Serafin Blazquez, Intercruises Global Port Agency Manager, provides a quick update on North America, Europe, the Middle East & Vietnam, as well as insights into the future of port agency for Intercruises….. 

How is Intercruises Port Agency in 2017?

Very healthy! We continue to grow our business in all regions and strengthen our relationships with existing and new clients, as well as diversify our services.

What is going on in the different regions?

  • Americas: Port agency  is being successfully led on the East and West coasts by a very strong team, with Jennifer, Joanne, Kate, Margaret and Tom. In 2018 we will handle over 1500 calls, which is huge volume and there is still opportunity to grow.
  • Mediterranean & Europe: Very established teams and service, including Jude and Steve in the UK, who continue to increase our business. In the Mediterranean our focus is customizing and diversifying our service – ships change and so must we. We are lucky to have very strong teams in the Mediterranean – Jordi, Maro and Amaury and their teams in Spain and France & Monaco, Croatia, Marinella in Civi (Italy) and the guys in Greece – George, Petros & Babis, as well Miki, Manu, Prio and Nohemi based here in Barcelona
  • India & Indian Ocean: We worked closely with clients and our local teams to set up port agency services in The Middle East, with the first calls attended by Manu. We will be looking at the best way of growing our business organically in that area and it is very exciting to be involved in this project.
  • Asia-Pacific: At the moment only Vietnam does port agency in this region, with services led by Khoi. During the last year I am very pleased with the progress we have made in terms of working more closely together – bidding, service ideas – and I’m looking forward to continuing this and looking at if and how we can expand in the region.

How are our Port Agency services changing?

Just because we are not using VR technology does not mean port agency is not forward thinking! Our teams are driving a change in the way port agency services are perceived through Diversification, Customisation & Innovation.

  • Customisation – This is all about improving the service delivered to each individual ship – two ships may belong to the same cruise brand, but how we work with them can be totally different and through customizing this service we can differentiate Intercruises from competitors.
  • InnovationThrough working more closely with Pacific World (PW) we identified an opportunity to create a new offering, which we are calling “Cruise Special Events“, with a particular focus on ship christenings. Previously Intercruises would just handle the agency aspect of the event, but now with the MICE expertise of PW we can offer a comprehensive package – agency services, AV, Entertainment, Staff, Fireworks, etc…a one stop shop for christening services, similar to the innovative thinking that led to the creation of Intercruises.

Anything else to add?

I am really pleased with the growing collaboration between our regions and it is yielding real benefits – we are improving our services through sharing best practices across regions and also winning new business, especially as cruise lines grow and visit new destinations – for example, perhaps we work with a cruise line in the Mediterranean and then they decide to launch a new itinerary in North America. Our Med team know the people, ships, service and we can work with our North America colleagues to ensure that this is replicated, making the process of setting up in a new destination much easier for the cruise line.

Other than that, just thanks to the Port Agency teams around the world. And Marketing.