MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Seasite.com, the first and only online portal dedicated to cruise meetings and events, today announced the release of Version 2.0, which enables planners to send a custom electronic Request For Proposal (e-RFP) to their choice of five cruise lines and negotiate directly to secure the best all-inclusive group pricing, with no extra cost or fees. Much like popular hotel sourcing sites Cvent and Starcite, Seasite provides meeting planners with all the tools needed to source cruises or ship charters and secure multiple group quotes faster than ever.
Cruise ships, which increasingly resemble hotels, are continuing to win respect as popular venues for meetings due to the outstanding return on investment. According to travel industry research firm PhoCusWright, the number of planners/buyers who intend to use a cruise venue increased by one-third in 2010—from 6 to 8 percent.
Seasite is the universal access point to the cruise industry for meeting professionals. Monthly traffic continues to gain traction--website visitors increased 55 percent in June compared with January 2011. Continued growth is anticipated as more sourcing organizations discover Seasite.com, including Experient, Conference Direct and MCI/Ovation – who all work with Seasite’s sister company, Landry & Kling.
“We believe Seasite.com will expand our access to all the meeting and event planners we wish we could call on in person,” commented Lori Cassidy, director, Corporate, Incentive & Charter Sales at Royal Caribbean International. “We are ‘built for business’ with a fleet of 22 innovative ships cruising worldwide, so we’re thrilled to partner with Seasite. They continue to lead the way for group buyers everywhere to connect more efficiently with the cruise industry.”
Jackie Fox, of Morris Meetings & Incentives, a veteran meetings and incentive company, finds Seasite is invaluable when she wants to consider a cruise for her clients, “It’s so much faster to use Seasite to find a cruise solution, and with the Planner Guides I know what meeting rooms to negotiate. I would encourage all planners to use this fantastic tool.”
Seasite helps event planners evaluate cruises by providing unprecedented access to the group-oriented ship data they need, all in one location, for free. In a single visit to Seasite.com group buyers can:
- Search and choose destinations, dates and ships and then submit one e-RFP to up to five different cruise lines. (Planners who already have a hotel-based RFP can conveniently upload and forward it directly to the cruise lines, saving time and effort.)
- View cruise brand mini-sites that highlight the distinctive features of each company.
- Utilize proprietary Cruise Planner Guides, which offer meeting room capacities, group dining options and other ship data that is not published elsewhere.
- Compare itineraries and facilities for up to five ships side-by-side, to easily identify the cruise that best meets their needs.
“Carnival is very committed to increasing our corporate and incentive group business,” added John Diulus, managing director, Strategic Partnerships, Carnival Cruise Lines. “We’re happy to work with Seasite.com – their online group RFP helps us turn quotes around more quickly to achieve our goals.”
“Our Seasite partnership makes us accessible for quotes 24/7, and showcases all the facts that set us apart,” said Brandon Townsley, national director, Charter, Meeting and Incentive Sales for Norwegian Cruise Line. “That’s important because our Freestyle Cruising concept provides planners the freedom to build an agenda around their event requirements, not around a fixed dining or show time as with other cruise lines.”
“A key focus for Seasite this year is to increase group planners’ awareness of ships as desirable meeting venues, so that cruises can take their place in the world of strategic meetings management,” said Mark Phillips, chief operating officer of Seasite. “In fact, our direct sourcing model can be integrated into nearly every preferred method of venue sourcing today.”
Seasite’s cruise marketing partners include leading brands such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Lindblad Expeditions, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, and Voyages to Antiquity.
Seasite is the first and only online portal dedicated to the cruise meetings and events market. Seasite is a robust sourcing tool to help meeting planners search, select and plan group cruises, providing online RFPs and group-oriented ship data that is not available elsewhere. Site features include meeting/function room capacities, group dining details, and other onboard amenities. For more information, visit www.seasite.com or call 1-888-713-1371 to speak with a Cruise Advisor.