The Importance of Attending Discovery Day

Completing your due diligence includes attending Discovery Day

With a multitude of franchise opportunities available today, finding the right franchise fit has never been more important. One of the final steps in any franchise education process is attending Discovery Day to get a glimpse into the corporate values and culture you’re considering joining forces with. We call our franchisees, Franchise Partners, because we believe that franchise ownership is truly a partnership. When attending Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ Discovery Day, we emphasize that this is the opportunity to confirm that we’re the right match for each other as we continue to grow our franchise throughout North America.

What is Discovery Day?

Attend Discovery Day as part of our Franchise Discovery Process.

After spending weeks having regular calls with one of our Franchise Development Managers and making your way through our seven-step franchise education process you’ll have a strong understanding of the Expedia franchise opportunity. At this point, if both parties feel Expedia CruiseShipCenters may be the perfect fit for you, we’ll invite you to join us in beautiful Vancouver, Canada to spend the day with us at Discovery Day. It’s the last step in the process and arguably the most important stage before making the decision to proceed with owning and operating your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters location. Attending Discovery Day is the culmination of your education on the Expedia franchise opportunity and it marks the final step in your due diligence. By the end of the day you’ll
have a complete understanding of our franchise
opportunity and whether it’s the right match
for your business ownership goals.

Why Attend Discovery Day?

While in Vancouver you’ll meet our dedicated 125+ member corporate support team who are committed to providing the best tools and systems for our Franchise Partners to lead and develop their team of Vacation Consultants with so that they can best serve their customers. We strive for Discovery Day to be an interactive day and encourage you to ask those burning questions throughout the day to ensure that we’ve filled any gaps in your due diligence so that you have all the information needed to make an informed decision. During the day we’ll also have an opportunity to learn more about your background and also learn more about what motivates you in your quest to build a profitable and valuable business.

What to Expect When Attending Discovery Day

Attending Discovery Day is an important step in your due diligence.

When you join us for Discovery Day, we’ll spend a full day together with presentations from our President, Matthew Eichhorst, members of our Leadership Team as well as Subject Matter Experts. This informative day is designed to be interactive and affirm everything you’ve learned so far and allow us to dive deeper into our proven system. Another important element of Discovery Day is meeting with you in the form of a break out meeting and discussing your interest in Expedia CruiseShipCenters in greater detail along with your aspirations as a Franchise Partner. At the end of the day, we like to end our time together with an in-house social with members from the corporate team and fellow attendees for a complete introduction to our Stronger.Together® culture at Expedia CruiseShipCenters.

How to Prepare for Discovery Day

1. Complete your research – Completing all six steps in our education process prior to attending Discovery Day will ensure you have a strong foundation and understanding of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity.

2. Make a trip out of it – With our head office based in Vancouver, Canada, it’s a great excuse to extend your stay following Discovery Day and enjoy all the incredible sights our world-class city has to offer. Perhaps a cruise is in your future?

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Corporate Office is located in beautiful Vancouver, Canada

3. Ask the question – We encourage attendees to ask questions throughout the day (even the tough ones!). Discovery Day is the perfect opportunity to ask the expert in person and get the answers you need to make you confident in your final decision.

Learn More

Choosing the right franchise is all about fit and meeting the team in person that you’ll be joining forces with as a Franchise owner is hugely important. Each month, our team looks forward to meeting potential franchisees at our Discovery Day and putting a face to your name and voice. At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we’re committed to helping our franchise owners achieve their goals as successful business owners and strong leaders serving their community by navigating spectacular vacation experiences.

If you’re ready to begin the Expedia CruiseShipCenters discovery process and attend Discovery Day in the coming months, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more through this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia CruiseShipCenters Announces Expansion Plans for Texas

Leading Travel Franchise Seeks to have 23 Texas Locations Open by 2023

Expedia CruiseShipCenters plans to have 23 Locations open in Texas by 2023

TEXAS – PRNewswire, the top cruise retail travel agency franchise in North America, has announced targeted expansion plans to bring additional travel franchise locations to Texas. Joining four locations already open, and an additional seven under development, the leading travel franchise brand plans to have a total of 23 locations open and operating in Texas over the next three to five years.

Folded into an overall growth vision for the brand, the new Texas development efforts are key to Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ goal to reach its 500-location milestone in North America over the next five years. In addition to the four locations already in operation throughout Texas, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has seven locations currently in development in Dallas, McKinney, Houston, San Antonio and Waco, which are all projected to open over the next three to nine months.

“The strength and rapid growth of our brand is influenced by the increased popularity of the cruise industry which has continued to rise over the last decade,” said Bob Tipple, Senior Director of Franchising. “As the third largest state for cruise embarkations, Texas provides enormous potential for cruise vacation sales and is the perfect market for Expedia CruiseShipsCenters to continue its growth.”

According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), over one million cruisers originated from the Lone Star State in 2016 accounting for nearly 10 percent of all North American cruise passengers. As driving distance to port is a key decision-making factor for cruisers, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has identified the state of Texas as a prime market for its retail travel franchise opportunity due to its significant source of cruisers and cruise port in Galveston.

“Texas is the second most populated state in America—and with over 28 million residents residing there, we have room to add over 100 new Centers,” said Tipple. “Our current franchise development plan hones in on the next three years as we look to add 12 more Centers in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as in several other growth markets.”

