Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
PLANTATION — Ahoy, matey! Virgin Voyages has officially opened registration for travel agents in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. on FirstMates.com, its dedicated online platform for travel sellers.
The platform, which was first reported by Travelweek last August in an exclusive interview with CEO Tom McAlpin, allows travel agents – or ‘First Mates’ as the cruise line prefers to call them – to learn, engage and do business with Virgin Voyages.
Starting Feb. 5, FirstMates.com will offer all of the tools needed for First Mates to become immersed in everything the new cruise line has to offer, including downloadable digital and in-store marketing materials, interactive learning materials and more.
On Feb. 6, Virgin Voyages will kick off ‘Cabin Fever’, an immersive learning campaign that highlights the cabins and suites of the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, prior to going on sale.
First Mates will be able to make bookings for the cruise line’s highly anticipated 2020 inaugural season through FirstMates.com as of Feb. 14, 2019, and can contact the company’s Sailor Services team from Feb. 5 if they have clients holding pre-sale deposits.
Moreover, all First Mates registered to do business with Virgin Voyages before the on sale date of Feb. 14 will get the chance to enter to win tea with Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Agents must opt-into the sweepstakes by 11:59 EST on Feb. 13 to be eligible.
Stacy Shaw, vice-president of sales and business development for Virgin Voyages, is encouraging all agents to register for the new platform.
“We aim to be brilliant to do business with, and we are calling all travel sellers looking for a fresh travel option for their customers and a simple approach to business to join us on our journey as a First Mate,” she said. “Onboard a ship, a First Mate is the Captain’s most trusted confidant and right hand, which is how we see our travel partners because their input and guidance has been critical to the development of our sales strategy, policies and onboard experiences.”
Virgin Voyages’ Rebellious Luxe experience will be Adult-by-Design, a “sanctuary at sea” curated for the 18+ traveller. Onboard, guests will experience Virgin’s world famous rock star service, made-to-order dining, a no nickel-and-diming policy, an inclusive pricing model and much more.