Journeys of personal discovery. Meaningful travel. Transformative getaways. These are the buzzwords, and the types of experiences that travelers crave these days - a trend that has only been heightened by the grueling two-year pandemic that is now finally winding down around the world.
Your clients are looking to you, their trusted travel advisor, to recommend trips that will satisfy their deepest desires. Listen well to them, because they may reveal secret wishes that could, for instance, translate into a luxury ocean experience. The effortless style of the Mediterranean, the majesty and charm of the Nordic Fjords and Baltics, the history and culture of the British Isles, the natural splendor of Hawaii, or the exotic locales of South America. Whatever destination they choose, here are several reasons why booking them on a luxury ship will surely give them unforgettable bucket-list travel experiences.
- A journey beyond a cruise
If you carefully choose the luxury lifestyle brand that you recommend, the trip will feel more like a journey than just a cruise. Rather than focusing only on the onboard experience, it will be a more immersive and enriching personal experience that encompasses the people they travel with, the people they meet in destination, how they get in touch with a deeper part of themselves; as well as the entire process of planning, flipping through the pages of a brochure, and flying to the departure point. Throughout the trip and when they ultimately disembark, they will feel exhilarated rather than exhausted. The essence of a trip like this helps travel advisors build lasting relationships with discerning travelers who seek deeper connections within themselves and to the places they visit.
- ‘Slow’ cruising
Just like the Slow Food Movement represents a more connected and complete experience of enjoying and appreciating one’s culinary activities, slow cruising encourages a more authentic experience at an unhurried pace of travel. Itineraries may blend celebrated destinations on the beaten path with hidden gems off the beaten path, and take guests to lesser-traveled harbors. Fewer ports may be visited, with relaxed mornings and later departures or even staying in port overnight, and with perhaps only one day at sea. Check itineraries well, as the distinction combines exceptional planning along with the matter of the finesse with which the cruise line delivers the destination experience.
- Choices for personal enrichment
Luxury affluent travelers have no interest in participating in a jam-packed, 9-to-5 schedule of activities while traveling. Rather, they seek the flexibility to discover and connect with the destinations visited in their own time and way. The finest luxury ocean travel companies will give guests the choice to curate their own perfect day, whether it be on ship at anchor or in destination, perhaps explored just with their traveling companion by personal car service or with a couple they met onboard. Another example would be personalization regarding wellness pursuits, whether onboard or bespoke experiences arranged in destination. The outstanding feature is enrichment through personal choice rather than running to and fro on a rigid schedule.
- Intimate spaces
Study after study has shown that one aspect of the luxury lifestyle travel experience is synonymous with the intimate spaces that can be discovered and savored onboard. Guests seeking transformative travel experiences tend to want all-suite, oceanfront accommodations with ample space for their personal at-sea residence, but they prefer smaller and diverse public spaces that allow for more choice and seclusion. The sprawling restaurants and theaters of the larger ships are replaced with smaller and more distinctive eateries and lounges, as well as smaller pools with private cabanas, for instance. With more intimate venues and fewer guests, there exists an appealing choice of spaces to be alone or to join in with others.
- The luxury of privacy
Along with the luxury of choice and the luxury of space already mentioned, the luxury of privacy completes the triumvirate. Luxury affluent travelers expect home-like comfort at their home at sea. Without compromise, they anticipate maintaining the same lifestyle onboard as they do in residence. The all-suite accommodations, in-suite personalization, flexible dining, and very individualized service of the best luxury cruise lines are poised to deliver on the promise of exceptional guest privacy.
- Service befitting the affluent
The crew on a luxury ship develops closer relationships with its guests, mainly through their impeccable service. They know your name, your favorite drink, the brand of cigarette or cigar that you smoke, your culinary preferences, and more. That kind of anticipatory service at every turn translates into a feeling of respect and privilege - and who doesn’t want to feel that while traveling? Keep in mind that there is a new luxury lifestyle travel brand debuting in 2023 that will deliver what may well be the most impressive guest-to-crew ratio, at 1.25 guests/1 crew. Something to look forward to.
- The elegance of the all-inclusive
There is a particular grace and elegance that is the hallmark of the affluent. A cruise line’s all-inclusiveness contributes to that sense of luxury in that no monies need change hands onboard. All food and beverages and tipping are included. In-suite personalization may consist of being welcomed with a fine chilled French champagne instead of a Prosecco, or with the suite being stocked in advance with the guest’s alcoholic or soft drinks of choice. Of course, internet access is included, etc. No nickel-and-diming in sight, and all needs are met with subtlety.
As you scan your client list to see who might be a good fit for a luxury ocean experience, remember to look beyond those who are viewed as more traditionally affluent. Consider the “aspirational affluent,” who may have saved up for quite some time to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip perhaps celebrating a special occasion or milestone. During their time traveling, they will relish and remember being seen and treated as affluent through and through.
From the Sponsor:
Explora Journeys is set apart through five central elements: space, choice, design, destination experiences – and an unwavering commitment to the travel advisor community. In fact, travel advisors can begin enjoying our industry-first rolling commission program today.
To join us, register in the Explora Travel Advisor Centre. There, you’ll find our industry-leading policies for advisors and exclusive benefits for your clients, including a “Flexible Journeys” program that promotes peace of mind when booking travel. You can access robust learning modules in our bespoke Knowledge Suite, to help you tell the Explora Journeys story and generate your own go-to-market strategy. You will gain access to a dazzling library of digital and print assets to help you market Explora Journeys; a booking portal that makes it easy to match clients to their perfect transformative holidays; the latest Explora Journeys news; and a personalized reporting dashboard – all designed to bring you and your clients closer to an Ocean State of Mind.
We are open for bookings and invite you to enjoy a seamless booking experience, whether online, with your By Appointment Service, or by calling an Ambassador at 1-833-697-8348. We delight in welcoming you into the Explora Journeys travel advisor community.