Will cruise agents put down the phone and turn to the Web for cruise shopping and booking?
The Ensemble Travel Group and Passport Online certainly hope so as the two companies reached an agreement to put Passport Online's Tandem cruise booking platform on Ensemble's travel agent site in the US and Canada.
The product currently is undergoing beta testing and is slated to be rolled out to agents in the US by the end of 2011 and in Canada during the first quarter of 2012.
Ensemble offers its agents about 1,500 group sailings per year and Tandem will support shopping and booking of these hosted, amenity group and promotional sailings from the agency group's preferred cruise partners.
The booking engine offers deck plans, maps, ship photos and overviews about each destination, Ensemble says.
Ensemble agents currently use a variety of options to book cruises and previously didn't have an Ensemble-provided online solution, the companies say.