'Air is what's been stimulating the market,' Atlas President Alberto Aliberti told Seatrade Cruise News. 'It's a value in effort and product. For the client, it makes everything seamless to book in one call.'
'All Inclusive All the Way'
Atlas is subsidizing the air cost so it presents true savings for travelers.
The line is calling this 'All Inclusive All the Way' as air joins other included components such as gratuities, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, Wi-Fi and at least one shore excursion on every itinerary (in Antarctica, all outings are covered).
This is not a limited-time promotion but a 'fundamental product definition enhancement for Atlas Ocean Voyages,' Aliberti said.
The company has partnered with Global Marine Travel for the included, economy-class air available from 16 gateways: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Montréal (YUL), New York (JFK), Ontario (YYZ), Orlando (MCO), Phoenix (PHX), San Francisco (SFO), Vancouver (YVR) and Washington, DC (IAD).
In a current promotion, travelers who book suites by Sept. 30 will get business-class air. Following the promotion, Atlas will provide subsidized upgrades to business-class air, and occasional free upgrade offers.
World Navigator on track for July 2021
'Luxe-adventure' ship World Navigator, scheduled to enter service in July 2021, is 'spot on' schedule at Portugal's WestSea Viana do Castelo, according to Aliberti. It is the sister of Portuguese parent company Mystic Cruises' World Explorer, which debuted in 2019, and this year's World Voyager.
World Navigator will debut with Mediterranean, Black Sea and Holy Land voyages before going trans-Atlantic to the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica for the 2021/22 season.
2021 bookings are coming in
Now that travel advisors are over the big crunch of managing cancellations at other lines, they're able to focus on booking 2021 trips, Aliberti said. For Atlas, Black Sea and Antarctica sailings getting the best response, and Holy Land cruises are drawing groups.
As a small but spacious ship — 9,300gt with 98 passenger accommodations — the product is right for a time when people are looking to avoid crowds.
'There are more people on the plane you took our cruise,' Aliberti likes to point out. 'People have so much more room to spread out. There are enough locations on the ship that people can go in small groups or relax on their own.'
Higher commission, no NCFs
'With All Inclusive All the Way, travel advisors are earning full commission on cruise fares that include air — so no non-commissionables,' noted Brandon Townsley, VP sales and trade partnerships for Atlas. The line continues its 'Get Paid Now' program that awards an immediate gift card, $500 per stateroom and $750 per suite, per deposited booking.
Atlas earlier nailed its first preferred supplier agreement with Travel Leaders Network, and three more such partnerships are to be announced later this summer.