Additional target markets for Expedia CruiseShipsCenters’ franchise development in Texas includes the greater Houston area, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, and several markets in between.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ growth is in part driven by the continued expansion of the cruising industry. As noted in the recent CLIA report, cruise travel is expected to rise in 2018, boosting the global economy. An estimated 27.2M passengers are expected to cruise (demand has increased 20.5 percent in last five years). Additionally, 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships are scheduled to debut. After years of stagnant performance, the cruise industry is coming back with a vengeance, contributing more than $126B in total output worldwide.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 250 retail travel agency franchises. As part of the Expedia group family of brands, the company’s more than 5,000 Vacation Consultants sell a wide range of vacation products including cruises, flights, hotels, vacation packages, tours, excursions and more. The company has been navigating spectacular vacation experiences for customers across North America for 30 years.

With plans to open 23 Texas locations in the next 5 years, Expedia CrusieShipCenters continues to provide business opportunities for driven team leaders who want to build income, equity and a great lifestyle with a retail business they are passionate about.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview or our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Reliable Support along your Franchise Ownership Journey

 How we provide exceptional support for our #1 customer

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters our programs and support systems are designed to ensure that our #1 customer, our Franchise Partners, can focus on their #1 priority, growing and developing their team of Vacation Consultants serving their community with spectacular vacation experiences.

We are dedicated to providing the best tools, proven systems and top tier support for our Franchise Partners and help them achieve their business ownership goals. When you join forces with Expedia CruiseShipCenters you’ll complete our intensive Franchise Partner onboarding prior to opening your Center but the support doesn’t end there. One of the many ways we provide ongoing support to our Franchise Partners after completing their intensive onboarding is access to our dedicated Technical Support team available to help guide owners through any and all kinds of questions. Here’s a glimpse into the incredible team ready to support you as an Expedia franchise owner.

Accessible Support When You Need it

One of the many benefits of franchise ownership is knowing that you have support when you need it. Imagine having an entire team to call on when you need help navigating anything from a simple question on the day to day operation of your Center to where to find one of the great tools available to set your team of Vacation Consultants up for success.

Our more than 250 Expedia CruiseShipCenters locations are in communities across North America and our Technical Support team is available all hours of the business day. Accessibility is key and that’s why our Technical Support team can be reached in whichever format is best for you whether it be via web form, email or live chat – we’re here to help. They’re prompt to respond back with the average wait time being just 30 minutes. Our Technical Support team will direct you with the appropriate resource or tools and when necessary connect you with the Program Manager who can assist with providing additional support when needed.

The Best of the Best

Thank you for the feedback! – Expedia CruiseShipCenters Technical Support team

Our Franchise Partner satisfaction is top of mind and our dedicated Technical Support team strives to continuously provide prompt and exceptional service. Our team is committed to responding quickly and efficiently, when it comes to resolving more than 100 different inquiries on average each day. To keep our finger on the pulse, a Customer Satisfaction Survey is deployed following each inquiry to receive feedback on the recent support experience to provide us insight into our Franchise Partner’s needs. Our Technical Support team are not only great communicators and pleasant to interact with, they also consistently provide solutions for our Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants with an impressive 99% satisfaction rating! This dedicated team continues to serve Expedia CruiseShipCenters Franchise Partners and Consultants and aim to achieve a 100% satisfaction rating.

Feedback from our #1 Customer

We’re always looking for opportunities to improve our processes and support our Franchise Partners smarter and better. Don’t just take our word for it! Read  some of the feedback we’ve received from Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants regarding their first-hand experience working with our fantastic Technical Support team.

“Excellent support – completely understood what I needed and provided clear explanation – very quick service, friendly and knowledgeable – could not have been better – thank you!!!!”

“Excellent service, very familiar with the answers that are needed. Pleasure to work with.”

“I’m always thankful that the Technical Support team never says “you know, you could read how to do that yourself. Here’s the link” they just answer my questions like it’s the first time it’s been asked!”

“Phoned quickly and clearly answered to my satisfaction. When asked an additional question put on hold and got the answer.”

“It was great and really loved the follow up to make sure things were working properly.”

“I love working with this team.”

Additional Support Resources for our Franchise Partners

Embarking on a new chapter as a first-time business owner can be overwhelming, that’s why joining a proven system like Expedia CruiseShipCenters with a dedicated team in place to support you every step of the way means that you can go into business for yourself and not by yourself! In addition to our Technical Support team, we have a wealth of resources and articles accessible through our industry-leading technology, CruiseDesk®, where Franchise Partners can review materials from their initial onboarding if they ever need a refresher. In the event step by step assistance is needed, our Technical Support team and 125+ corporate team is ready to help with any aspect of your business.

Ready to Learn More?

You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Travel Franchise Review: Q&A with Reid and Christy Trego of Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Franchise owners Christy and Reid at their Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Roswell, GA.

Partners in life and business, Reid and Christy Trego share their experience in their first year of owning their Center, and how they feel like they couldn’t have done it without their team, or each other.

Here’s Reid and Christy’s story:

What were you doing before becoming Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise partners?

