Silversea is planning specific training and education for agents on new protocols that have been developed from its parent company’s Healthy Sail Panel.

UK managing director Peter Shanks said each of the Royal Caribbean Group brands were adapting the 74 new protocols for their particular line and would be communicating them with the trade first, then customers.

“We want to give agents an understanding of how these are going to work,” Shanks told Travel Weekly. “This is a really good and thorough piece of work, conducted by experts in their field and covers every aspect of the customer journey, from booking, through to testing, embarkation, protocols on board our ships and, crucially, what would happen if something does happen on board.”

Shanks is planning webinars for trade partners so they are fully versed in the new processes in advance of their customers.

“In everything we do, we always try to give the agents all the information first, then the guests,” he said, noting the same policy had been applied for cancellations.

“We are communicating everything regarding a cancelled cruise to the agents first, then waiting three days before contacting the guest, so the agent is fully versed,” Shanks explained.

Shanks added that Silversea was now adding in a recommendation of which future cruise to switch to with every cancellation, coupled with an incentive for both the agent and the guest to re-book.

“We’re calling these voyage-to-voyage bookings and they carry an extra reduction of the cruise fare for the customer if they rebook, plus a bonus commission for the agent,” he explained.