Travel Daily catches up with Michelle Daniels, head of commercial at Voyages to Antiquity, to hear more about the cultural cruise line.
What does your role involve and how long have you held it?
I have worked at Voyages to Antiquity since December 2015, initially as partnerships manager, before being promoted to head of groups and partnerships in July 2016 and now head of commercial since April 2017.
It’s a very varied role covering sales, marketing, partnership and account management, groups, and developing new business. As well as looking after and developing new trade and tour operator business.
What are the recent updates and plans for Voyages to Antiquity over the next 12 months?
For summer 2018, it has added 19 new ports and six new itineraries including the cruise line’s maiden voyages to the Norwegian Fjords with stops in Geiranger and Flam.
What type of customer does the cruise line suit, briefly explain the product?
Voyages to Antiquity is a cultural cruise line that offers sailings to the Mediterranean, Northern France, Iceland and the British Isles.
All the cruises come with hand-picked guest lecturers on board to enhance the travellers’ experiences, enabling guests to have a better understanding of the destinations we visit.
The ship is also smaller, carrying on average 350 passengers which gives the ship a much more personal feeling and relaxed atmosphere.
The audience tend to be aged around 65-70. We attract a lot of solo travellers because of the relaxed and friendly atmosphere and open dining policy, and have 39 dedicated solo cabins to cater for this demand.
How do you work with the travel trade?
Voyages to Antiquity runs regular agent incentives throughout the year. We also have a dedicated online training programme, VTAExperts, with easy to use online modules that can be completed in your own time. Visit vtaexpert.com and sign up to get started!
In addition we offer sales tools such as our short itinerary videos, which offer detailed information about each individual itinerary and our dedicated cruise guides – all available to download from VTAExperts or view on our website www.voyagestoantiquity.com
We arrange ship visits and hosted 75 agents on board Aegean Odyssey this past summer as well as members of the travel trade press and group trade press.
Why should agents sell a Voyages to Antiquity cruise?
The ship offers an informal and relaxed small-ship cruise experience to any traveller who wants to understand more about the world around them. We are the only cruise line in the market to offer cultural cruises with this breadth of lectures and learning experiences on board that enables them to connect with the destination.