Reid: We both worked for corporate America when we were newly married. We then owned a franchise tutoring business for 11 years. After we sold the tutoring business, we spent some time relaxing, and it gave us a lot of opportunities to travel and have fun. We started looking for something that we could do together, and that’s how we stumbled into the Expedia CruiseShipCenters opportunity.

Having previously owned a franchise, why did you decide that a travel franchise was best for you both?

Christy: The flexibility of being a business owner allowed us to travel more as a family. When we began thinking about our next chapter, and what kind of business we wanted, we liked the idea of owning a business in an industry that we love. We believe that travelling with friends and family is what bonds people together, and to have a business in that vein was really appealing to both of us.

Trego Family Vacation in St.Maarten

How has working together as partners served you as you navigate this new industry together? What is your working dynamic like?

Christy: Overall, we have a very good personal and working relationship. We have defined roles that play to our individual strengths. Reid likes to say that I am a “rows and columns” kind of person, and he’s more “squiggly lines”. Reid is in charge of advertising, marketing, and building relationships with suppliers. He’s great at that! Where I’m more interested in managing our customer’s bookings, and understanding all of the ins and outs of the different cruise lines so that I can spend time training our consultants.

We are fortunate enough to be life partners as well as business partners living happily together.

What has your experience been like recruiting and leading a team of Vacation Consultants?

Reid: We have high quality people on our team, and I really enjoy working with them. It’s fun to see our consultants come in and dive right into the work. It’s much easier to steer them in the right direction as long as they’re moving forward. We discuss what their individual goals are and we work together to help them achieve them and in turn we achieve our Center goals as a team.

How would you describe the culture at your Center?

Reid: We knew that having a really positive and fun environment was critical to both of us when creating our team. We try really hard to create a personal relationship with each person, so each of them feel like they have a unique relationship with us. It keeps our consultants loyal, encouraged, and vested in the success of the Center.

Christy: We talk about being part of the “ECSC Roswell Rock Star Team” and how important it is to be supportive of one another all the time. We emphasize how important it is to take care of each customer when greeting them at the door or on the phone – even if they’re someone else’s client. Everyone is willing to pitch in. We have a good balance of motivation and cooperation in our Center.

Franchise owners, Reid and Christy Celebrating $1M in sales with their team.

Why is your community ideal for an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise?

Christy: Roswell, GA is a pretty affluent area. There are a number of neighborhoods around us that have the means and time to travel. It’s also nice that we can drive to a lot of ports. It’s an easy drive for a family who wants to go somewhere exotic without having to book plane tickets.

Reid: Our location is nice because we have a mix of mature and young families in the community. We also used our contacts from our previous business, and community activities, who refer their friends to us. Plus, we coach our travel consultants, to build their book of business by leveraging their own personal and social networks.

You’ve mentioned walk-ins and referrals, but how else do you find your customers?

Reid: We host several events a year in our area and we advertise upcoming promotions in local newspapers and magazines. Having a promotional calendar that is created for us by the corporate team is critical. Those promotions make it easier to talk to prospective customers. You’re not just calling and asking out of the blue to see if they want to book a vacation, but you can use an upcoming promotion as a lead-in to the conversation.

What do you believe sets Expedia CruiseShipCenters apart from our competitors, including travel websites?

Christy: At least in our area, there isn’t any other travel agency option that combines a retail location and big brand recognition like Expedia. As much as people like to use the Internet to do their research and read reviews, it’s rare that a person will look at a $2000-$4000 price tag online and simply click “buy now”. That’s a scary thing to do.  Having a local retail business, and a trusted travel professional nearby is comforting to our customers.

How has the Expedia CruiseShipCenters Corporate Support team helped you launch and grow your business since you started?

Reid: Our experience with the corporate office has exceeded our expectations.  They are incredibly encouraging and responsive to our questions and concerns.  We came into this venture with a solid business background, but we had no travel industry experience, and in under two years, Christy has become a true travel professional and we’ve got a team of professionals who can offer advice that our clients can trust.

Christy: Just as we view our consultants as our clients, I feel that corporate views their Franchise Partners as their clients. When I have an issue or a problem, they are very responsive, helpful, and nice.

What aspects of this business do you enjoy the most?

Christy: I love when I have a client who is excited about a trip, and I can help bring their dream vacation to life. It’s really fun to partner with them and build an amazing vacation experience.

Where do you see your business in 5 years? How do you see your lifestyle changing as a result of your business growth?

Reid: We’re still new but I want to exceed benchmarks year after year. The future looks great for us and I hope we’ll generate enough sales activity where we can hire an office manager. The Expedia CruiseShipCenters will be a household name in Atlanta and the top place to speak with rock star travel consultants in the city.

Christy: Over the next couple of years, I want to continue to develop skills and capabilities of our team members.  I’ve spent the first couple years learning the industry for myself, so I want to get to the point where I can fully dedicate myself to training and supporting our consultants so that each of them is the best travel resource to their own clients and prospects.

What do you love about cruising? Any memorable trips you have taken?

Christy: I think it’s a great way to see a lot of places with minimal effort. Plus, cruising is a great way to travel with a group of friends or family. When you have a large multi-generational family, everyone has different interests but each person can still have their own version of a fun vacation, and still experience it together. My favorite so far was last spring break when we cruised the western Caribbean with our family.

