Global luxury travel network Virtuoso has announced a partnership with one of the most dynamic lifestyle brands now entering the cruise marketplace: Virgin Voyages. The alliance will unite two innovative companies that share a strategic cornerstone of putting travel advisors first and will provide advantages only to advisors affiliated with the Virtuoso network and their clients.
“Being selected by Virgin Voyages as a partner is a great tribute to the strength of our travel agency members as a directional sales force,” said Beth Butzlaff, vice president of cruise sales at Virtuoso. “Cruising has been at the core of our network since its earliest days. Our advisors have outstanding knowledge, firsthand experience and professionalism, and they will now be able to offer their highly desirable clients a truly unique experience onboard Virgin Voyages. With the line’s exciting approach to cruising coupled with its advisor-friendly attitude, we are proud to help Virgin Voyages debut on the high seas.”
Virtuoso has a long-standing partnership with several other luxury brands within the Virgin Group as the exclusive seller for Virgin Galactic in North America and a preferred partner with Virgin Limited Edition. Virgin Voyages and its Rebellious Luxe experience was a natural fit to include in its portfolio of preferred partners.
Virgin Voyages is prioritizing relationships with travel advisors, and specifically Virtuoso advisors, affectionately referring to them as First Mates. Aiming to abolish a traditional pain point, Virgin Voyages is eliminating non-commissionable fares so advisors will earn across the client’s entire booking. This includes all add-ons like flights, hotel stays, voyage protection, shore excursions, spa treatments, onboard credits and even taxes and fees. With a more inclusive experience, advisors can sell voyages based on the total value proposition rather than price and reach a new client base, which results in more commissions.
Virgin Voyages will offer a fresh, modern approach to cruising for passengers, whom it refers to as “sailors.” Featuring a distinctive new twist on luxury, the Rebellious Luxe experience will offer a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler looking for Virgin’s world-famous rock-star service, made-to-order dining, and added value through an inclusive pricing model and no nickel-and-diming.
Designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury, the first ship of four from Virgin Voyages, The Scarlet Lady, will make its maiden voyage in 2020, with sales launched February 14. The Scarlet Lady will sail from Miami to the Caribbean, hosting more than 2,770 sailors and 1,160 crew from around the world. The ship will feature more than 20 intimate dining and drinking options, all included in the fare, with no buffets, large dining rooms, assigned meal times or formal nights. Also included in the fare are group fitness classes, soft drinks and gratuities.
Virgin Voyages joins Virtuoso’s preferred cruise portfolio, now encompassing 32 lines offering a variety of sailing options. Travelers can choose among ocean, river, yacht and expedition ships with thousands of itineraries calling on ports all over the globe. Virtuoso also offers advisors the opportunity to hone their specialization in the Virtuoso Voyages Community, which brings together cruise-centric advisors with a desire to increase knowledge, collaborate with like-minded advisors and be rewarded for their efforts.