Cheryl Rosen, Travel Market Report
When you’re a new player in a crowded field, it’s always a good idea to make some waves. And Viking has done just that with two big moves in support of travel agents: it has done away with non-commissionable fares and canceled its contract with Costco.
While the former has been Viking policy for some time in the river cruise market, it is a game-changer as Viking enters the ocean market, where NCFs — the chunk of the fare on which cruise lines pay no commissions — can cut travel agent earnings on a booking by as much as 30 percent. Added to the Costco announcement, which took effect Sept. 1, it does seem to position Viking as the most travel agent-friendly cruise ship company.