Reid: I love cruising for the same reasons Christy does, but I’m really excited to experience different ships. My favorite trip was one we took to Italy with our kids. It was great trip and we made so many memories with the family.

The Trego family enjoying the Silent Disco on their cruise vacation!

Learn More

For in-depth details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report by filling out the form below. You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our franchise opportunity here.

Learning and Mastering Our Proven System

 Our training and onboarding for new Franchise Partners is robust

CMA Attendees

CMA attendees from Orange Beach, AL; Chilliwack, BC; Kingston, ON; Santa Clarita, CA.

When you join forces with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we set you up for success to hit the ground running before you’ve even opened your doors for business. Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect along the way.

Going into business for yourself can be overwhelming but a huge benefit of joining forces with a proven franchise system like Expedia CruiseShipCenters is that the guess work is eliminated for you! We’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure you’re confident in operating every aspect of your own Center. The capstone of your New Franchise Partner training and onboarding is attending Cruise Management Academy (CMA) before opening your doors. This multi-day training is held at our corporate headquarters in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. CMA is designed to teach and train Franchise Partners, through a hands-on training experience providing the steps and guides needed for success. At Cruise Management Academy you’ll take a deep dive into successfully operating the Expedia CruiseShipCenters system but before attending CMA we’ll build your foundation together.

Your Path to Opening

To begin your path to opening you’ll be introduced to key members of our Franchise Start Up and Onboarding teams after signing your franchise agreement. They’ll guide you through everything, from finding and building out the perfect location in your community to teaching you how to run your business using our industry leading technology, CruiseDesk. We empower our Franchise Partners with the tools and resources to successfully recruit, coach and motivate a large team of Vacation Consultants. Our 125+ person corporate team is here to support you and you can call us at any time.

Cruise Management Academy in a nutshell

About a month before you open your doors for business you’ll attend our week-long intensive training, CMA, with fellow Franchise Partners close to opening. Over the course of the week, you’ll be introduced to key members of our corporate team. Each member and their team will support you throughout your journey as an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise owner. CMA is a classroom setting encouraging collaboration amongst fellow franchisees and a space to master your training. The week will consist of informative presentations, engaging workshops and role playing. By the end of the week you’ll be confident in all areas of operating your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters and how you’ll utilize the tools and technology exclusively available to our Franchise Partners.

CMA attendees from Lakeland, GA; Saint John, NB; Courtice, ON.

We’ll cover a lot of territory and topics at CMA. An area of focus is recruitment, our experts will guide you through the process of hosting recruitment events and training and tips for managing your team of Vacation Consultants. We’ll supply tools such as training presentations and promotion education sessions that you can conduct with your team. You’ll use these seminars are to grow your Vacation Consultants’ knowledge, keep them engaged, and motivate them to continue generating more sales for themselves and in turn your Center overall.

You can expect a robust and engaging agenda everyday while attending CMA. By the end of the week you’ll be an expert in planning for your business, all types of travel products, how to best leverage public relations and effective ways to lead your team. All the tools and resources that you’ll use to grow a valuable and profitable business will be covered.

Counting Down to your Center Opening

The training doesn’t end when you leave our corporate office. Your Onboarding Manager will still support you to insure you and your Center is set up for opening day and all of your training is complete. When you are near your official opening you’ll be assigned an Franchise Performance Coach (FPC). Your FPC will be a dedicated coach delivering individualized and enhanced coaching specific to you and your Center on an ongoing basis. The role of your FPC is to serve as your business advisor providing insights into your Center performance through regular phone call check ins and in-Center visits.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Grand Opening in Bellevue, WA

We’re dedicated to providing in depth training and onboarding to help you build a successful business applying our proven system. CMA is an opportunity for you to build relationships with our subject matter experts and connect with your fellow Franchise Partners at the same stage in the opening journey. Many Franchise Partners remain in regular contact after attending CMA together. It’s another positive take away from the week, having someone else in your position who you can exchange experiences and best practices with.

Learn more about Expedia CruiseShipCenters

This is a just a glimpse into the extensive support we provide our Franchise Partners as they navigate the path to opening. If you’re ready to learn more about the Expedia Franchise Opportunity, complete the form below to receive of free franchise report and one of our Franchise Advisors will reach out shortly! You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

No Travel Industry Experience Required

Join a proven franchise system with tools and support for success

Expedia CruiseShipCenters is a brick and mortar retail travel agency franchise that is affordable to start and scalable, perfect for someone wanting to grow a profitable and valuable business. No previous travel industry experience is required but the drive to lead and develop a team paired with a passion for travel will help you achieve success as a franchise owner. Starting your own business brings many challenges but by joining forces with a proven system backed by the most recognized brand in travel provides you with a plethora of tools, ongoing training and support to operate and manage a successful retail travel franchise while achieving your business ownership goals.

How we set you up for success – Franchise Partner Onboarding

During the Franchise Awards Process, our team does extensive market research on the most optimal locations for our franchises. We set you up for success from the very beginning and help you choose the best location in your region. From the moment you sign your Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise agreement our startup team is here to help guide you in the search for the perfect Center location. We offer geographically protected market areas, designed with customer visibility and accessibility in mind allowing you to reach your target market in your community to recruit a team of all-star Vacation Consultants.

