28 JAN 2013: A seasoned travel veteran, Kristian Anderson is Silversea Cruise’s new vice-president of sales for North America and boy is he ready to talk about luxe cruising. And, why not?

Fresh off his stint as vice-president of US sales from Qatar Airways, Kristian knows the ins and outs of luxury products so when he took over the Silversea sales post last May he was ready.

Last week travel agents had a meet and greet hosted by Silverseas' strategic sales and marketing partner in Canada, Cruise Strategies, at the swanky Windsor Arms Hotel by Toronto’s tony Mink Mile.

Plenty of luxe buzz:

Travel Agent Centre

Agent partners can enroll in a special Silversea certification course available at www.silversea.com. “Its enhanced selling tool allows you to be well versed with the product offerings and is a tremendous benefit,” Kristian explained to trade media prior to the reception.

Ask Jeeves
Silversea is known for unwavering elegance, boasts large suite sizes (averaging 760 sq.ft) plus everyone loves a butler. Each suite (not cabin) he explained has butler service and that means every fine detail is met.

“We had a traveller who worked on a major project, sixteen hour days and wanted to take a fourteen day cruise. The butler asked if there was anything they’d like to do or need. She said every afternoon at three at the office she’d have popcorn. For the entire fourteen day trip at three o’clock it didn’t matter if she was getting her nails done, wherever she was on board, the butler would find her and bring her a bowl of fresh popcorn,” he smiled. Even reading glasses get polished if you like.

New Silversea routes and 2013 developments:

New Silver Privilege fares
– It’s the early bird gets the worm. Early bookings get pricing benefits and are five percent commissionable. The new cruise-only fare is customizable and clients only pay for the vacation components they desire. “The price is the price,” says Kristian.

Fare Guarantee Programme
– Got to like this one. You know how clients like to chat back and forth on pricing with fellow cruise mates, well now there’s price matching. Kristian said let’s say your client purchases a $10,000 cruise only to find two months later it’s cheaper. “No worries – Silversea will give credit in some way including compensation,” he said and later added they wish to see all guests with the same rates.

Silversea Revised Rebating Policy – Fairness, openness and transparency are three pillars this cruise company backs. So effective October 15, 2012 Silversea introduced a new policy enabling partners to focus on selling and building their business.

Grand Voyages - These extended-trip itineraries are ideal for clients who have the time and want to sail the high seas. Picture cruise schedules lasting 34 to 54 days with the beauty of 10 luxury-sail trips from which to choose. Now imagine routes across the Mediterranean, Far East and Oceania; and heavenly South America. For a full list of itineraries see www.silversea.com/destinations/grand-voyages.

New Shorter Voyages
– Great introductory cruises for first-time cruisers or those who don’t have long vacations but still wish to experience the decadent luxury aboard a Silversea Cruises voyage. Here’s the chance with these convenient four to seven day voyages. In the four-day option, three voyages are available. Northern Europe on the Silver Cloud (sail dates: June 15-19, 2013); and two Mediterranean Voyage trips on the Silver Wind. (sail dates: March 16-20, 2013 and May 14-18, 2013).

– a great multigenerational product. Kristian said the nice thing about this new offering starting in September (sales available now) is it’s the only luxury product of its kind for the Galapagos Islands. The other plus: the ship size. You’ll never really know tiny tykes are on board, maintaining that intimacy clients crave.

New products
– Got that client who’s been on countless cruises and is convinced they’ve cruised every corner of the earth. Well tell them about some new ports, some of which have not been offered by other companies. Plus in 2013 alone, there are over 450 destinations including new ones like Myanmar. For 2014, there are special commemorative sails like the 70th anniversary of D-Day to Normandy.

Silver Cloud has been totally refurbished and includes refreshed public spaces; new interior suite decor; upgraded outdoor spaces; and my favourite: dining enhancements. Le Champagne, the only Relais & Chateaux Restaurant at sea has been totally updated.

The Finale:

How does this year look? Kristian summed it up by saying: “The best wave season on record.”

For clients already booking for 2014, Kristian says Silversea bookings are looking good due to pent up demand based on consumers waiting these past five years to finally take that vacation.

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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