Cruise Strategies Announces New Course, New Partnerships

Open Jaw

Vanessa Lee

Lynn Elmhirts

Ryan McElroy

Hans Rood

Never one to lie at anchor and always keen to sail in new directions, Vanessa Lee, president and CEO of Cruise Strategies Ltd. and publisher of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles magazine has announced two new industry joint ventures designed to position the company and publication for future growth.

“These are exhilarating and energizing times in the cruise industry,” says Lee, a regular contributor to Open Jaw and host of Open Jaw’s CruiseFactor Video Newsmagazine. “Record-breaking, billion-dollar orders for new ships with stunning innovations are pouring forth from some of the world’s best ocean and river cruise brands.

“In order to maximize the opportunities for all, it is my continuing desire to facilitate, influence and harness the potential for ‘new to cruise’ guests while also focusing on the enormous opportunities for exponential growth for travel professionals in Canada, the U.S. and across the globe.”

To make this possible, Rising Tide Strategic Media, (RTSM) was formed in late 2016 as a joint partnership between Cruise Strategies, Lynn Elmhirst, CEO of Influence Entertainment, and Ryan McElroy, CEO of Travel Agency Tribes.

The RTSM program leverages the digital marketing and lead-generating technology of Travel Agency Tribes for agents and the high-value, high-engagement travel videos and content strategy of Influence Entertainment and its BestTrip.TV.

Lee says that together with Cruise Strategies, the combined agent and consumer channels and media partnerships not only engage consumers but also strongly influence sales fulfillment through participating agents and cruise line partners.  

Lee states: “The ability to harness multi-channel publishing opportunities and the continuing emergence of all things social is timely and pivotal.  As travel advisors and their clients search for new experiences, for authenticity and ultimately for choice, inspiration and solutions, RTSM’s unique ability to provide superb, curated content across all channels is very powerful.”

The second joint venture falls under the Cruise Strategies brand with the go-to-market name “JOURNEYS BEYOND.” Working with business partner Hans Rood, a 25-plus year veteran of the cruise industry, whose strengths encompass sales strategies, branding and international sales and marketing efforts, Cruise Strategies is entering a new phase in representation of cruise companies. 

Collaborating with owners of boutique river ships on the Ganges and Irrawaddy Rivers, the JOURNEYS BEYOND program will shortly launch in North America. Offering tour operators, wholesalers and retail travel partners a variety of charter and group dates, the 10+ river ships in the Cruise Strategies portfolio all offer high-quality experiences in India and Myanmar.

Pre- and post-cruise stays can be included in these well-priced cruise options, with a variety of inclusions that offer great value. The Journeys Beyond mantra is to take travellers to places beyond the ordinary and even beyond their own imaginations, to inspire and to provide life-long memories and immersive, enriching experiences.

A dynamic website and informative marketing materials will soon be available, as well as a sales deck for immediate information. In the near future, more ships will join the JOURNEYS BEYOND portfolio on other rivers and soon, small ocean-going, expedition-style vessels will be added as well.

“It is a personal imperative for me to continue to make a difference and apply my 40 years of travel and cruise industry expertise to any venture in which I am involved. It is my goal to educate, inform, entertain, write, publish, speak and collaborate in any and every way possible. These new partnerships offer an enormous opportunity to sustain that journey, to be a story-teller and to continue being a passionate and positive influencer,” Lee says.

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