In a recent press release, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) highlighted the benefits of cruising over land travel and concluded that “from ease of travel to the best return on experience, cruise travel has a leg up on land-based travel any time of year.” We couldn’t agree more!

But of course, as long-time cruise event specialists, Landry & Kling looks at cruising from a different perspective: yours! What’s in it for you, meeting planning professional? So we took CLIA’s five top benefits to cruise-based travel vs. land-based travel, gave them incentive cruise twist and added two more benefits for good measure:

7 best benefits of incentive cruises & meetings at sea vs. land-based programs:

1.Travel Convenience
cruise-based meetings - avalon waterways suite
With new and expanding domestic and international ports, your incentive cruise attendees now have more access to a greater number of cruise ships – and many are within driving distance of major cities. Cruising to the Caribbean, Europe, or beyond gives your group the opportunity to safely sample different destinations without the stress of dealing with foreign airports, hotels and transportation. Every day brings unique experiences as your ship sails to another enticing port of call. Bonus: They only need to unpack once!
(pictured right: European river views from Avalon Waterways suite)

2.Motivate Every Generation
cruise-based meetings--Ropes Course on Norwegian Breakaway
If you’re planning a incentive travel program or corporate meeting that spans multiple generations, a cruise offers something for everyone. From heart-pumping rope courses high above the sea to Yoga on deck, from Broadway shows in a high-tech theater to live jazz in an intimate show lounge, a cruise event can be tailored to please all your participants. You’ll never have to worry about them being bored during their leisure time. (pictured right: Norwegian Getaway ropes course)

3.Diverse Destinations & Authentic Travel Experiences
lex-alaskaThe demand for out-of-the-ordinary unique experiences is increasingly factoring into incentive destination decisions. Incentive cruises offer plenty of both. More cruise lines are adding authentic, culinary, and cultural excursions, while several upscale lines feature longer stays or overnights in ports, along with specially-crafted immersive events ashore. Smaller ships and mega-yachts are able to venture into small harbors and hidden covers where the big ships can’t go. Bonus: They’re ideal for private charter! (pictured right: Exploring Alaska glaciers by zodiac with Lindblad Expeditions)

4.Culinary Experiences and Special Diet Options Included
cruise-based meetings- Culinary Center on Oceania ship
With attendees craving top-notch culinary experiences and more demand for special diets, it’s time to take a fresh look at cruise ship dining. Boring buffets and bland menu options at sea are a thing of the past. Interactive culinary experiences, celebrity chefs, destination-inspired menus, dining under the stars, onboard culinary centers and gourmet explorer tours are just a few of the offerings being served up to groups during incentive cruises. See Best New Cruise Food Experiences for Groups (pictured right: Culinary Arts Center on premium Oceania ship)

5.Cost Savings & Ease of Planning
cruise-based meetings - Allure of the Seas TheaterIncentive cruises and meetings at sea can save you money – in fact, up to 30% when compared to a comparable land-based property. Virtually all the basics are included, like meals and snacks in a variety of venues, and attendees have a wide variety of evening entertainment, sports facilities, and shipboard activities to choose from every day. You’ll also save on transfers, menus and entertainment for off-site events. No linens to rent, no pricey floral arrangements, no meeting space charges, A/V costs, and no mysterious resort fees – streamlining your planning time! (pictured right: Main Theater on Allure of the Seas, capacity: 1394 seats)

6.Cruise Industry Trends Geared to Groups
Motivate Millennials - WiFi Meeting on cruise ship
Recently, a writer from The Meeting Professional reached out to Landry & Kling President Jo Kling for an update on cruise meeting trends, including event & meeting venues, WiFi connectivity and onboard experiences. Click to read the article from the November issue of MPI’s magazine: Cruise Control (pictured right: Rapid-speed WiFi connectivity on Royal Caribbean ships)

7.Experts at the Ready
Dockside Trinidad-Ship & BannersIncentive cruises can reduce your overall expenses, motivate performance and boost ROI, but cruise planning requires a special set of logistics. Partnering with a cruise event specialist will ensure you book the right ship and itinerary, will help you maximize your budget, and seamlessly translate your program from a land-based venue to a ocean- or river-going ship. Download the free ebook: Shopping for a Cruise Meeting.

(pictured right: Landry & Kling brokered & operated dockside ship charters in Trinidad for Fifth Summit of the Americas and the Commonwealth Head of Government Meetings)

Landry & Kling’s Cruise Broker+ Service includes ship sourcing, expert contract negotiations, complete day-by-day planning and logistics, onboard support and other services as needed. We’ve spent over 30 years mastering cruise meetings, so you don’t have to!  To learn more about planning cruise-based meetings and incentives, give us a call at 305-661-1880, send an email to inquiry@landrykling.com or contact us.

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