Cruise Shoppes the cruise-focused consortium recently broke off
from its financially troubled parent company Travelbyus has
launched a marketing campaign designed to bring in new members and
The group, which described itself in a recent press release as
“a new, cruise-focused consortium that revives a trusted name,”
launched its new effort last week with ads in several travel trade
publications. The ads feature the image of a ship’s life ring
drifting in the ocean, with the heading “Feeling All Alone Out
The ads promote the experience of Cruise Shoppes’ management
team, as well as its ability to provide competitive pricing on
sailings, strong commissions and overrides and member training.
Cruise Shoppes also launched a direct-mail component to its
recruiting efforts, which includes a reduced annual rate of $299
for agencies that join through the end of September, down from the
standard $349 per year. Each mailing includes a brochure, a list of
benefits for joining Cruise Shoppes and registration forms.
The group currently counts approximately 300 agencies in its
membership. The new promotional materials will reach several
thousand agents, according to Cruise Shoppes.
The membership drive comes less than a month after the assets of
Cruise Shoppes were foreclosed on by Travelbyus’ main creditor,
Chicago-based Aberdeen Strategic Capital, and sold to a newly
formed company, Cruise and Vacation Shoppes (TravelAge
West, Aug. 12).
But for some, a lingering question remains about its new
management. Aberdeen retains a minority stake in Cruise Shoppes,
and its investors include Bill Kerby, who served as the chief
executive officer of Travelbyus before it apparently ceased
operations last month.
But Cruise Shoppes spokesman Jim Lida asserted that Kerby, “like
the other minority investors, is not involved in the day-to-day
running of Cruise Shoppes.”