In an expedition ship version of an all-you-can-eat buffet, Adventure Canada is offering a promotion where travelers can spend up to 117 days on excursions in Europe, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic for $50,000
While that’s a heady number, Cedar Swan, CEO of the Ontario-based operator, said the value is roughly $117,000. The promotion, according to Swan, was launched for two reasons: to deal with a slight softness in bookings for the upcoming season and in an attempt to “get a few headlines.” Both goals seem to be realistic as half of the 10 available berths were sold fairly quickly and the company is garnering a good bit of media attention.
While Adventure Canada, which has been around since 1987, has several expedition vessels, this promotion is only available on the Ocean Endeavour, a 198-passenger vessel equipped with 20 Zodiac watercraft.
The excursions start in early June and run through mid-October, visiting destinations such as Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, The Northwest Passage, Canadian Arctic, Labrador and Newfoundland. Purchasers can pick and choose any or all of these sailings. What’s more, charter flights, where applicable, are included—as are zodiac rides, lectures and walks, meals and other inclusions.
Travelers get the best cabin available on the ship, which may not be the same cabin for all trips. Reservations must be confirmed with a registration form and deposit by June 30.
The good thing for travel agents is that the deal is fully commissionable at standard levels. Swan said that travel professionals represent more than a third of sales for her company and that she is always seeking out new agent partners. She has preferred relationships with several agencies and agency groups.
In addition, Swan also noted that the operator has never done anything like this before but wanted up to come up with a creative way to generate business and publicity. Of the five who booked quickly, four were previous customers and one was new. Ideally, the company hopes to attract new clients through the promotion.
In general, said Swan, the operator tries not to incentivize through discounts except for reduced rates for early bookings. In fact, she said, combining an early booking with a reduced rate for League of Adventurers loyalty program members could mean as much as a 25 percent reduction. From time to time, continued Swan, the company comes up with creative solutions that do not aggravate other clients, many of whom book two years in advance with a high repeat rate.
Swan stated Adventure Canada aims to differentiate itself from competitors with an emphasis on culture. After more than 30 years in the region, the company can offer an immersive experience through deep relationships in local communities. Her husband, Jason Edmunds, is an expedition leader and on visits to his hometown of Nain, Labrador, travelers visit his grandmother’s house.
“While we clearly have an emphasis on natural habitat and attractions like icebergs, polar bears, walrus and the northern lights,” said Swan, “it’s our focus on culture that really sets us apart.”
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