Before opening your doors, you’ll attend Cruise Management Academy (CMA) – our weeklong intensive training held at our corporate office in Vancouver, BC. During our onboarding and start-up process, we’ll train and teach you about our industry leading technology, CruiseDesk, and award-winning marketing tools that will help you run and market your franchise. Together we go through the tools and steps so that you’ll feel comfortable and confident in managing your franchise to grow your business.

How we set you up for success – Consultant Recruitment & Team Leadership

Franchise Partners support Vacation Consultants with ongoing training and support.

To be a successful Expedia CruiseShipCenters Franchise Partner you’ll need to build and support a large high performing team of Vacation Consultants. We provide all our Franchise Partners with a custom recruitment website that will help attract the right personality for success as a Vacation Consultant. The larger your team, the further your reach in the community and in turn the greater your customer base for follow ups and marketing initiatives. Keeping your team engaged, trained and motivated is essential to your success. To help you lead and motivate your team you’ll use our programs designed to help you coach and mentor your team with structured meetings, conversation guides and recognition programs created to support you in building positive relationships with your Consultants. There’s no such thing as too many Vacation Consultants as each Center can support unlimited number of agents working as independent contractors, allowing the business to continuously grow and increase in value over time.

How we set you up for success – Ongoing Resources and Support

Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ mission is to “empower our franchisees with a proven system to grow a profitable and valuable business”. Everything we do supports that mission and we always have our Franchise Partner’s best interests top of mind. As an Expedia CruiseShipCenters Franchise Partner, you’ll be joining forces with the most recognized brand in travel, Expedia Inc. Being part of a global brand gives your franchise instant credibility and brand recognition plus being backed by Expedia’s $84 billion buying power means your Center can sell an extensive range of travel products with the best pricing and extras.

Along your journey to becoming a successful franchise owner you can depend on our diverse 125+ corporate support team here to help you with any guidance you may need in recruiting, onboarding or developing your team of Consultants. The support doesn’t stop there, once your doors are open and your business is operating you’ll be assigned a Franchise Performance Coach (FPC) who will work with you on an ongoing basis as a business advisor supporting you and your Center. They’ll be your critical thinking partner that will help you to continuously increase efficiency, keep you on track for hitting targets and achieving success. Your FPC will have insight into your Center performance and will coach you through Center visits and calls to deliver individualized and enhanced coaching that will empower you to guide, lead and grow your team of Consultants.

Plus, each year we hold our annual franchise conference at sea where our Franchise Partners attend and have a chance to meet and network with their fellow Franchise Partners and they have the opportunity to share and grow from each other.

Better Bigger and Stronger Together

As part of the most recognized brand in travel our Franchise Partners are well equipped with the tools and support to manage their Franchise. Our proven business system has grown to a network of over 230 franchise locations each operating as full service travel agencies selling all types of travel with a specialization in complex cruise vacations and a commitment to customer service.

We are dedicated to helping you every step of the way to build value in your business and achieve your personal as well as Center goals.

Continue Learning About Expedia CruiseShipCenters

For in-depth details about owning a business with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, download our free franchise report by filling out the form below. You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Celebrating 30 Years of Success

2017 marks Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ 30th anniversary. Take a look back at the making of this incredible success story.

30th anniversary logo

This month, Expedia CruiseShipCenters is celebrating an incredible 30 years in business. To say we’ve seen a few changes in the industry since we started out in 1987 is an understatement!

We’ve seen a plethora of new cruise lines enter the market, each with their own unique take on a vacation at sea. We’ve seen the popularity of river cruising rise as travelers embraced this new way to see the world. We’ve seen cruise ship size eclipse previous capacity and onboard innovations evolve beyond our wildest dreams.  We’ve seen travelers change the way they research cruises and travel agents change the way they book cruises with efficiencies enabled by technology.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Franchise Owners aboard their annual National Conference cruise

We’ve seen our company change too as we’ve expanded our network across Canada and into the United States, now with over 4,700 Vacation Consultants and 235 franchise locations. We’ve been welcomed into the Expedia, Inc. family of brands, giving our franchisees a globally recognized brand on their door, and our customers access to every vacation option over land or sea, at exceptional prices.

But what has stayed constant throughout our 30-year history, is our unwavering commitment to our customers and our franchise owners.

Take a walk down memory lane with us in the video below!

We’re committed to our franchise owners

We’re committed to providing a powerful brand that instills confidence in their customers, builds credibility in their business and gives them every advantage over their competitors.

We’re committed to providing outstanding support – whenever and however they need it – to help them become incredible team leaders, savvy marketers and smart business owners.

We’re committed to our mission to empower our franchisees with a proven system to build a profitable and valuable business – with a franchise model that allows them to accomplish their dreams.

We’re committed to our customers

We’re committed to providing that personal touch – a professional Consultant who can find out exactly what they want from their vacation and confidently navigate the best path to get there.

We’re committed to providing them with options for connecting with us – whether that’s online, by email, over the phone, or in store for a face-to-face meeting.

We’re committed to going above and beyond – whether that means securing an exclusive onboard cash credit or delivering their passport to the airport when they’ve forgotten it at home (true story!).

Our service model has stood the test of time

Media headlines say the travel agent is making a comeback as new research shows travel agent usage reaching a six-year high in 2016 according to MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers. It’s no surprise when customers say their agent saves them an average $452 per trip, and four hours in travel planning time (ASTA).

