Skift Take

Shore excursions offered by third-party companies are growing in popularity among passengers and travel advisors alike. Independent options tend to offer more customization than ship-sponsored tours while also offering financial benefits for travel advisors.

Whether you are a home-based travel advisor or you work in a large office servicing high-profile accounts, the Travel Advisor Innovation Report will have you covered with the trends, news, and features you’ll need to stay on top of an ever-changing marketplace.

As cruise ports grow ever-more congested and travelers seek alternatives to coach tours, it’s little wonder that third-party shore excursion companies featuring small groups and curated experiences are finding favor with passengers. Unless they offer all-inclusive pricing, cruise lines usually don’t pay commissions on excursions, but the independent companies do.

While some passengers may be concerned with issues such as getting back to the ship on time, this appears not to be a problem with reputable shore excursion companies. Of course, vetting companies on their safeguards and contingency plans is always a good idea.

At the same time, perhaps as a result of increased competition, many cruise lines are upping their game on shore excursions by offering small-group and customized options that are a far cry from the dreaded coach tour.

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Any suggestions for the coverage you would like to see are welcome. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

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Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [[email protected]] curates the Skift Travel Advisor Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send her an email.

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Tags: airports, aviation, cruises, hotels, tourism, travel advisor innovation report, travel agents

Photo credit: Whether it's a surf lesson or a foodie tour, shore excursions run by companies independent of cruise lines are gaining traction. Bloomberg

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