Celebrity & Azamara Honor Top Travel Agency Partners

Valentine’s Day is over a week away, but top-performing travel agents who partner with Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises are already feeling the love. The sales team representing both brands has announced the list comprising the best of the best among travel agents for 2008. Agencies receiving top honors have earned the title of Account of the Year, with one winner per region, per brand; one national account of the year, per brand; and, for the first time ever, one overall winner for each brand.

Celebrity Cruises named CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus of Moultonborough, New Hampshire as its first-ever Overall Account of the Year. In the many years we’ve worked together, the team at CruCon never ceases to amaze us with their ability to effectively market and sell our cruises, sometimes quickly changing courses to support one of our initiatives, said Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises. They make it easy for us to provide memorable experiences for our guests, which in turn creates lifelong fans of Celebrity Cruises and CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus. In addition to CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus being named its overall honoree, Celebrity and Azamara each also bestowed it with the Northeast Region honor.

Azamara’s first-ever Overall Account of the Year is Online Vacation Center of Plantation, Florida. Since we launched the Azamara brand in 2007, Online Vacation Center has willingly and enthusiastically embraced this new product and our entry into the deluxe cruise market, Ritzenthaler said. Through effective marketing tools and techniques, valuable feedback and an unwavering partnership with us, OVC has played a major role in the very successful launch, and first full year, of Azamara Cruises.

Both agencies, along with those named to the national and regional categories for both brands, have demonstrated steadfast support for the Celebrity and Azamara cruise brands as well as an outstanding 2008 revenue performance.

With over 90% of our bookings coming from our travel agency partners, travel agents continue to be the driving force behind our success, and we strive to make our relationship a true partnership, said Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises. CruCon Cruise Outlet, Online Vacation Center, and all of our national and regional winners go out of their way to make the most of that partnership. That approach allows them to deliver consistent results that make them successful, too.

National Account of the Year honors went to World Travel Holdings of Woburn, Massachusetts for Celebrity and Signature Travel Network of Marina del Rey, California for Azamara.

A complete list of Celebrity’s 2008 honorees includes:
Overall CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus
National Accounts World Travel Holdings
West Region Costco Travel
Central Region Cruises International Inc.
Northeast Region CruCon Cruise Outlet
Southeast Region Cruises-N-More
Canadian Region Cruise Holidays of Vancouver
Inside Sales Stratford Vacations

Azamara named Online Vacation Center its 2008 Overall Account of the Year and Southeast Region Account of the Year. A complete list of Azamara’s 2008 honorees includes:

Overall Online Vacation Center
National Accounts Signature Travel Network
West Region Altour Classic Cruise and Travel
Central Region Vacations To Go
Northeast Region CruCon Cruise Outlet Plus
Southeast Region Online Vacation Center
Canadian Region CAA Quebec
Inside Sales T L and J Travel Agency Inc.
Corporate Sales ITA Group

Each agency receiving top honors receives an in-person presentation by a Celebrity and Azamara sales team executive (Ritzenthaler; Vice President of Field Sales Keith Lane; or Vice President of National, Corporate, Incentive and Charter Sales Jeff Clarke) and their regional sales managers and directors. Each winner also receives a beautiful leaded crystal vase, certificate of achievement and various marketing materials including customized logos that they can use on their websites and in print advertising.

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for four of the top 10 “Top Cruise Ships in the World” in the large-ship category, as voted by the readers of Cond Nast Traveler (February 2008 readers poll), Celebrity’s fleet including the new Celebrity Solstice will be joined by Celebrity Equinox this year, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.

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