How to sell adventure cruising

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Adventure cruising is special and unique. It is essential that clients understand that they are undertaking an expedition that really can be life changing. Lindblad Expeditions-National Georgraphic has ten ships in its fleet, and is the world’s leading specialist in this kind of cruising. The line offers adventures in all seven continents, with more than 40 itineraries for 2015.

Jeremy Lindblad, business development director, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, gives his top ten selling tips for agents.

1. The destinations

From the Polar Regions to Europe, the Kimberley to Galápagos, there are many destinations that may have been on your client’s bucket list for a long time that are best explored by a small expedition ship. This type of cruising means guests are able to navigate and venture to remote locales and get up close and personal with nature via a range of means – Zodiac, kayak and of course expedition ship.

2. Unique experiences and special access

Small ship expeditions provide guests the opportunity to access places that larger ships are unable to go. Whether it’s on or off the beaten track, we bring adventure to travel by taking small groups to special places for distinctive encounters with nature, and many times exclusive access to some of the world’s most interesting places and people.

3. Purpose-built ships

This type of cruising requires purpose-built ships for exploration and adventure. Our National Geographic Explorer, for, instance, is a state-of-the-art, fully stabilised ice-class vessel, equipped with unmatched tools for exploration. National Geographic Orion, for example, includes snorkelling gear for all, diving gear for 24 guests and a Remote Operated Vehicle that is capable of exploring depths of up to 300 metres to explore and film the underwater world.

4. Top expedition team

The staff on these vessels have years of experience in the destinations they visit. At Lindblad Expeditions our naturalists – with specialties ranging from archaeology to marine biology – are true experts in their fields. They ensure a diverse range of expertise and an overwhelming enthusiasm for what they do.

5. The extras

It is a great benefit for adventure cruisers that they can receive learning and enrichment. Lindblad Expeditions has a National Geographic photographer or Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor on every departure. Such top professionals are there to guide guests and provide advice and tips on board and in the field. Access to photographers of this calibre help to improve guests’ photography skills and capture even more beautiful shots.

6. The expedition community

It’s difficult to articulate the community on-board a small ship expedition. Our staff and guest speakers are some of the best travel companions you will find they are the experts that knowledgeable explorers want to travel with again and again. And you will share the experience in the company of curious, engaging, like-minded individuals.

7. The environmental efforts and accolades

Adventure travel seeks to visit the world’s most special locations so it’s vitally important to preserve them. We travel in an environmentally responsible manner. And, we donate funds, time and resources, often in partnership with local organisations and our guests, to protect or restore the regions we travel. Lindblad Expeditions’ environmental efforts have been recognised internationally through Green Globe EC3 accreditation.

8. Choice

There is an opportunity for guests to explore their way. As adventure cruising usually allows for smaller groups, guests are never ‘herded.’ With us they are offered options at every opportunity. There’s no one-size-fits-all scheduling: guests choose their activities, activity levels, and the staff members to join. In Galapagos, options to choose from include swimming, snorkelling, hiking and kayaking almost every day.

9. Adventure doesn’t mean sacrifice

Adventure cruising does not mean guests have to sacrifice the creature comforts they are used to. The National Geographic Orion, for example, provides luxury accommodation throughout, with a menu designed by Serge Daunsereau, an internationally renowned chef known as the “father of the fresh seafood movement.”

10. Education

An expedition is an inspiring and educational environment. Guests will be able to take home information and insights that will stay with them forever.

Jeremy Lindblad 2014

Words: Jeremy Lindblad