Developed and built in-house over the last 18 months, the new system is being soft launched over the coming month. Five cruise specialist retailers – Barrhead Travel, Cruise.co.uk, Cruise 1st, Iglu and Cruise Nation – will be the first to gain access, with more agencies going live each week during September.
The new system has been designed to make it easier for agents to book MSC Cruises’ itineraries and associated products – and is another example of the company’s drive to work more closely with its agent partners, following the launch of its ‘Serving You’ initiative in July.
A cleaner graphics-led interface leads users through a simpler booking path, allowing them to book flights, choose cabin type, onboard Experience level (Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and MSC Yacht Club) and dining options, as well as secure extras such as excursions and spa treatments.
MSC Book additionally acts as a complete resource centre for the trade, containing comprehensive information about MSC Cruises’ ships, itineraries, ports of call, excursions and latest promotions. 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 each package.
MSC Cruises Executive Director UK and Ireland Giles Hawke, said: “We promised the new booking system when we launched our ‘Serving You’ programme and we have delivered it as planned.
“Agents very often say that booking cruises is a time-consuming and complicated process, so we have invested in making it as easy as possible. MSC Book should be a real boon to agents familiar to MSC Cruises as well as a great tool for attracting new retailers.”
Versions of MSC Book will be introduced simultaneously in France, Italy and Germany and will eventually replace MSC Cruises’ existing trade booking portal MSC Online, which will be switched off in the UK in November.