- 2021 Franchise 500 Rank
#37 Ranked #46 last year
- Initial investment
$2K - $24K
- Units as of 2020
3,151 22.8% over 3 years
About Cruise Planners
More from Cruise Planners
The #1 travel franchise 18 years in a row
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel franchise company with over 2,800 franchise locations in all 50 states. Cruise Planners has been named the # 1 home-based travel franchise by Entrepreneur for 18 straight years. Our unmatched training, marketing, technology and personalized coaching allow you to work from anywhere, be your own boss, and travel the world.
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 behind you. As we like to say, you are in business for yourself but never by yourself. We provide you the training and on-going coaching to establish and grow your business.
As an independent travel advisor, you will earn money helping clients plan amazing travel experiences such as cruises, land tours, all-inclusive resort vacations and more. Our home-based model gives you the flexibility to work your business from anywhere you choose — no storefront is required! As your own boss, you also get to determine a schedule that fits your lifestyle. Work the business full-time, part-time, your time!
Why purchase a travel franchise now?
One thing we know is the travel industry is incredibly resilient. After 9/11, the travel industry bounced back. After the 2008 recession, the travel industry bounced back. After H1N1, the travel industry bounced back. And after the coronavirus, the travel industry will bounce back.
The world will reopen, and let's face it, after spending so much time cooped up in our homes, we’re all going to need a vacation! The demand for travel will be high - already, bookings at Cruise Planners are up for 2021 - and travel advisors will be key to the rebirth of the travel industry.
Travel advisors will be in high demand
Being a travel advisor is more than just knowing the trendiest travel destinations. Advisors protect their clients’ travel investments. When travel restrictions went into effect, travel agents advocated for their clients to get them home safely and get refunds or credits for future travel. Travelers who opted to book without a travel professional often found themselves on hold for hours and with limited options.
Even as the world opens back up, travelers will need to navigate a web of guidelines that will vary from destination to destination. Travel agents will play a critical role in providing guidance on safe destinations and activities and protecting travelers’ investments.
Capitalize on the surge in travel
We’ve made it as simple as possible, but getting a new business up and running doesn’t happen overnight. Now is a good time to start establishing the foundation of your business so you can capitalize on the surge in travel we know is coming.
Invest in your passion for travel – no experience needed!
For more than 25 years, Cruise Planners has been giving people with a passion for travel and desire to be their own boss a low-cost franchise opportunity that can yield high returns. Best of all, owning a Cruise Planners franchise requires no 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 or just looking for a career change, we will provide you the training and tools to start and grow your own travel advisor business.
Work from home, be your own boss
Our home-based business model gives you the power to set your own schedule and be your own boss. With our cutting-edge technology, you’ll be able to run your business from anywhere, whether it’s from the comfort of your own home or poolside at a resort in Mexico.
Instant credibility with American Express Travel
Cruise Planners is the #1 cruise sales franchise for the American Express Travel brand, one of the most trusted names in business. With the American Express Travel affiliation, you will gain instant credibility and access to double the amount of group inventory and promotions. You can also utilize exclusive tools and travel programs for your clients, such as the Pay with Points Program, all while earning full commission on every sale.
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 and technology to help you grow your business
Cruise Planners has a comprehensive "MarTech" suite – a true blend of marketing and technology to help you grow your business. Our award-winning marketing and advertising programs are turnkey, without any hefty monthly fees. Plus, our 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.
A Great Business Opportunity for Veterans and First Responders
A Cruise Planners franchise is a great business opportunity for military veterans and first responders. The versatility and flexibility of a Cruise Planners franchise make it ideal for active military, veterans, and military spouses to run their own travel agencies from anywhere in the world.
At Cruise Planners, we are forever grateful for those who have sacrificed so much to ensure the safety and well-being of so many. That’s why we are proud to offer a special incentive program for first responders, active military personal, retired veterans, and their immediate family members to help grow their businesses.
Your success is our #1 priority
Unlike other travel franchises, our corporate office does not own competing travel companies and does not sell travel. Our focus is entirely on building your business. We provide comprehensive training to help get your business off the ground as well as a dedicated business development coach who provides you individualized attention every step of the way.
An involved executive team that is invested in you
Our executives aren’t just figure heads. They are hands-on and 100% dedicated to your success. Each member of our executive team attends all our trainings and draws upon decades of industry experience to lead informative classes on how to grow your business. Their main objective truly is to help you succeed.
Pursue your passion for travel!
We’d love to talk with you more about your aspirations and goals. Contact us today to learn how you can start your own travel advisor franchise with Cruise Planners.
- Franchising Since
- 1999 (22 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.
- # of Units
- 3,151 (as of 2020)
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, free Amazon Echo Dot
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?
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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