Viking’s commercial manager New Zealand, Steve Parker says big numbers are already coming in with RSVPs up around the 40s and 50s even in some of New Zealand’s smaller centres and 100 plus in larger cities.
‘Some of the sessions are still months away and we’re getting really good interest,’ says Parker.
The sessions build on the success of the line’s Explorer sale and follow a high profile summer season which, when it ends, will have seen 700 agents and clients combined check out three of Viking’s ships over about 70 site inspections.
Right now a small group of big Viking trade supporters are onboard Viking Sky, sailing from Auckland to Wellington, and on 9 February Viking will host ‘a night of Valhalla at the Sydney Town Hall with a large group of 18 Kiwi trade partners attending. Viking’s top five sellers will join Parker on a Paris and Heart of Normandy river cruise itinerary in May.
Parker says all of the activity is definitely paying dividends and the interest in the Explorer Sessions is no surprise.
‘These are an annual event now and they are already a proven success. The trade comes to learn and at the same time their clients are inspired to book. Just as one example, we had two agents in Whangarei last year make 15 bookings each after they brought customers to the sessions.’
He says the cruise down the east coast of the North Island right now has been an opportunity to get agents and their plus ones on board who haven’t quite qualified for the Valhalla top reward but are still highly deserving.
One of the guests, Nichola Edgecombe, Travel Managers, says this is her first time on a Viking ship. ‘We sell a lot of Viking. The all inclusive aspect, the service and the size of the ships are all attractive to our clients.’
Carli Christian, House of Travel The Crossing, says the agency receives a lot of enquiry for Viking. ‘Clients are definitely asking for it; Ocean, River and some Expedition.’
To register for an Explorer Session, click HERE.