times on various trips in her twenties to save money.
Then she took an ultra-luxury cruise, and she was hooked.
Fortunately at the age of 46, Kerri, who is an independent contractor specializing in educational services these days, can now afford the finer things in the travel space that she knows she has come to deserve – and there will be no turning back.
Kerri is heading to Antarctica at the end of the month. She is beyond excited about exploring this part of the world. Oh, and did I mention, she is going alone? Yes, Kerri is a true adventurer. While she sometimes travels alongside her mom or fiancée, she also has no apprehension about going solo, namely because when she travels on ultra-luxury cruises, she knows she won’t need a travel buddy to have her back, because the cruise line will take care of everything.
As more travelers like Kerri seek to explore exotic and remote destinations like the Seventh Continent, what is it about ultra-luxury cruises that draws them in and keeps them coming back?
One could say the answer is luxury, and they would be right – but luxury means different things to different people (caviar by the fireside to some and cross-country skiing in the company of penguins to others). So, what truly is the unifying factor that ties these travelers together?
In talking with experts on the subject and listening to my friend Kerri, it seems to come down to one thing: well-being. The definition of “well-being” is to be comfortable, healthy or happy. While we all strive for these things in our daily lives, we can only hope they will follow us when we set out on a lifetime adventure for which we have set aside savings and precious time.
For some, that assumption could be a gamble. But for those who choose to use a travel advisor who partners with select ultra-luxury cruise providers, the decision is without chance.
That is because securing your client on an ultra-luxury cruise is knowing they are not only in good hands, but the best of hands.
Any travel advisor will tell you that selling the experience is key to closing the sale, but promising the experience will be everything they imagined and then some is the true dealmaker. When it comes to ultra-luxury cruising, travelers can experience a destination as remote and spectacular as Antarctica with all of the luxurious comforts they come to expect and more from a high-end cruise.
From all suite ocean-front accommodations, first-class entertainment, premier service, and world-class cuisine to spas and highly skilled expedition teams to lead daily Zodiac excursions, there is nothing unaccounted for on an ultra-luxury cruise.
When experiencing these new adventures, travelers are provided with comforts, familiarity and security – all of which enhance the discovery process. An expedition is about discovery with a group of like-minded travelers and, as one advisor said, “The amenities and facilities of an ultra-luxury expedition ship allow you to concentrate on the ‘here,’ namely the moments and the experience.”
Add in special touches, like digital photography workshops, Caviar on the Ice parties, and warm beverages on deck during scenic cruising, and it’s no wonder these cruises take travelers beyond their imaginations.
And while an ultra-luxury cruise is an expensive journey, the value of the experience will be felt the second your client climbs aboard, according to Eric Goldring, president of Goldring Travel, who sums it up this way: “For the travel agent, the ultra-luxury cruise is, by its nature, a higher profit sale for the most part. It can also be the easiest sale because less time is spent discussing the compromises and trying to sell a cruise in spite of them.” Goldring reminds fellow agents to “sell the experience and be sure to understand their real reasons for visiting. There is no certain type of client. Some are happy with a 10-day experience and others want three weeks or more. It’s a matter of finances and time, so just know the different options.”
And, of course, remind them that their well-being is the cruise line’s ultimate objective.
FROM THE SPONSOR: Seabourn’s “Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia” voyages perfectly exemplify the ultra-luxury difference with a unique blend of exhilarating adventure enwrapped in amenities of unparalleled luxury. Guests are immersed daily in Antarctica’s natural splendors during Zodiac landings with their world-class Expedition Team, and paddling among immense icebergs and flocks of penguins on optional Ventures by Seabourn™ guided kayaking excursions. They return from these outings to dine on award-winning cuisine inspired by Michelin-starred chef, Thomas Keller, in a dazzling dining room or have a relaxing spa massage at Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil.