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AGENT TIPS

Ask the experts

Selling cruises to the Asian market? Rebecca Rachel Wong asks those in the know for their insider tips.

TAN BEE HEIM MANAGER, WORLDWIDE CRUISE DIVISION DYNASTY TRAVEL, SINGAPORE

RICKY LEONG DEPUTY HEAD CHAN BROTHERS WORLDWIDE CRUISE CENTRE

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ailing into a new era of ultimate getaways, cruising has never been more on the pulse of what vacationers want: adventure, relaxation and Instagram-worthy food. Huge changes have been made over the past decade – cruising has seen advancements in the comfort and style of ships. Most Asian cruise travellers look for cruises’ family bonding facilities, theme tours, food variety, ports of interests, periods of travel (public holidays and school breaks are more popular) and special promotions such as early-bird bonuses. Asian travellers opting for cruise holidays are primarily young families and threegenerational families (60%), millennials (20%), and couples (20%). Their hot picks for cruise destinations are mainly within the region (Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei), Japan and Australia. Popular long-haul destinations are Alaska and the Mediterranean. On a personal level, I love cruising around Japan. I enjoy exploring the different prefectures, experiencing their culture and history, meeting 18

ASIA CRUISE DIRECTORY 2019

local people within the region and savouring authentic Japanese cuisine. When converting first-time cruisers, I emphasise the attractiveness of taking a cruise. Cruises can be great value. All-inclusive by design, they offer savings by bundling trip expenses into one rate. Great food is available with celebrity chefs revamping tired dining traditions. The entertainment has evolved as well. Acrobatic wonders, full-scale Broadway musicals and comedians straight from TV deliver quality entertainment on board nightly. There is always a cruise line that will fit each traveller’s requirements. Smaller ships tend to offer personalised and relaxed sailing experiences, while the larger ocean liners echo Vegas-style extravagance. For first-time cruisers, it’s important to share the categories of cabins that will suit their budget and needs. It’s also essential to discuss embarkation times, punctuality (best to arrive a day before the cruise) and returning to the ship promptly after shore excursions.

he Asian cruise traveller has varied holiday wants and needs. There are busy professionals looking for short but satisfying getaways that require little planning; retired couples who may not be keen on changing accommodation or long journeys on the road. Many itineraries are popular with Asian cruisers − from Asia to Alaska. Aside from general factors such as pricing and port-of-call destinations, I observe that Asian consumers place extra emphasis on dining options, on-board facilities and all-inclusive entertainment. Chan Brothers Worldwide Cruise Centre collaborates with different cruise liners on thematic or festive sailing campaigns, such as Mother’s Day cruises and Christmas escapades. Such campaigns have proven popular amongst multi-generational families looking for convenient and smooth-sailing (pun intended) vacations without having to worry about cumbersome logistics for the children and seniors in their party. Also, our cruise consultants possess excellent product knowledge of both on-board

and offshore components of a cruise holiday. We know the USPs of different cruise liners and even the highlights of each ship within the same cruise liner. Matching the right type of cruise to the right consumer is our service ethos in converting first-time cruisers and retaining repeat cruisers. Upgrading through constant training and real-life cruise experiences keeps our cruise specialists at the top of their game too. And going on cruises provides real-life experience and deepens our familiarity of the product service. To ease any likely trip anxiety, we always advise first-time cruisers to maintain a relaxed mindset while cruising. They should not to be overly ambitious in covering all facilities, dining options and activities on board. We also give advice on visa requirements and insurance, and suggest various port-ofcall and offshore activities. If there are on-board services, activities and facilities that need to be booked in advance, we advise customers so no one misses out.

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Asia Cruise Directory 2019  

Welcome to the 2019 edition of the Asia Cruise Directory - everything the industry needs to inspire new passengers and increase the populari...

Asia Cruise Directory 2019  

Welcome to the 2019 edition of the Asia Cruise Directory - everything the industry needs to inspire new passengers and increase the populari...