In 1989, only a fraction of the most in-the-know cruisers in the world had heard of “World Cruising,” and only one travel agency — Cruise Specialists — had the creativity, passion, experience and industry connections to pull together a group of travelers, along with courteous, knowledgeable and experienced voyage hosts, to accompany that group on their cruise around the world.
Thirty years later, Cruise Specialists celebrates this milestone of three decades hosting World Cruises with Holland America Line, when the flagship Amsterdam sets sail from Ft. Lauderdale on January 22, 2019, for a 113-day World Cruise. To highlight this landmark achievement, Holland America Line honored Cruise Specialists at the cruise line’s Seattle headquarters. Cruise Specialists’ four top-selling 2019 World Cruise consultants were invited to meet with Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line, and other top executives, including Joe Slattery, senior vice president, global marketing and sales; Eva Jenner, vice president, sales; Gerald Bernhoft, director Mariner Society; and Nate Burdulis, director, strategic sales planning.
“Agencies like Cruise Specialists are the foundation of our business, and coming together to celebrate this milestone is a small way we can show them how much their business and friendship means to our company,” Ashford shared during the banquet luncheon held exclusively for Cruise Specialists.
Annie Scrivanich, senior vice president, Cruise Specialists, explained why this relationship has stood the test of time. “Holland America Line’s Grand World Voyages are truly exceptional, and the outstanding vacation experience Holland America delivers, combined with our expert, professional hosts and unsurpassed customer service, make for a trip-of-a-lifetime for our mutual customers. Thank you to Holland America Line for inviting us to commemorate our upcoming 30th group on a Grand World Voyage.”
Since that first hosted World Cruise, Cruise Specialists has sent more than 9,000 travelers on the ultimate trip around the globe via a World Cruise. Year after year, the Cruise Specialists group aboard Holland America Line is not only the largest, but it is the most warm and welcoming, with voyage hosts who have been with Cruise Specialists for decades.
“The Amsterdam is like a second home to our voyage hosts, and that is of paramount importance to our clients. They count on our hosts to communicate clearly about our group’s needs with the cruise line staff on board, provide savvy destination tips, and answer questions that only a true insider would know. Most importantly, our hosts show a genuine concern that each of our clients is doing well and having fun,” said Scrivanich. Cruise Specialists typically selects three voyage hosts for the Holland America Line World Cruises, to ensure the group is fully tended to and so they can split up duties such as leading Cruise Specialists shore excursions and overland tours while also assisting guests back on the ship.
Cruise Specialists cruise consultants LynnDee King, Bridgett Quinn, Teresa Skeim and Carol Terhune were recognized on behalf of the entire Cruise Specialists team. Combined, these four women have more than 100 years of experience booking world cruises. Scrivanich said, “This was a very special event for our staff who were present; however, the recognition of our accomplishments is truly representative of each of our employees, including our cruise consultant team, our operations team, our marketing team, and all of our voyage hosts. Our combined commitment to our clients is visible, with a significant number of returning World Cruisers each year, as well as new clients who appreciate the one-on-one attention we give to them!”
There is still space available for the 2019 World Cruise, which departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 22, 2019, and cruises to port cities in 27 countries for 113 days, before returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Or, book the 2020 World Cruise, which departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 4, 2020, and cruises around the world for 128 days, ending once again in Ft. Lauderdale – making both the 2019 and 2020 cruises especially attractive for U.S. based travelers who enjoy the convenience of a roundtrip sailing and a domestic flight (or drive) to the port.
Cruise Specialists is an award-winning cruise and tour agency dedicated to arranging the most luxurious land and sea vacations for its clients. Cruise Specialists is part of Travel Leaders Leisure Group and has been sending clients on memorable world cruises, family reunion cruises, affinity group cruises, honeymoons and unique personal travel experiences since 1987. The agency has been recognized by a number of travel publications, including Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as one of the top luxury travel agencies. Cruise Specialists is headquartered in Seattle, with an additional office in Novato, California.
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