But at Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we know that this isn’t a comeback. Our Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants have been here all along providing travelers with unparalleled service and unbeatable value for the past 30 years. It’s the reason our sales have grown at an average rate of 11% each year for over two decades.

A future as bright as our past

With 83 new ocean cruise ships currently on order, we’re beyond excited about what’s to come for the cruise industry and our business. As our franchise owners continue to bring the Expedia CruiseShipCenters brand to new communities across North America, we get the privilege of sharing our passion for cruising and dedication to service with more and more travelers.

No matter what the next 30 years brings, we’ll always be here delivering on our promise to navigate spectacular vacation experiences and our mission to empower our Franchise Partners with a proven system to build a profitable and valuable business.

Build your success on ours

Want to become a part of our incredible success story? Expedia CruiseShipCenters is looking for passionate travelers to join our team as franchise owners across North America. For in-depth details about our franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more through this six step overview of our travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Great Leaders Make Great Franchise Owners

How Our Franchise Owners fill several leadership roles as they set their team and business up for success

As a franchise owner your role will include supporting and leading your team.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, there’s a key characteristic we actively look for in our franchisees – leadership. While a passion for travel in this business is important, it actually plays a smaller role in the realm of the franchise owner than you might think. As a travel agency Franchise Owner, the customer you’re devoted to serving is your team of Vacation Consultants (who sell travel on behalf of your retail travel agency) and your product is providing them with the tools and support to best serve their clients.

The role of a travel Franchise Owner is multifaceted; it is as dynamic and challenging (in the best ways) as it is rewarding. Here are three different ways you’ll put your leadership skills to work as you’re building a successful travel agency.

Recruiter and Trainer

Franchise Partners support Vacation Consultants with ongoing training and support.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Franchise Partners approach recruitment and onboarding their team of Vacation Consultants as an ongoing commitment and opportunity to continuously grow their team and business. You’ll find your dream team out in your community – they’re typically warm and energetic individuals who love helping others.

When it comes to training your team, we’re here to guide you through our training system designed to help people with little to no travel industry experience learn how to sell custom vacation packages. We help you to recruit and train your team in many ways from a dedicated recruitment website for your location to regular webinars and events to help your team boost their sales. The better equipped and supported your team is, the better the service their clients will receive and the higher the sales potential of your business. After all, we’re only as strong as the team we build and creating an environment for your team of independent consultants to flourish will be the most important contributor to your success.

Mentor and Coach

As part of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters system, you have access to our powerful proprietary software to help remain up-to-date on your location’s and team’s performance. This is a great tool for identifying opportunities for growth within your team as well as keeping your business on track to achieve your franchise goals. Teaching your team how to leverage the tactics of our proprietary sales methodology, The Navigators Approach, will also help them to build strong long-term relationships with their customers with our tools and programs in place. We provide ongoing sales leadership training for Franchise Partners to help you coach your Consultants to sales success. Coaching your travel consultants about our promotions as well as hosting events at your location will help your team excel and offer their clients the best products available along with advice they can trust.

#1 Fan and Cheerleader

As a Franchise Partner, you are your Vacation Consultants’ biggest fan.

You are your Vacation Consultants’ biggest fan! Keeping your team motivated and feeling recognized and appreciated is important for their continued success. Making sales alone shouldn’t mean recognition – the path to being a successful salesperson takes time, on-the-job experience and a desire to improve skills. Everything from a Consultant providing exceptional service to their customers, to making connections with potential customers at events is deserving of recognition. We have a fantastic recognition program called Navigators Club that presents a great opportunity for Franchise Partners to continuously set goals for and applaud their team of both new and experienced Consultants. By recognizing the best practices of your Consultants, you establish a benchmark for your team to strive for and establish your location as the best source for all of your community’s travel needs!

As a Franchise Partner you’ll be dedicated to the ongoing success of your location as you manage the day-to-day operations of your retail business; you’ll also recruit and support your team of independent Vacation Consultants and create an engaging environment. It’s a busy job starting a travel agency that is incredibly rewarding. At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we’re committed to helping our franchisees become exceptional leaders who build a strong team to help to set them up on the path to a successful business.

Learn More

Expedia CruiseShipCenters is a retail travel agency franchise backed by the largest travel brand in the world with more than 235 retail locations open or under development across North America. As the cruise industry grows larger each year, customers are seeking the expert advice of a travel agent who can create customized travel plans and provide personal service.

When you’re starting a travel agency; recruiting, leading and supporting your team will be the foundation of your successful business. If you have the drive and the leadership skills to take on this exciting challenge, we invite you to continue exploring the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity by downloading our Free Franchise Report by completing the form below.


5 Benefits of Starting a Franchise vs. an Independent Business

Why the franchise industry will reach $710 Billion in 2017 and how you can be a part of it with Expedia CruiseShipCenters.


At the recent annual convention held by the International Franchise Association, attendees across most industries were very optimistic. That’s because franchising as a whole is on the rise. In fact, according to a report by IHS Economics, the overall economic output of the franchise industry is expected to increase 5.3% to $710 billion in 2017.

So why are more and more North Americans turning to franchising as a way to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams and what are the benefits of joining a franchise vs. starting an independent business?

