Pre- and post-cruise programmes are a huge revenue earner for travel agents. Why? Because they add a land-based extra to a ‘traditional’ cruise holiday.
This can mean anything from a one-night hotel stay in Southampton to 10-days trekking in Patagonia.
The proposition is particularly lucrative when it comes to pre- and post-programmes that target the luxury sector of the market.
But do you know what exactly is available? If you don’t, you certainly should. If your customer is taking the trip of a lifetime then why not suggest staying a little longer (or leaving a little earlier) to really get to grips with a destination.
Use our useful guide below to see a few of the best programmes on the market right now.
Four nights Machu Picchu Explorer
This pre-cruise programme by luxury line Silversea starts in Lima and includes a ‘Vistadome’ train journey from Cusco through villages and mountain gorges to the stunning Machu Picchu. While there guests can enjoy a guided tour of the Citadel and explore the famous Lost City of the Incas.
The tour is available for passengers who will also be taking a Galapagos cruise.
However, given the huge distance a lot of British guests will be travelling for the actual cruise itself, think about how many would be interested to hear about extending that trip by a few days to take in Machu Picchu.
A great opportunity.
10-day trek in Patagonia
Not one for the faint of heart – but ideal for those who have already booked onto an Antarctic cruise.
This added extra allowed guests of Aurora to take a hike through the rich forests and terrain of Patagonia, which are full of wildlife, national parks and indigenous communities.
The experience is perfect for guests wanting to sample a varied selection of climates and experiences.
Each day walkers will be trekking for between seven and eight hours amongst rainforest while staying in lodges and base camps.
Ultra luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises offers three different pre- or post-cruise programmes within one of the hottest destinations in the world right now: Burma.
The experiences include visits to the royal cities of Amarapura and Mandalay; the opportunity to visit Bagan and its 2,000 pagodas; Mandalay Hill; and Lake Inle for a boat ride through its floating garden.
A particular favourite of tourists is taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise.
There also heaps of opportunities to visit the country’s many monasteries including Mahagandayon, where 1,000 monks eat dinner each day in silence.
The Royal Scotsman
This year (2014) guests of Hebdridean Island Cruises are being given the opportunity to combine their cruise onboard the luxury vessel with a stay on the UK’s only luxury sleeper train – offering a variety of fully inclusive itineraries around Scotland.
The train’s interior is designed as a luxurious home from home with just 36 guests travelling through Scotland’s finest countryside in private cabins decorated in country style.
Guests can stay three nights onboard the Scotsman, overnight at the Balmoral Hotel and then take a cruise on the luxury Hebridean Princess.
Not a bad way to see these fair isles of ours!