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Clipper Vacations wants to get travel agents’ attention.
Margot Windenburg, director of sales for the company, finds that Clipper Vacations’ offerings are largely unknown to agents, whom she says can provide its clients with greatly enriched vacations in the Pacific Northwest.
“Our brand has been around for 30 years, most notably as the Victoria Clipper, but we are a full vacations brand focusing solely on the Pacific Northwest,” Windenburg said. “I just spent quite a bit of time on the road, and I’ve been made well-aware that we are a brand that travel agents outside of our region are not aware of, but one that has a product that they need.”
She noted that this summer alone, there are 959,000 cruise passengers traveling through Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia, will see approximately 800,000 cruise passengers. She calculates that 75 percent or more of the cruise bookings are made by agents, many of whom are unaware of Clipper’s land vacations throughout Seattle; the San Juan Islands; Vancouver Island; Portland, Ore.; the Canadian Rockies; and the British Columbian cities of Victoria, Vancouver, Whistler and Kelowna.
The company offers commissionable packages, with preferred arrangements and increased commission for agents with Cruise Planners, Avoya Travel, AAA Washington, AAA Oregon, Westa and Nexion. It has a dedicated line for travel agents (877-679-1650), and Windenburg says the reservation agents are from the region and extremely knowledgeable about everything from the company’s spectacular whale-spotting tours to customizable hotels, tours and transportation throughout these destinations. Discounts are offered on groups of 20 or more.
Possibilities range from one-night trips between cities to extended insider explorations. One of Clipper Vacations’ specialties is Washington’s San Juan Islands, which feature some of the most spectacular scenery, wildlife and sea life in the Pacific Northwest.
Victoria Clipper is the only ferry service operator and day tour operator departing from downtown Seattle, where the company’s terminal is steps away from the cruise berths at Pier 66 at Pier 69. There, the operator can arrange commissioned trips by Amtrak, seaplane, high-speed catamaran, helicopter or coach. In the San Juan Islands, guests travel to the area’s deep forests and lavender farms and can spot resident orcas. Another favorite experience for out-of-state travelers is taking a seaplane from Vancouver or Victoria to Whistler, which teems with activity in the summertime.
Agents can take advantage of the company’s affiliate program, where they can sign up and receive a link to use on their own websites. Clients can book through the link themselves, and agents receives the commission 30 days from the travel date. Agents can also sign up for Clipper Vacations’ agent booking engine on the company’s website, as well as access electronic brochures or request hard copies.