Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance announces open house


SEATTLE, Washington – The Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance will hold its popular Open House from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at the Hyatt Fair Lakes Hotel at 12777 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax, Virginia.

The comprehensive training and certification program includes a full day of seminars by the members of NCMA, as well as useful information on marketing programs and tools that can be used to improve a travel agent’s profitability. The program will feature an opportunity to meet and interact with the NCMA members. At the completion of the program, participating agents will have qualified as “Certified Niche Cruise Specialists”, which is the advanced certification level.

Agents will get to know the why, how and who of selling specialty “niche cruise” products and details about the various products that make up the specialty cruise collection. They will also learn proven techniques in how to sell these profitable products and meet the executives who make these products happen.

The normal tuition for this program will be waived and will be covered by a grant by NCMA members. Agents will also receive a free copy of the NCMA 2008 Sales Manual at no cost. The program will begin with a buffet breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and also include a full lunch.

Agents can register for the event by going to NCMA’s website at and clicking through to Upcoming Training Programs and going to Events Listings. The Hyatt Fair Lakes is making a limited number of rooms available at a special rate on the night of Wednesday, October 29, for agents who might need to arrive early.

“We held the first NCMA Open House in California this spring, and participating agents gave it rave reviews,” said NCMA executive director Larry Dessler. “Fourteen of our sixteen lines made presentations there, and we expect as many to take part in this session as well. We are most pleased to bring this exciting opportunity to the East Cost so more agents can learn about the benefits of selling niche cruises in a concentrated one-day format,” Dessler said.

The 16 Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance members have banded together to educate travel agents on the value of concentrating on the sale of specialty cruise products. The alliance provides educational programs, seminar content and trade show exposure for its members and this industry segment. Earlier this year, the organization introduced a highly-successful series of continuing webinars.

NCMA’s award-winning website allows consumers in the United States and Canada to locate certified Niche Cruise Specialist travel agents by zip code, postal code or city. The website contains direct links to the websites of all member lines.

NCMA member lines include American Canadian Caribbean Line, American Cruise Lines, Elegant Cruises and Tours, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Galapagos Explorer II/Canodros, Hurtigruten, Imperial River Cruises, Louis Cruise Lines, Monarch Classic Cruises, Orion Expedition Cruises, Pandaw Cruises, Peter Deilmann Cruises, RiverBarge Excursion Line, Star Clippers, Variety Cruises and Voyages of Discovery.