Online, Home Based Travel Agent Training from Princess

Princess Cruises on Monday launched its new online Princess Academy, which is a training and benefits program for home based travel agents. Princess Academy provides travel agents with an extensive curriculum that not only offers product and sales training, but also rewards them with a free graduation cruise and the same benefits received by members of the line's Captain's Circle loyalty program.

According to Paul Davis CEO of www.homebasedtravelagents.org "This program will be offered free of charge, Princess Academy enables home based travel agents to increase their Princess expertise. Agents can choose from elective courses to learn about topics most relevant to their business, including categories such as sales opportunities, onboard programs, destinations, customer service and helpful technology. And, agents will move up through four tiers, gaining "stripes" as they successfully complete the course work to earn greater rewards, such as a FREE Cruises".

A similar academy for Cunard Line will debut shortly, featuring courses unique to the line. Princess and Cunard share POLAR Online, a cruise line reservation system. Princess Academy consists of more than 25 classes, representing approximately 15 hours of total course work to reach the highest Commodore level.

Agents access the courses through the new dedicated OneSource Travel Agent Center portal (at www.onesourcecruises.com or through www.princess.com) and can complete their courses at home, at the office, or anywhere they have access to the Internet. Three required classes on destinations, the cruise experience, and customer service start off the program.

To reach the higher program levels, agents must also complete elective courses of their choosing. Electives include destination details, dining options, working with POLAR Online, wedding programs, group sales and other topics. As agents complete the courses, they will earn their stripes as First Officer, Staff Captain, Captain and finally Commodore.

Agents who reach the top rank of Commodore status earn the opportunity to sail on a free Academy graduation cruise. Each year, 1,000 cabins will be set aside for these agents who successfully reach the program's highest level. In addition, as they reach each new rank, agents earn benefits that correspond to those in the Captain's Circle. Upon sailing, agents will be given those same perks, such as free Internet access, upgraded stateroom amenities, free mini-bar set-up, complimentary laundry and dry cleaning, and a variety of other onboard services.

Participants will also receive a certificate of achievement and a pin indicating their level. Agency owners and managers will also earn benefits by having their agents participate in the program, as they will receive the same Captain's Circle benefits as the highest ranked staff member. Princess Academy has been approved by The Travel Institute to provide eight Continuing Education Units (CEUs). For Canadian agents, the program has been approved by the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors for 15 credits. For more information, visit www.onesourcecruises.com or www.princess.com.

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