Star Cruises set­ting sail on newer routes

Star Cruises liner has part­nered with new tourism boards to in­tro­duce In­dian cruise pas­sen­gers to newer routes. It is also in the process of get­ting a new ship in 2016.

TravTalk - India - - CRUISES - H JA

With the in­ten­tion of branch­ing out and test­ing newer routes for the In­dian mar­ket, Star Cruise is look­ing to in­tro­duce its Tai­wan sail­ings to In­di­ans. Naresh Rawal, VP Sales - In­dia, South Asia, Rus­sia, Mid­dle East & South Africa, Star Cruises, says, “Our Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong

The cruise com­pany is also in the process of get­ting a new build in 2016 fol­lowed by its sis­ter ship in 2017. “It is not go­ing to be a nor­mal ship. It will be a tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced mega ship, dou­ble the size of Virgo with 33 F&B out­lets,” Rawal says but re­veals no more in­for­ma­tion.

Star Cruises in­tro­duced its spe­cial­ist pro­gramme last year that cre­ated 700 spe­cial­ists out of the to­tal reg­is­tra­tions it re­ceived of 2,000 agents. Rawal says, “The en­tire pro­gramme was run over three phases. We plan to im­ple­ment it again next year with our new prod­uct com­ing in. Next year will be on a much big­ger scale with two we­bi­nars – one for the new set of agents who will reg­is­ter again and be­come spe­cial­ists and the other for those who have al­ready be­come spe­cial­ists. Right now we are in the process of struc­tur­ing the en­tire pro­gramme.”

Star Cruises re­cently par­tic­i­pated in the Hong Kong Tourism Board road­show in Au­gust fol­lowed by a Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board road­show in July 2015. As the year goes on, it will do more fa­mil­iari­sa­tion trips. “We have al­ways seen dou­ble digit growth year on year and this year will be no dif­fer­ent,” Rawal says.

Star Cruises, to­gether with Ark Trav­els, re­cently hosted more than 300 Ark part­ner agents to a party ti­tled 'The Big Bang Nau­ti­cal Fi­esta' in Lavasa near Pune. The elab­o­rate three-day event start­ing from Au­gust 26, 2015 saw their top-per­form­ing di­verge from var­i­ous ci­ties mainly from Ma­ha­rash­tra and Gu­jarat but also from North and East In­dia. Rawal says, “It was to thank Ark Trav­els part­ners for sell­ing Star Cruises. We wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent for our part­ner agents in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion and we fi­nally ze­roed in on Lavasa. We wanted the agents to go back with a ‘wow’ feel­ing.”

The en­tire pro­gramme was run over three phases. We plan to im­ple­ment it again next year with our new prod­uct com­ing in. Next year will be on a much big­ger scale with two we­bi­nars

Naresh Rawal

VP Sales - In­dia, South Asia, Rus­sia, Mid­dle East & South Africa, Star Cruises

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