Some of Hurtigruten’s Norway itineraries sail down the Geiranger Fjord and passed the Seven Sisters waterfalls. // © 2014 GilliesZaiser/Hurtigruten 2014
Norway-based expedition line Hurtigruten is expanding its emphasis on the North American market with a new Seattle-based reservations call center and expanded resources for the existing agent support center in Seattle. Hurtigruten has offered coastal Norway sailings and polar expeditions for more than 120 years. It has now entered a strategic partnership with sales and marketing firm Global Voyages Group in hopes of reaching strong growth goals in North America.
The new reservation center in Seattle will handle agent calls previously fielded in Scandinavia, providing more convenient operating hours, faster response times and staff focused on the needs and preferences of North American travelers and their agents. Josh Martin Arians, previously reservation manager of Hurtigruten’s European office, will lead the team at the new center.
Travel agents will be offered additional training opportunities and a closer, more effective relationship with the U.S.-based operation, with up-to-date access to promotions, offers and agent-centered activities. In addition, there will be a greater emphasis on groups and agency incentives with faster response time for group space approval.
Additional regional business development managers will be in the field to train and assist with registering and establishing rewarding commission levels. Added focus will be given to the company’s Explorer products (Antarctica, Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland), as they have seen strong growth and result is the larger commissions.
“We want a much more aggressive approach for the North American marketplace when it comes to our expedition style category,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “Global Voyages Group has demonstrated extensive experience in the arena, which makes them an ideal partner.”