Cosmos and Avalon are to introduce cruise and tour-only fare options for 2020.

The lower fares will be advertised but full flight-inclusive package prices will be available on request.

Sales director Janet Parton said the operator had made the move in response to customer and agent feedback.

“We had a lot of feedback that people wanted more freedom, choice and flexibility to do their own thing – like add on pre and post stays etc.

“But we can still do it all for them if they want,” she said.

Parton estimated there would be a 50:50 split between agents wanting to sell the fully-inclusive package and those wanting just the cruise and tour-only fares.

“For those agents that don’t have their own Atol licences, they will still take the full package but for others, they will be able to take our tours and river cruises and create unique and differentiated packages to sell to their clients.

We are not precious which option they choose. Whatever works for their business,” she said.

Cruise-only pricing has gone live on the Avalon website this week and tour-only fares will be loaded onto the Cosmos site by the end of the month to coincide with the launch of the operator’s 2020 programme.

Meanwhile, Parton said Avalon would host 50 agents on four of its new Active & Discovery cruises on the River Danube and River Rhine this year. One cruise is exclusively for agent members of Aspire, the luxury travel club from Travel Weekly.

Parton said trade business was out-performing direct sales, something she attributed directly to the doubling in size of her agency sales team.

Parton now has nine sales people visiting agents and said she was planning to add more.

“We expanded our sales team and it’s really working. The investment has paid off and so if things continue on this trajectory, we will look to expand the team even further,” she said.