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SEATTLE — For 2019 Holland America Line’s streamlined Group Advantage Program (GAP) is aimed at helping travel advisors grow their portfolios with small affinity groups of 24 guests or less.
This year’s edition of the program includes 29 different amenities from which to choose — plus three GAP packages that cater to weddings, family reunions and wine groups. Holland America says the program is one of the industry’s most extensive group programs with incentives for travel advisors booking groups on cruises and Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.
GAP provides customization and incentives tailored to each group program, while other groups earn amenity incentives based on GAP points established by the cruise destination, departure date and length.
And the GAP Plus offer gives travel advisors bonus commission and more perks on select sailings, as well as the option to combine amenities with additional promotions offered by the cruise line.
“Holland America Line’s Group Advantage Program is one of the most extensive in the cruise industry, and we developed it so that travel advisors can elevate and grow their group business with some exciting benefits across a variety of interests,” said Eva Jenner, Holland America Line’s VP Sales. “For 2019 we fine-tuned the menu of amenities to feature what’s popular so that our travel partners have the best options that their clients will really appreciate.”
Travel advisors can ‘spend’ GAP points on select personalized amenities for their groups, she adds. Additionally, the incentive-based program supports travel advisors’ marketing efforts to affinity groups to increase their revenue. Tour conductors are earned for every 10 and 15 lower berths.
Here’s a look at the highlights…
GAP Plus offers bonus commission
Through the 2019 GAP Plus offer, travel advisors can earn up to a 17% commission, one tour conductor for every 15 lower berths and a bottle of sparkling wine in each stateroom from a selection of hundreds of Holland America Line sailings. Additionally, GAP Plus features a 1% bonus commission with five or more sailed staterooms.
Small affinity groups receive perks with Connections program
Through Holland America Line’s Connections program, groups of 24 or less guests can now get added incentives. When booking a smaller group, travel advisors can take advantage of a tour conductor for every 10 berths and earn an extra two GAP points per group to be used for a variety of amenities. This program can be combined with additional promotional offerings including GAP Plus.
Families, weddings and wine packages
For family reunion packages, when eight or more staterooms are booked the group receives exclusive amenities in place of GAP points. These include a free upgrade for the head of the family, a within-stateroom category upgrade for all family members, a US$50 value fountain soda card per stateroom, Pinnacle Grill lunch for all family members and a $50 value beverage card per stateroom.
Guests who say “I do” with Holland America Line and book their wedding group of eight or more staterooms receive a free upgrade for the wedding couple, a complimentary wedding cake for up to 16 guests, a Pinnacle Grill lunch per guest, chocolate-dipped strawberries in each stateroom, a bottle of sparkling wine per stateroom and a private one-hour wine tasting per guest, all in lieu of GAP points.
For culinary groups of 16 or more guests, the Wine and Food Pairings package entitles guests to a five-course premium dinner with five premium wine parings selected by the cellar master, in lieu of GAP points.
Other amenities designed to facilitate custom groupsHolland America Line’s culinary expertise is celebrated with several GAP amenities showcasing the premium dining, including lunch or dinner at Pinnacle Grill, Rudi’s Sel Del Mer Pop-Up on select ships, dinner at Canaletto or Tamarind, a BLEND wine making experience on Koningsdam or Nieuw Statendam, and a lobster roll at Lobster Shack on Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award winning private island.
Other available 2019 GAP menu amenities include beverage cards; the Wine Cellar No. 1 package with one, two or four bottles of wine per stateroom; bon voyage sparkling wine in each stateroom; $25 or $50 beverage cards; an Internet package; $20 photo credit; sparkling wine and strawberries; a cocktail party with hot hors d’oeuvres; Fiesta Party with margaritas, mojitos and fiesta food; and a Cruise With Purpose charity donation.
On the land portion of Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys in Alaska, GAP amenities include lunch aboard the McKinley Explorer railcar, a cocktail party in Denali, an entrance pass to Diamond Tooth Gerties in Dawson City and $25 in Denali Dollars.
GAP points are based on stateroom occupancy, and selections must be made 90 days prior to the cruise departure.