Virgin Voyages reveals new incentive scheme for groups
Published on Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Virgin Voyages has launched a new incentive scheme for group bookings.
The scheme will reward both passengers, which the cruise line is calling Sailors, and their travel advisors, which Virgin has labelled First Mates.
Groups will be referred to as Circles.
“Our First Mates told us they were looking for something simple, consistent and rewarding for their clients who sail together,” said the cruise line’s CEO Tom McAlpin.
“We listened to them and threw out the rule book again by eliminating complex point-based amenity programs that apply only to select sail dates, to create something flexible and enticing for our Sailors and First Mates.
“Our approach to Circles also ensures that the experience remains intimate for all Sailors on board and never feels over run by mass.”
A Circle for Virgin Voyages is defined as 10 cabins or more, including solo cabins, and can be as large as 150 Sailors.
Circle size and the number of Circles sailing at one time are limited to ensure those travelling in Circles have opportunity for exclusivity while the dynamic for Sailors outside of the Circle isn’t negatively impacted by large groups, said Virgin.
Groups on all voyage dates will be eligible for Circle Bounty, which includes an onboard credit for passengers known as Sailor Loot. Sailor Loot can be spent during the voyage and is based ased on the level of cabin they choose Insider and Sea View cabins receive $50 per cabin; Sea Terraces receive $100 per cabin and Mega RockStar and RockStar Suites receive $200 per cabin.
In addition, for every 10 cabins sold, the Circle will earn a10% voyage credit known as the Circle Chest, based on the highest voyage fares. Circles can earn credit towards their Circle Chest in increments of 10 cabins, examples of this include when 15 cabins have been sold, the credit will be based on the highest valued 10 cabins within the group, if 20 cabins are sold, credits will be awarded based on all 20 cabins, continuing on based on blocks of 10 cabins.
The Circle Chest puts the control of the benefit in the hands of the travel advisor and can be applied in a number of ways including:
Spent in part or in total toward new cabins on the Circle voyage date that can be enjoyed by First Mates or Sailors.
Applied prior to final payment as a reduction of voyage fare across any of the purchased cabins on the Circle voyage, in which case commission for the travel advisor will be protected and based on the full voyage fare.
Set up as a pre-funded master account that can be used on board during the cruise
To kick off the Circles program, Virgin Voyages is offering a special promotion for new 2020 groups booked before December 31, 2019.
For a limited time, Circles will receive double the standard Sailor Loot amount per cabin.
Travel advisors will also receive 5% bonus commission on voyage fares for new 2020 groups. This special offer is valid on all 2020 sailings except Virgin~Voyages’ maiden voyage on April 1 and Sir Richard Branson’s Birthday Bash on July 15.