Here are 5 things you can expect when you join a reputable, well-established franchise like Expedia CruiseShipCenters:

1. A recognizable brand, from day one

First and foremost, having an immediately recognizable brand that inspires trust and conveys value to consumers the day you open the doors of your business is a huge advantage for franchisees that join established companies. Building a brand is hard. It takes time, effort and usually a lot of money to make yourself known, not only as a place that sells X, but also as a good place to buy X in your community. When you can skip that step and immediately focus your efforts on building a base of loyal customers, your ramp up phase is that much faster.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Franchise Owner from Orange County, Chris Meyer, describes how important having the Expedia brand has been to building his travel agency franchise:

“I think the Expedia name is huge. It is a household name that has instant credibility and instant familiarity,” Chris says. “And also the instant thought: ‘Oh, they are big — they must have good prices.’ That is a big differentiator. Most of our competitors don’t have a big brand for people to connect with.”

2. The power to negotiate with the big industry players

It’s not rocket science to figure out that 100 stores selling the same product have more buying power than one store selling that product. So unless you’re selling artisanal ketchup that consumers are willing to pay a premium for, you’re going to have a hard time competing on price as an independent business. As part of a large franchise network, however, you get to leverage the industry relationships that your franchisor has already established on your behalf.

In the cruise industry, our negotiating power benefits Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ 230+ franchise locations and their customers in a number of ways. Not only does our massive sales volume for cruises ensure our pricing is always competitive, we can also negotiate top-tier commissions for our franchisees and their agents which ultimately boosts the profitability of our stores. Our Senior Vice President of Franchise & Supplier Performance, Geraldine Ree, explains why this is especially important to for new franchisees in the video below.

Since 75% of all cruises are still sold through travel agents according to Cruise Lines International Association, our cruise line partners rely on us to fill their ships which often allows us to negotiate exclusive extras for our clients, like onboard cash credits, free upgrades, or other amenities, that customers can’t get booking elsewhere – not even online. When our franchisees can offer competitive pricing, exclusive extras and incredible service, there’s no reason for clients to book travel anywhere else.

3. Peace of mind

Starting your own business takes a huge leap of faith. Making that jump into the unknown world of self-employment can be scary, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. One of the benefits of starting a franchise is that you own your own business, but you’re not stepping into completely unknown territory. You get the perks of being your own boss, doing something you love, and controlling your own destiny, but with the comfort of knowing that there’s a proven system behind you. A franchise provides a how-to guide based on years of experience that shows you exactly how to make your business successful.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we’ve been continuously improving our system and the way we operate our stores since we started in 1987. That’s 30 years of experience that has helped us become the one of North America’s leading sellers of cruise vacations and a top ranked franchise year after year. But we’re not finished yet. We believe we can always be better; for our customers, for our agents, and for our franchisees who depend on us to deliver on our mission: To empower our franchisees with a proven system to grow a profitable and valuable business.

4. A built-in support network

One of the biggest benefits of joining a franchise that often comes as a surprise is the built in support network you get from your fellow franchise owners. Having a group of people to turn to who have been in your shoes is an incredible resource for a franchisee, whether you’re just starting out and want advice on recruiting your dream team, or have been in business for years and are looking for fresh new ideas to reach travelers in your community. When you start an independent business, that support network is either non-existent, or much more difficult to find.

Our culture of Stronger.Together at Expedia CruiseShipCenters is ingrained in our core values and our franchisees take it to heart. They share best practices with one another and support each other in achieving their business goals. Of course there’s a healthy spirit of competition among them, but at the end of the day, each franchisee’s success contributes to the success of our overall brand. We’re all in this together.

5. An asset to sell when the time comes

If you’ve built a successful business, it will be worth something when you decide to sell it. But how much it’s worth and how easily you can sell it may vary greatly between independent and franchised businesses. The fact that your business also comes with all the other franchise benefits we mentioned will make it an even more attractive asset to prospective buyers. They’re not only buying a business, they’re buying an established system and brand that comes with initial training and ongoing support. Another benefit of joining a franchise is that your transition out of the business much easier because the operations manual is already written and the start-up team is already in place to get the new owner of your store up and running.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, our goal is to not only help our franchisees generate income, but also to help them build long-term equity in their business. All of our support is aimed at increasing their profitability and building value in their business so that when the time comes to sell, they should be getting a solid return on their initial investment. Plus, our dedicated Refranchising team at Expedia CruiseShipCenters is there to guide franchisees through the process of selling their business when the time comes.

Continue Learning About Expedia CruiseShipCenters

The benefits of starting a franchise are numerous and extend far beyond the five we mentioned. But of course, not all franchise opportunities are equal and you should make sure to conduct your due diligence before making a decision. For in-depth details about owning a business with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, download our free franchise report by filling out the form below. You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Rides Wave of Record Growth

2016 best year ever for franchise openings


Expedia CruiseShipCenters is on pace for a record year as we stay on target to open nearly 40 locations in 2016. Consumer recognition for the Expedia CruiseShipCenters brand is growing, and more people are cruising – both strong contributing factors to our banner year of travel agency franchise openings.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters expands from coast to coast


Expedia CruiseShipCenters is expanding nationwide, with new locations now open across North America that span from from the West Coast to the East Coast. Meet some of our newest owners and hear what they have to say about their experience so far as part the Expedia CruiseShipCenters team during this exciting growth period for the cruise industry and our brand.

