Five cruise specialist agencies – Barrhead Travel, Cruise.co.uk, Cruise 1st, Iglu Cruise and Cruise Nation – will be the first to gain access to MSC Cruises’ new trade booking platform MSC Book.
More agencies will gain access each week during September ahead of the line’s existing trade booking portal MSC Online being switched off in the UK in November.
MSC Book has been developed and built in-house over the past 18 months and is designed to make it easier for agents to book itineraries and associated cruise products.
Giles Hawke, MSC’s executive director for the UK and Ireland, said the new system would make agents’ lives easier by simplifying the booking process and allowing agents to book extras such as excursions and spa treatments.
“We promised agents this new booking system and I’m really pleased we’re able to deliver it,” Hawke said.
The line said MSC Book’s clean graphics-led interface leads users through a simpler booking path, allowing them to book flights, select cabin type, on-board experience level – Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and MSC Yacht Club – and dining options, as well as book extras such as excursions and spa treatments.
Agents can compare potential cruise options for customers and use it to email quotes and booking confirmations.
The system also allows users to view potential commission earned on packages.
MSC also plans to launch a six-month pilot scheme to pay full commission on shore excursions.