MSC Cruises USA — the North American arm of MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa — today announced the launch of MSC Academy, its new travel agent learning program on the premier e-learning platform, Travel Agent University (TAU). Designed to help trade partners learn about MSC Cruises – and more importantly how to sell MSC Cruises to their clients – MSC Academy will consist of multiple courses, quizzes and checkpoints detailing MSC Cruises’ history, fleet and onboard experiences.
“As MSC Cruises strategically expands its presence in North America, our goal is to work with every travel agent in the region for our mutual success,” said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA. “MSC Academy will allow us to educate all travel agents on our product and teach them how to effectively sell us, while also demonstrating how travel agents who do business with us can significantly increase their earning potential.”
MSC Cruises is on pace to expand more than ever before with an approximately $10 billion investment plan in place, which includes up to 11 new next-generation smart ships coming into service between 2017 and 2026. The North American market will benefit tremendously from the expansion, with MSC Seaside coming into service in December 2017, and MSC Meraviglia joining the North American fleet in the winter of 2019. As a result, in this initial phase of expansion in the North American market, three of the cruise lines newest, most innovative ships will serve the region: MSC Divina, MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia.
“With such significant growth and an even greater opportunity for sales, now is the time for travel agents to master the MSC Cruises’ product and take advantage of rewards, including commissions on pre-booked and pre-paid ancillary items such as shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty dining and spa treatments,” said Fusaro.
Upon logging into the TAU learning management system at www.mscacademy.com, agents will be guided through a specially curated, comprehensive program discussing MSC Cruises’ fleet, brand history, sailing destinations, the MSC Voyagers Club, onboard experiences, and more. With the help of informative videos, voiceovers, an audio pronunciation guide and various activities, agents will learn and retain key information while staying current on any brand updates. A key benefit is that the program provides a platform for ongoing communication amongst travel agent participants. Notes and resources, provided by other agents, will be available to create a shared learning space to exchange knowledge and expertise with others in the industry.
MSC Academy is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through TAU. The e-learning site’s resource center provides access to valuable sales tools, webinars, videos, itineraries and other assets designed to help travel agents increase sales after they graduate. Agents also can utilize a central dashboard to review their course activity, track the status of their progress and access rewards, including gift cards, bonus commissions, familiarization trips and monthly giveaways.
To kick off MSC Academy, any agent who registers for the new course by May 31st will be entered to win a 7-night Caribbean cruise.
Upon completion of MSC Academy, travel agents will gain exclusive access to MSC Cruises’ travel agent rates and opportunities to participate in seminars at sea. Agents will also receive a complimentary MSC Cruises baseball cap, cell phone business card holder and current, full color travel agent brochure for their use.
In addition, agents who complete the course prior to the MSC Seaside christening will be invited to a one-night inaugural celebration event aboard the new ship from December 22-23, 2017, subject to availability.
As an added incentive for the trade community, MSC Cruises will also offer the following booking bonuses upon completion of the course:
- $50 bonus commission on first new FIT booking
- $100 bonus commission on first new FIT MSC Yacht Club booking
- Double MSC Rewards points for all new FIT bookings through the end of 2017
With 45,000 plus active members, TAU is the industry’s largest online travel agent community, having graduated more specialists than any other industry education program and, awarding more than 1 million diplomas since inception.
To learn more about and enroll in MSC Academy, visit www.MSCAcademy.com.