Open Letter from Virgin Voyages: Ahoy First Mates!

Category: River or Ocean Cruises

Open Letter from Virgin Voyages: Ahoy First Mates!

Ahoy First Mates!

Virgin was built on a commitment to be a champion of change for customers no matter what industry we’ve entered. From air travel and financial services to hotels and now…cruising. It’s in Richard’s DNA to offer more. More experiences. More service. More value.
You’ve been telling us lately about all the news and customer frustration coming with travel companies significantly changing the value they’re offering. Cutting benefits, making up fees, and even changing the definition of words like “unlimited” by putting major limits around what that means. They’ve made nickel and diming an art form, while masking it in low, flashy, headline rates that prove that sometimes… it is, in fact, too good to be true.

Some of them haven’t stopped there. They’ve even made the way you can earn commission complicated, or less compelling — including things like NCFs — putting obstacles and barriers in place that move the goalposts mid game. 
So, in a world where that’s happening elsewhere, we are swimming against the tide yet again. We want your clients to feel like they’ll have the vacation of a lifetime, but also see and feel the value in their bank accounts. And we want you to feel like it’s worth your time to sell us and continue to be brilliant to do business with.

So today, we Introduce Fair & Flexible Fares. What are they, exactly? Well, it’s in the name. Fairer, because your Sailors get more for their money without the nickel and diming. Flexible, because we know Ship Happens and sometimes their plans need to change, and they shouldn’t be penalized for needing to adjust their plans around.

Incredible value. True transparency. Epic experiences. And never nickel and dimed.

Why Fair and Flexible Fares are great for your Sailors
Fair, in that we give your Sailors more in their upfront cost, and flexible, in that they can make changes anytime they want, without a penalty. Because…well, we are Virgin through and through.

So when your Sailors compare the cost, they're not, well, misled by the price advertised elsewhere. Your Sailors should know what they’re spending at the end of their vacation… well, before it’s the actual end.

Their voyage fare with us always includes the following…
-The best food at sea in our our 20+ eateries with menus curated by Michelin star chefs (aka no specialty dining charges)
-Unlimited group fitness classes
-Unlimited Basic WiFi
-All gratuities
-World-class entertainment and shows
-Soda & water package (sparkling, still, all sodas, drip coffee, tea, etc.)  
-And until January 31st, a Bar Tab with up to $600 in free drinks.

That’s over $1,000 of value per Sailor— always included. No surprises. No tricks. Just value they can count on.

And when we say flexible, we mean it. Unlike other places…true flexibility..where it matters.
-Sailors can change their voyage date with no penalty up to 45 days before they sail. 
-Sailors can also make name changes up to 48 hours before they head out.

So it’s great for your Sailors… but why is it great for you?

Well, let me say this … No NCFs. Ever. You’ll earn more every day on every single sale. So when you sell a voyage with us, you can earn some of the highest commissions around compared to other brands. Earn on Shore Things. Earn on Bar Tab. Earn on spa experiences. Earn at every turn. Plus, you win because we have some of the highest rebooking rates in the industry — meaning every sale is worth, on average, 1.5 bookings.

So, you might say we are Fair and Flexible For All. Sailors. And you, First Mates, alike.

2023 was a red letter year with record bookings, record re-booking rates, and winning a slew of awards voted by real people for best dining, best service, best ship, best entertainment, and most importantly, best value for money. We’ve always had our Sailors’ backs when it comes to incredible value. And we’ve always had yours.

Looking ahead, I’m beyond excited about the future! Together, we’re going to make 2024 a brilliant year together. There are new horizons to explore, adventures to be had, and memories waiting to be made. We have new experiences, new menu items, and even more destinations for you to head to. 2024, we’re ready for you.

So here’s to you, our incredible travel partners. Let’s go.

Nirmal Saverimuttu
CEO, Virgin Voyages