Holland America Line (HAL) recently reached a milestone when the 20,000th travel professional graduated from Holland America Line Academy, the brand’s travel agent training program offering learning through a combination of video instruction, reading and quiz interaction.
The Academy, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2017, is designed to support travel professionals in their ongoing quest for knowledge about travel sales, the cruise industry and Holland America Line. It began as a workbook sent to agents in Canada and the US and later transitioned into an interactive online experience.
Holland America Line Academy Core Courses, which relaunched with a new program in 2017, include four core training sessions: “The Holland America Line Difference,” “Destinations and Itinerary Planning,” “Selling Groups” and “Secrets of Sales Success.”
The shorter Holland America Line Academy Specialist Training Courses series launched in July 2016 with “Alaska and the Yukon: The Great Land = Great Sales for You” and continued with “The Panama Canal and More,” “Selling and Sailing in the Mediterranean,” “Grand Voyages: Oceans Traveled, Journeys Savored, Dreams Fulfilled” and “Northern Europe: Its Iconic Cities, Hidden Gems and Scenic Beauty.” The courses were developed in collaboration with industry training expert Dr. Marc Mancini.
Agents completing courses are placed into three different levels of distinction: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. For Silver, travel professionals must complete all four Core Courses; for Gold, travel professionals need four Core Courses plus two of Specialist Training Courses; and for Platinum, travel professionals need to complete three or more Specialist Training Courses.
Rewards at each level include training credits with Cruise Lines International Association, as well as The Travel Institute for U.S. travel professionals or the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, a US$50 shipboard credit redeemed when cruising on a Travel Professional Appreciation fare, onboard amenities and a personalized and signed certificate, and appreciation gifts including Holland America Line luggage tags and a graduate pin.