SEATTLE, WASH. - To ensure that travel professionals have the most comprehensive tools needed to sell and grow their Holland America Line business, the cruise line has launched new Holland America Line Academy Core Courses. The award-winning online program features four new courses that cover the brand differentiators and onboard product, destinations, and proven methods to enhance sales. Launched earlier this fall, the interactive tools can be accessed through the PartnerSHIPS portal at GoHAL.com or halacademy.com.
The first-rate courses enlighten travel professionals through interactive and informative training with more video, quizzes and fun learning activities. They also feature insider tips and vivid images for easier learning.
“HAL Academy celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, and it was the perfect time to reenergize our Core Course so travel partners who have graduated from the original program along with those who are new to selling Holland America Line can benefit,” said Eva Jenner, vice president, sales. “We’ve seen a lot of exciting changes to our brand in recent years, but our promise to travel professionals remains the same – we are committed to their success and to being their reliable and easy-to-work-with partner. We are confident that through industry-leading training we can work together to create customers for life with our partners.”
Travel professionals who complete all four courses and pass the exams will become HAL Academy graduates and be entered to win any seven-day cruise departing in 2019 on Holland America Line’s newest Pinnacle-class ship, ms Nieuw Statendam. The exams must be passed by Sept. 18, 2018, to be entered to win. In addition to the grand prize cruise, 12 monthly winners will be randomly selected to receive a package of special Holland America Line logo items.
“The course was great and I thought it was well worth my time to complete it,” wrote Melissa Paul of Total Travel, Tzell Travel Group, in Wenatchee, Washington. “I particularly appreciate the segment on groups and saved several of the attachments to share with my office team.”
Graduates also receive a US$50 shipboard credit that can be redeemed when cruising on a Travel Agent Appreciation or full-fare cruise, personalized and signed updated certificate, 15 Cruise Lines International Association credits, eight The Travel Institute credits (U.S. travel professionals) and 12 credits with the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (Canadian travel professionals). New appreciation gifts include Holland America Line luggage tags and a HAL Academy graduate lapel pin. To retain graduate status, current Holland America Line graduates are required to take the new Core Courses.
The four new core training sessions are entitled The Holland America Line Difference, Destinations and Itinerary Planning, Selling Groups and Secrets of Sales Success.
“Best course in length and content that I have experienced with my cruise training so far, and I've done plenty over the past five years,” said Janice O'Neil, YYZ Travel Group, Toronto, Ontario. “I've booked clients on Holland America Line, but mostly my older clients. Now that I've experienced the training, I think I have done a disservice to my younger clients, I will be recommending Holland America Line much more now that I've been updated on your cruise line.”
Course 101: The Holland America Line Difference
The first course is broken into six modules and is designed to educate travel partners on the Holland America Line brand and the target guest for the premium cruise line. Course 101 details Holland America Line’s global destinations and itineraries; the classic service and style that epitomize the brand; entertainment and enrichment programs found on board; the culinary experience; and PartnerSHIPS, and Holland America Line’s travel professional community.
Core Course 102: Destinations & Itinerary Planning
The second course is divided into four modules and delves deeper into Holland America Line’s worldwide itineraries and how to use the destinations to sell cruises. The course covers itinerary planning and guides travel professionals on how to put together the perfect itinerary for their clients. Details on the destinations are covered, and the course wraps with important guidance on how to use the cruise line’s EXC Port Planners to find information about each destination and plan time ashore.
Core Course 103: Selling Groups
The third core course covers one of the most profitable and rewarding topics: group business. The five-part module shows travel professionals why group business is beneficial, offers suggestions on where to find group business, and details how to promote and sell groups. The course also covers how to sell incentives and charters and how Holland America Line will support group business.
Core Course 104: Secrets of Sales Success
The final course wraps up the program with four modules that reveal the top tips, tricks and secrets to successfully selling premium cruises. Travel professionals will gain insight into client-focused selling, learn how to communicate with their clients to close the sale, how to build client loyalty and details about accessible travel. Top sellers provide sales tips, ensuring Holland America Line’s travel partners are learning from industry leaders.
About Award-Winning Holland America Line Academy
Award-winning Holland America Line Academy is designed to support travel professionals in their ongoing quest for knowledge about travel sales, the cruise industry and Holland America Line. Developed with guidance from Denella Ri’chard, senior director, trade communications and engagement and in partnership with industry training expert Dr. Marc Mancini, the robust HAL Academy Core Courses are an evolution of Holland America Line’s award-winning training program that offers learning through a combination of video instruction, reading and interaction.
HAL Academy Core Courses are an evolution of Holland America Line’s award-winning training program that offers learning through a combination of video instruction, reading and interaction. In addition to the new Core Courses, four Specialist Training Courses feature overviews and selling tips for Alaska Land+Sea Journeys and cruises, Panama Canal sailings, Mediterranean cruises and Grand Voyages.
The training program celebrates 15 years in 2017 and began as a workbook sent to agents in the United States and Canada and later transitioned into an interactive online experience. It received a 2017 gold Magellan Award for Best Education program in the cruise industry.
HAL Academy now includes training sites for agents in the key international markets of the United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands. More than 19,000 travel professionals have graduated from Holland America Line Academy.