At the beginning of September, Widgety went live with the full integration of cruises, pricing and availability from CroisiEurope. Added to our existing library of CroisiEurope ship content, we’re making it easier than ever before to keep up to date with Europe’s largest river cruise line.
We spoke to John Fair, the UK Sales Director of CroisiEurope, to find out how the integration works for them and what the brand are planning for the future.
What does CroisiEurope plan to achieve in the UK with travel agents, and how does making it easy to add in your ship, itinerary and pricing information feature in those plans?
CroisiEurope is looking to identify and then develop working relationships with both the travel agent and tour operator community. Being Europe's largest river cruise operator with 55 ships we believe we have much to offer.
By having a one stop shop for content, images, itineraries and prices it allows our partners to easily add our product to their websites and product portfolios in a quick and easy manner. it also means content and prices are automatically updated meaning our partners can be confident selling our product.
In your experience of the industry, what is the critical barrier to a travel agent signing up to sell a cruise line?
Normally it's product knowledge and having the confidence to know that a product is the right match for the customer. We are investing in training programmes via the likes of CLIA and also more FAM trip opportunities, but having clear and concise information on their reservation systems and websites is also critical to success.
What does CroisiEurope have planned for the next few years?
Whilst I can't reveal exact plans, CroisiEurope has invested millions of euros in recent years in new ship builds and major ship renovations. It means we now have over over 20 premium ships with more on the way.
We have all your pricing and fare sets coming in from your feed but could you go into a bit more detail to explain that they mean?
We like to keep pricing as simple as possible, as we have a fixed price in £'s for the main deck on the ship with simple upgrade prices or the other decks. Depending on whether the ship is 2 or 3 decks will dictate the number of upgrades available. We also have a very competitive single cabin occupancy price and we often do promotions where those are discounted or dropped altogether.
Is any extra explanation needed for cabin grades?
We don't have extensive cabin grades. We just go by the deck so there will be a combination of main deck, middle deck and upper deck depending on the number of decks a ship has. We also have suites on most ships.
Is there a time of year when offers change?
Like any cruise line we will offer promotions as and when the market or demand indicates they are needed, but the time of year will vary depending on the product they relate to.
When are the new brochures out?
Our brochures are constantly being reviewed and renewed. We don't include prices in the brochure itself. They come on a separate flyer so the brochure shelf life is normally at least a year.
Do you have any trade resources? What do they cover?
Yes, me! I look after all FIT partners, both travel agent and tour operator. We do also have an extensive group and charter operation with many major UK group operators.
What is the advantage to you of an integration with Widgety? Why have you partnered with us?
We have found Widgety easy to work with, fast and efficient and with the new Smart Linking Cruise Search our partners can access all our content, prices and itineraries easily and with limited resource required.
If you are happy to take the Cruise Search for your trade facing site and hopefully consumer as well, how is Facebook planning to feature in your plans?
All social media channels are growing in importance for CroisiEurope and Cruise Search will play an integral part in that development for both trade and consumer.
Thanks for talking to us John!
For an idea of just how much content is available from CroisiEurope, you can see the integration of ocean ship MS La Belle de l’Adriatique in action through our API on the Fusion Cruises website. Detailed itineraries, prices and ship information can be taken and displayed however you want.