Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has launched a new booking platform encompassing flights, transfers and hotel stays.
The fly-cruise booking technology called AirWaves was announced today (July 14) for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, with all bookings Atol protected.
The platform allows agents to book cruise packages all on one platform and displays different airlines and flight time options. Previously, agents had to use multiple sites to package up cruises.
It includes flights from 30 regional UK and Ireland airports and has access to more than 2,500 hotels across the world, near ports or in departure cities, for pre and post-cruise stays.
All packages are Atol protected, with RCL Ltd acting as the principle, allowing for full protection for guests and agents.
AirWaves will begin a trial period among 350 agents from August 1 and then be available to all agents in November.
It has been developed in the last few months with help from an advisory panel of 30 travel partners.
Tui cruise specialist Donna Rosegreen said the platform’s simplicity could increase the number of agents booking cruise.
“The high street agent can book anything from a Butlins break to a land-based holiday so we need to know a little about a lot – this means many agents shy away from booking cruise.
“This platform will change all that for the RCL brands as it is all in one place but you are also given prompts and explanations along the way.
“The fact we can now see airlines and flight times, then also pick a preferred choice, is life changing.”
Agents can search for a fly-cruise by cruise line, destination or region and also search for holidays with disabled access on flights, transfers and hotels.
An overall price and deposit are visible throughout alongside a live break down of the agent’s commission.
All hotels are between four and five-star and can be viewed on google maps within the platform.
Amanda Darrington, Royal Caribbean International sales director, said: “The platform is remotely accessible so agents can access it from an iPad and other smart devices.
“This is in line with mobile technology used in many high street stores, such as Tui, Thomas Cook and Kuoni , who use more customer facing sales tools and could then allow other agents to do the same.”
Other hotels and add-ons, such as boutique options for Azamara Club Cruises, can still be found on the Cruising for Excellence agent site.
A support hub is available for agents as they learn to use the platform; including virtual classrooms, training videos, live chat and a dedicated inbox plus other support available by sales team.
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