Image courtesy of Virgin Voyages
Ocean- and river-bound vacations seem to be all the rage, and for good reason. For travel advisors, this popularity presents a prime opportunity to sell more travel.
But how does one become a cruise travel advisor? And what, specifically, can a cruise specialist offer? Below, we break it down for you. Read on to learn how to become a stellar cruise travel agent — including how to get started, resources to consult, best practices and more. Soon, you'll be ready to set sail.
Curious to learn more? Become a Fora Advisor to build your dream job, in travel.
What is a cruise travel agent?
Image courtesy of Hurtigruten Group
A cruise travel agent books cruises! The role of a cruise travel agent is really no different than the role of a travel advisor, who books hotels, tours and other excursions. (See our guide on what to expect from working with a travel agent, which goes into all the benefits of booking with you.) Consider cruises another tool in your travel advisor toolbox — and another way to earn more income.
What does it take to become a cruise travel agent?
Image courtesy of Virgin Voyages
We at Fora believe in learning by doing. To that end, the best way to learn how to become a cruise travel agent is to jump in.
More technically, the first step is to join a host travel agency — like Fora! While Fora is not a dedicated cruise travel agency, our travel industry experts nonetheless know the ins and outs of planning and booking the ideal cruise vacation, and are eager to share their wisdom, especially about how to be a successful travel advisor. Plus, you can do all the training from home. (Read more about how to become a travel agent from home.)
What are the requirements to be a cruise travel agent?
To become a cruise travel agent, you'll need to be affiliated with a host agency like Fora. (Interested in joining us as a travel agent? Learn more about joining Fora). While many cruise travel agents opt to become certified through Cruise Lines International Association, or CLIA, this step is not necessary.
How much do cruise travel agents make?
When travel agents book a cruise vacation, the cruise line pays them commission — a percentage of the cost of the cruise vacation they booked. The commission rate varies between cruise lines. (Want to learn more of the basics? See our guide on how to become a travel agent.) It's best to check with the cruise line directly to discover what percentages they offer.
With this model, the more you book, the more you earn. You'll collect a larger chunk of commission if you book, say, a multi-family cruise vacation than you would for a couple's anniversary trip, or a small family's cruise vacation. (Disney cruises are popular for families. Read more about how to become a Disney travel agent.) And remember, this commission-based model is ideal for your clients, since they won't have to pay extra to enlist your expert services. Everybody wins!
How does a cruise travel agent book a cruise vacation?
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Unsurprisingly, when learning how to become a travel agent (for cruising specifically), you'll need to learn how to book. We've got your back. Just as with hotels, you'll first need to head to the cruise line's website. There will usually be a designated tab or link labeled "Travel Professionals," "Travel Agent Portal" or something similar. There, you'll land on a page to create your own log-in. When you register, make sure to have Fora's IATA number handy. This number verifies that you are a Fora Advisor, and work within our travel agency. Fora can guide you through the process. With some cruise lines, like Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean, Fora will need to directly approve your registration.
Then, just as you dove into the world of hotel bookings, you’ll do the same with cruises. Our advice? Building relationships goes a long way. By simply asking for extra perks (like onboard credit), you can often level up your client’s vacation at no extra cost.
Now you know how to become a cruise travel agent. It's time to set sail...
There is indeed a lot of information to keep track of, which can be daunting. But, the more you learn — and the more you book — the easier these water-bound bookings become. We at Fora will be with you every step of the way.
It doesn’t stop there, of course. When you become a Fora Advisor, we’ll also help with marketing your travel business like a pro, mastering the art of group bookings and everything in between. And we provide all the tools, tech, expertise and community to do so.