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Princess Cruises hosts 240 UK travel partners on new ship Majestic Princess as it looks to grow with the support of the trade and a ‘national treasure’. Natasha Salmon reports from Trieste

Princess Cruises has announced its biggest agent giveaway with more than £100,000 in cash prizes available to UK agents.

The cruise line unveiled the competition as it hosted 240 UK agents and travel partners on the maiden voyage of new ship Majestic Princess, which sailed from Trieste to Rome last week.

Agents can win cash prizes ranging from £1,000 to £10,000 when they book a Princess cruise between May 1 and July 31.

The 2018 programme includes the line’s biggest ex-UK season, with three ships, Sapphire Princess, Royal Princess and Pacific Princess, sailing more than 40 itineraries between April and October out of Southampton and Dover.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice-president for the UK and Europe, said the incentive demonstrated the line’s “continuing dedication” to UK agents.

“We want to get agents engaged with booking early and we are so well placed with 2017 bookings, we can focus on booking our product in advance.

“Booking high yield for next season also gives agents the opportunity to earn great commissions, so it is a win-win situation for all of us.

“This competition is open to everybody and we encourage everyone to enter.”

Each month throughout the competition the line will give £1,000 to 15 agents, £5,000 to two agents and a grand prize of £10,000 to one agent.

Bookings must be for the 2018 programme and include a balcony cabin or above. Multiple bookings can be entered and all must be registered with the Princess Cruise sales team. Winners will be chosen at random.

Majestic Princess is the line’s first ship designed for the Chinese market. It is operating a short season in the Mediterranean before it travels to its home port in Shanghai in May.

The 3,500-capacity ship features buffet dining area World Fresh Marketplace and reimagined kids’ clubs, which will be replicated on other ships in the fleet including Caribbean Princess. Other features include a larger casino, extended shopping area and karaoke rooms.

Roberts said the cruise line was more than 84% booked for 2017, which UK and Ireland sales director Rachel Poultney said highlighted a trend for cruise customers to book earlier.

Phillip Schofield in tie-up to promote Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises will partner with This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield to boost the brand in the UK.

The cruise line will film Schofield as he sails on Royal Princess to the Mediterranean from Southampton on May 5 and share it on social media.

Princess Cruises’ UK and Europe vice-president, Tony Roberts, said the involvement of the “national treasure” would raise awareness of Princess Cruises as a brand as well as attract new-to-cruise customers.

In a video message played during the mega-fam on Majestic Princess’ first sailing, Schofield said: “They clearly take wine and dining as seriously as I do, so I can’t wait to get on board and experience it for myself.

“I also plan to come back to try out the new Ocean Medallion later in the year.”

Commercial director for Jetline Cruises, Tracey Sharp, said: “He is well loved and well respected so they will get a lot of engagement by having him experience the product.”

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