Rob Steinfeld and Dean Hanson – Tampa Bay, FL

“We live the brand. People know us as ‘the cruise guys.’ There’s never a time we’re not wearing an Expedia shirt or an awesome T-shirt that says, ‘Ask Me How To Win A Cruise!’ Down the line, when someone starts to get ready for a vacation, we want them to think of us first. No one comes in here without being signed up on our database,” says Tampa Bay, Florida, franchise owner Rob Steinfeld. Rob runs his Expedia CruiseShipCenters store with his life partner, Dean Hanson. The franchisees have been featured by several news outlets, including the the July 2016 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, the Tampa Bay Business Journal and local cable news network Bay News 9.

Peggy Mehos and Brianna Grewal – South East Edmonton, AB

Edmonton, Alberta, franchise owners Brianna Grewal and Peggy Mehos, a mother and daughter duo, were looking for a business venture with flexibility. Brianna had a background in Human Resources, and Peggy had owned a dental laboratory. Having traveled on their own or as a family to many beautiful destinations, whether it was taking fabulous cruises, relaxing annually in Hawaii or backpacking across Europe, traveling has been a staple for both of them. With that passion, Peggy gained interest in a travel business and started doing her research.

Eventually mentioning it to Brianna, they decided to partner up. “Having the Expedia brand backing the business made the decision to become franchisees that much easier, as they are a trusted brand in travel. We are excited to help others experience these amazing getaways, and we want their customers to go on spectacular vacations and retain memories for a lifetime,” says Brianna.

Rob Henderson – Tustin, CA

Tustin, California, franchise owner Rob Henderson, who opened his Expedia CruiseShipCenters location in April, is excited about helping the residents of his community plan their dream vacations. “Cruising is really a popular option for anyone looking for a spectacular vacation, and our vacation consultants at Expedia CruiseShipCenters can help everyone navigate through all the options out there to put together a perfectly suited package – from finding the right ship to choosing the best destinations and planning the best excursions. Currently there is a huge investment going into cruise ships globally. In fact, every shipyard in the world is booked out through 2021. The ships are better than ever, with fantastic new designs and amenities, and more people are cruising now than ever before because it is a great way to use your holiday time to not only explore the world, but to do so in comfort.”

Barry and Tina Gallant – Fredericton, NB

Fredericton franchisees and high school sweethearts Tina and Barry Gallant have been married for 25 years. Tina has spent most of her career with New Brunswick Power Corporation where she was an Administrative Supervisor, responsible for administration staff around the Province. Barry’s career in engineering as an independent contractor has taken him throughout Canada. While their careers were successful, there was no passion. They wanted to do something that they loved that would allow them to work toward their own goals. They also wanted to set an example for their three children that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

Barry and Tina had talked in the past about owning a business, but it never seemed to be the right fit or the right time. However, when they saw an ad about owning an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise and began investigating the opportunity, the pieces fell into place. From the beginning, they felt like they belonged with the Expedia CruiseShipCenters family. This became even more apparent once they met the corporate team in Vancouver and in the time since, from signing their lease to opening day. “They care about you and your success is their success. We feel blessed and proud to be part of such a wonderful caring organization.

We can hardly wait to see what the next few years have in store for us! We know it is going to be an awesome journey!”

Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ 4,300+ Vacation Consultants across North America provide trustworthy travel advice and personalized service to the millions of people planning to cruise every year. The cruise industry is booming with 24 million people are expected to set sail in 2016 alone, according to the 2016 CLIA State of the Industry report. Cruise lines are also expanding to meet the growing demand for cruise vacations. The cruise industry is investing $6.5 billion in 2016 with 65 new ocean ships planned to debut over the next five years to meet the growing demand from travelers who want to spend their vacation dollars on cruising.

Running an Expedia CruiseShipCenters is a perfect fit for entrepreneurs with a passion for travel. It’s also a rewarding venture; our owners are in the business of helping people plan their dream vacations.

New franchisee support resources help owners succeed

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters we are constantly investing in new support resources to help our franchisees succeed in key areas of the business, including a new resources dedicated to supporting our franchise owners with recruitment of high-quality travel experts to join their local teams.

We are committed to setting our new franchise owners up for success. Our startup team is your go-to resource to get your location ready for customers, including assistance with site selection and guidance as you design and build out your space. We also help with the entire hiring process, from onboarding to recruitment, as you assemble the perfect team of vacation experts.

You will also attend an intensive, week-long franchisee training program called Cruise Management Academy held at our corporate headquarters. By the time you open the doors to your franchise the goal is for you to have at least six Vacation Consultants on your team ready to sell travel packages.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters is gearing up for expansion

Expedia CruiseShipCenters has more than 220 travel franchise locations open or under development in North America, and plan to reach 500 locations by 2020.

With our course charted for explosive growth, Expedia CruiseShipCenters will continue to be a leader in a vibrant industry. Expedia CruiseShipCenters has grown at three times the rate of the cruise industry overall, enjoying an average sales growth of 20% annually for more than two decades.

Learn more about Expedia CruiseShipCenters

For in-depth details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report by filling out the form below. You can also learn more by reading the essentials about the Expedia franchise here.