Come Together: Explora Journeys announces Its New 'Journey Together Gatherings' program

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Explora Journeys 2023

27 January, 2023

Explora Journeys has introduced “Journey Together Gatherings,” a new group travel program designed to expand travel opportunities for extended families or friends. This builds on the “Journey Together” and “Journey Together+” programs, making planning and payment even more convenient for travelers, and offering benefits to travel advisors.

When booking three or four suites (only), with one suite required to be an Ocean Penthouse or Ocean Residence, groups can enjoy this space as a social hub. This is designed for a gathering of friends or an extended multi-generational family. Additionally, travelers with children will benefit from one under-18 in each suite sailing for free, as well as complimentary transfers to the ship for all guests booked on the “Journey Together Gathering” program. Travel advisors can benefit from Explora Journeys’ commission payments.

The program will be headed by newly appointed Charter and Journey Together Lead Cindi Occhuizzo. After 30 years in the luxury travel industry including brands such as Kuoni, Disney Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Occhuizzo brings her global travel and hospitality industry experience to Explora Journeys. Over the years, she has developed strong relationships with third-party event planners, incentive houses and corporate meeting planners throughout the world, and accumulated vast knowledge of the industry. Occhuizzo will be supported by newly appointed Journey Together and Charter Operations Expert Vilma Moutsatsos, who brings over 24 years of experience to the role, with a deep background in managing luxury travel groups and other large-scale events.

Explora Journeys’ ongoing terms include the rolling commission program, generous levels up to 18 percent on journeys and 10 percent on add-ons with commission being paid following receipt of deposits, no non-commissionable fares (NCFs) and commission paid on cancelation fees.

“Journey Together” is designed for travel advisors to book small groups, extended and multi-generational families. The new offering starts with five suites and a minimum of 10 guests. Travel advisors can benefit from a complimentary host berth, rewarding commission payments and each suite reserved comes with a complimentary Journey Experience credit to use onboard.

“Journey Together+” starts with a 10-suite, 20-guest minimum and offers travel advisors a complimentary host suite, rewarding commissions and a value fare to significantly increase their profit potential.

Full ship charter, meetings and incentive group requests can also be submitted by travel advisors and shipping brokers, and are negotiated independently of the “Journey Together” programs. Full ship charter quotes are based upon the length of the customized journey and time of year.

Other Cruise news this week

Cruise lines say that they’re seeing the first normal Wave Season in several years. Among them is Carnival Cruise Line, which announced the return of its “Amp Up Commission Challenge.” That allows travel advisors to qualify for higher commission rates—up to 15 percent—for the full year, based on bookings made between January 1 and March 31, 2023.

Carnival Cruise Line

Windstar Cruises appointed industry veteran Joe Jiffo as its new director of field sales. In his new role, he’ll guide the North America field sales and inside sales teams. Most recently, Jiffo served as vice president of sales, American Queen Voyages.

On the product side, Paul Gauguin Cruises, which sails within Tahiti and the South Pacific, is offering its Moana Explorer program for families with children on 21 cruises in 2023 and 2024.

In other news, Travel Agent had the chance to speak with Cindy D'Aoust, the new president of American Queen Voyages, about what's ahead for the small-ship line in 2023. D'Aoust, formerly president of Cruise Lines International Association, has been at AQV for only a few months. Sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor has shared "Part 2" in its overage of a recent trip to Antarctica aboard Silversea Cruises’ newly introduced expedition ship Silver Endeavour. The article looks at the ship itself—changes from the Crystal era, onboard service, our Premium Veranda Suite, dining options and major public spaces.

During that voyage, WiFi was,in our opinion, quite good, despite the ship being at the end of the Earth in Antarctica. Royal Caribbean Group uses Starlink for Internet services on Silversea and its other brands. This past week, Carnival Corporation announced that it will add Starlink on the ships of all its brands: Carnival, Seabourn, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and others.

Vantage Deluxe World Travel has announced new expedition and small ship cruise itineraries for 2023 and 2024. Among them are new, shorter cruises to Antarctica and the brand’s first journeys to South America, the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Later this week, William Reilly plans to retire from Royal Caribbean Group’s board of directors; he’s been a director since 1998. As a former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Reilly has been instrumental in leading the cruise company’s direction on environmental and safety issues.

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