This week's MAC Chat features our interview with Nicholas Filippidis, Director of of Product Developement in North America for Louis Cruises.
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What will clients experience on your cruises?
On board our small to mid-sized cruise ships, travelers will find a casual and friendly atmosphere, warm Greek hospitality and very attentive service. Louis Cruises offers a destination focused range of itineraries that maximizes a traveler’s time in each seaside village, town, or port city visited with plenty of time on land to explore fashionable ports of call, diverse cultures, historical sites, and interact with friendly, vibrant and hospitable local residents. Our guests can expect timely arrivals, flexible and unique itineraries, smooth embarkation and disembarkation procedures and fascinating shore excursions.
Louis Cruises provides a complete destination experience coupled with a relaxed, casual, and comfortably stylish setting on-board for an outstanding trip each and every time. Exploring the Western Mediterranean onboard our vessels offers you with the convenience of no packing and unpacking; no checking in and out of hotels; and no traffic jams to deal with – just exquisite travel memories to enjoy. At each port, you can choose to join in the planned shore excursions or explore on your own. With excellent tour guides and plenty of free time to wander, you will be enveloped in the charm of each place you visit.
What are the unique/key selling features of Louis Cruises?
-- Best selection of 3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries in the Greek Islands and Turkey sailing from Piraeus and departure date options
-- Most port intensive itineraries in the Mediterranean
-- Very comfortable medium sized cruise ships that best deliver small island ports with excellent service, good food and lively entertainment
-- High value fare structure – Eastern Mediterranean programs are sold through most major tour operators as air/land and cruise vacations
-- Highly regarded Greek Hospitality and welcoming, service-oriented officers and crew
-- Minimal at-sea days (on many programs there are no full days at sea) – Louis Cruises programs are created specifically so that most days include at least one port of call and features most of the sailing time at night so that travelers can enjoy the very most time in each port-of-call visited.
-- Diverse range of shore excursions led by insightful and knowledgeable guides, again to further enhance the traveler experience and offer a more in-depth look into each seaside town, village, or city visited
--Flexibility of itineraries so they can be in a way customized to fit tour operator’s overall tour program or a traveler’s desired itinerary – For example on select programs in the Western Mediterranean passengers have the option of embarkation in Genoa or Marseilles. On select programs in the Eastern Mediterranean passengers have the option of embarkation in Piraeus and Mykonos, Greece or Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey. Disembarkation is also possible in Kusadasi, Turkey or in Santorini, Greece
-- Greek Island hopping options are available combining extensive stays in Mykonos and Santorini
-- 7-Night Roundtrip sailings from Piraeus from mid March to mid November on board the m/v CRISTAL
-- 4-Night Greek Island and Turkey cruises depart from Piraeus on Fridays and 5-night cruises on Mondays on board the m/v AQUAMARINE
-- Customized shore excursion design upon request
-- Pre-purchase of shore excursions available through tour operators
Who are the best target customers for travel agents?
--50+% of our guests in the Eastern Mediterranean (Aegean - Greek Islands and Turkey cruise itineraries) are active, affluent and well educated travelers from North America.
--Research reveals that our passengers generally earn higher than median family income and have an appreciation for a more intimate and casual country-club atmosphere of smaller more intimate vessels.
--Signature expectations…Our guests know they will enjoy timely arrivals, flexible and unique itineraries, smooth embarkation and disembarkation procedures and fascinating shore excursions. Our travelers choose to enjoy much of their time on land exploring: ancient sites; villages, cities and towns with rich history and cultural allure, and some of the world’s most fascinating and fashionable ports of call – all while interacting with friendly, vibrant and hospitable local residents.
--While the majority of our passengers are seasoned travelers and have sailed on larger cruise ships, Louis Cruise Lines is also ideal for first time cruisers that may experience the Greek Islands as an extension to their comprehensive air/land tour package of Athens and the classical sites of mainland Greece.
What destinations do you currently sail to?
Louis Cruises takes travelers to the most celebrated destinations in the Mediterranean! Together we touch the sun-kissed simplicity of the Aegean islands, amazing Turkey, the unparalleled elegance of the French Riviera, the cosmopolitan bustle of the Mediterranean islands, the eternal spring of Madeira and the Canary Islands, the lively pulse of Spanish port cities, the intricate mystery of North Africa’s medina citadels, spectacular Italy and the most popular countries of the Middle East.
Are you offering any specials or have any current promotions you would like to share with us?
Louis Cruises presents outstanding deals on Western Mediterranean cruises featuring savings of up to 50 percent off brochure rates. Called SMART RATES, these special deals invite travelers to book early to get the lowest prices. These SMART RATES include: onboard Louis Majesty – 7-night Mediterranean Highlights from $710 (down from of $1440), 8-night Spanish Odyssey & Tangier from $790 (down from $1600), and 9-night Italy, Greece, Ionian Islands & Albania from $850 (down from $1670); onboard Orient Queen – 11-night Adriatic Coast, Italy and the Ionian from $1065 (down from $1955); and onboard Louis Cruises’ Coral – 11-night Corinth Canal, Greek Islands, Istanbul from $1000 (down from $1885). These SMART RATES are based on per person, double occupancy and are valid for May-October 2010 departures. SMART RATES are commissionable to travel agents. To access SMART RATES for the company’s Western Mediterranean cruise programs and book the above detailed programs register online at http://www.louiscruises.com
How can we book with Louis Cruises?
Louis Cruises’ itineraries can be booked through most major tour operators in the U.S. and Canada. For cruise programs in the Western Mediterranean, travel agents can also register online at www.louiscruises.com to access SMART RATES and book these itineraries online. For further information, to receive a list of tour operators selling Louis Cruises programs, or to order the company’s brochure, call (877) LouisUS or (877) 568-4787, send an e-mail to LCLUSA@louiscruises.com or visit the company’s web site at: http://www.louiscruises.com.
Thank you Nicholas for that great interview!