Abta17: Royal Caribbean to roll out AirWaves agent booking platform

Abta17: Royal Caribbean to roll out AirWaves agent booking platform

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is to roll out a new booking platform which encompasses flights, transfers and hotels to all agent partners following a successful trial.

AirWaves was tested by more than 350 agents during August and September and helped drive 2,000 more bookings compared to the same period last year, according to the cruise giant.

The technology, which has been developed in-house, will be available for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

The platform allows agents to book cruise packages on one platform and displays different airlines and flight time options. Previously, agents had to use multiple sites to package up cruises.

Espresso, the line’s existing booking platform, will be phased out.

The trial included high street cruise specialists, homeworkers and luxury agents and is the cruise parent’s largest ever collaborative trial with agents.

Royal Caribbean International’s sales director for UK and Ireland, Amanda Darrington, said AirWaves would help attract new-to-cruise agents because the platform simplified the booking process for those booking a fly-cruise.

The site features 60 hotels, transfer options and access to low-cost flights from more than 30 airports across the UK. It is also integrated with Google Maps and incudes images of all the lines’ ships.

Celebrity Cruises director of sales Claire Stirrup said some small adjustments had been made following feedback from agents but overall the trial had been “very positive”.

A full training programme will be rolled out by the lines’ sales managers and webinars will be available in due course.

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