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- 2021 Franchise 500 Rank
#37 Ranked #46 last year
- Initial investment
$2K - $24K
- Units as of 2021
2,659 3.7% over 3 years
About Cruise Planners
More from Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, has been named the # 1 home-based travel franchise by Entrepreneur for 18 straight years.
In 1994, long before home-based travel agents were even heard of, Michelle Fee, a young mom, travel advisor, and visionary founded Cruise Planners, a groundbreaking business model designed to change the travel world.
Today, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the largest home-based travel agent franchise. Cruise Planners travel advisors work from home selling full-service travel packages, including cruises, land-based vacations, travel insurance, car rentals and more.
The Cruise Planners Model
As a Cruise Planners franchise owner, you will run your own travel advisor business from anywhere while having the support and leverage of the nation’s largest travel franchise network at your beck-and-call. We provide you thorough training and on-going coaching to establish and grow your business.
Each franchisee earns money by doing what they love most – talking about travel! The expert training you receive will help you to plan cruises, land tours, all-inclusive resort vacations and more for your clients. Our home-based model gives you the flexibility to work your business from anywhere you choose—no storefront required! And as your own boss, you get to decide when you work, all you’ll find there’s plenty of room to play when you make your own schedule. Imagine running your business poolside at a resort in Mexico… not a bad way to spend a Monday!
Capitalize on the Surge in Travel
The demand for travel is rapidly growing—already, future bookings at Cruise Planners are up —and travel advisors will be key to the rebirth of the travel industry. The travel industry has proven to be incredibly resilient because travel never goes out of style.
More than just cruises
We’re proud of our name. It is one of the most recognized names in all the travel industry, and we have the sales numbers to prove it! But you can sell more than just cruises. We are top producers with all major travel partners, including cruise, land, travel insurance, excursions, flights, car rentals and more. In fact, we are the #1 top global producer for Sandals and Beaches Resorts.
Marketing + Technology = Your Passport to Success
The “MarTech" at Cruise Planners is what truly gives us an edge over our competitors. Our award-winning marketing and advertising programs are designed to do all the heavy lifting for you, without any hefty monthly fees. And our technology – created specifically for Cruise Planners – includes a robust CRM and booking system, agent and client mobile apps, email automation platform and Amazon Alexa compatibility allow you to sell more and truly work from anywhere.
Anyone and Everyone Can Succeed—No Experience Needed!
Owning a Cruise Planners franchise requires no previous travel agent experience! We provide comprehensive training and a personal business development coach who will be with you every step of the way to help establish and grow your business.
So, whether you’re a work-from-home parent, a recent retiree, a veteran (who, along with first responders, receive a special incentive program) or just looking for a career change, we will provide you the training and tools to start and grow your own travel advisor business.
Low-cost Franchise Opportunity
A Cruise Planners travel agency franchise is one of the most affordable low-cost franchises to own with special incentive programs available for current travel advisors, military and first responders.
What’s included with the franchise cost
- 6-day training in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, hotel & airline allowance included
- Access to hundreds of web-based training courses in Cruisitude Academy
- Business development coaching and ongoing support
- Award-winning marketing programs
- A robust, custom CRM and booking engine
- Social media page design and supplemental management
- Mobile tools for access on your smart phone or tablet
- Consumer-facing mobile app for your clients to book travel
- $1 million errors & omissions insurance protection
- Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Membership
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) Membership
- American Express Travel Representative affiliation
- Franchising Since
- 1999 (22 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- # of Units
- 2,659 (as of 2021)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Cruise Planners franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
- $695 - $10,995
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $2,295 - $23,665
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Veteran Incentives
- 27% off franchise fee, free training for owner and 1 guest, $200 marketing credit, $60 design credit, marketing assets, 1-year free errors & omissions insurance
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 3 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Cruise Planners has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- Classroom Training
- 66 hours
- Additional Training
- Training available
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Cruise Planners landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Cruise Planners ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
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