- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#128 Ranked #135 last year
- Initial investment
$2K - $23K
- Units as of 2023
2,720 13% over 3 years
Cruise Planners is a travel agency franchise specializing in vacation planning and creating memorable itineraries for travels in the U.S. and abroad. Cruise Planners is headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida, and is now the most extensive home-based travel agent network in the United States.
The fact that its co-founder Michelle Fee is a travel enthusiast and professional has worked exceptionally well for Cruise Planners. When Fee helped start the company in 1994, she had a career as a travel agent and an unstoppable drive to reach the top. When industry retirees Lynn Korn and Marvin Davis joined in, the company's formula for growth yielded great results.
Why You May Want to Start a Cruise Planners Franchise
Cruise Planners is happy to welcome anyone with Cruisitude, a term coined by the company, referring to a positive, travel-inclined attitude or disposition in life. If you love to travel, are ready to commit to a travel-centric business, and share the company's vision for growth, Cruise Planners could be a good fit.
Cruise Planners seeks to have a family-friendly company with franchisees who come from diverse backgrounds, from retirees enjoying their encore career to young professionals escaping the 9-5.
Cruise Planners has been ranked in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 many times in recent years. This ranking is based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.
What Might Make a Cruise Planners Franchise a Good Choice?
Cruise Planners is a good franchise option for many reasons, mainly because of its presence in the travel industry. It is also home-based, which means you can run your business at your place and time.
Cruise Planners also provides proven, award-winning technologies, tools, and professional coaching for what they believe to be an affordable price. Cruise Planners may be one of the least expensive franchises in the market, with incentive programs for certain groups, such as military personnel, first responders, and independent travel agents.
To be part of the Cruise Planners team, you should make sure you're financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should be prepared for ongoing fees that will include royalty fees.
Cruise Planners is known to be one of the best franchisees for veterans to open, ranking highly on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises for Veterans multiple times in recent years.
How To Open a Cruise Planners Franchise
Once you meet the initial requirements to be a Cruise Planners franchisee, the team may get you on board with a video walkthrough, which gives you an overview of the franchise, its training programs, technologies, and more.
A more detailed presentation of the Cruise Planners franchise opportunity will come to you via their Franchise Disclosure Document. This will be followed by a mandatory multi-week waiting period, during which they will dig deeper into your financial background. If everything checks out, you can sign your franchise agreement and immediately begin working with the franchise team to get you started on your new venture.
About Cruise Planners
More from Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners is the most awarded travel company period, and 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 is the largest home-based travel agent franchise with over 2,500 advisors nationwide. 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 800+ web-based training courses in CP Genie
- 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
|Franchising Since||1999 (24 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||133|
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
|# of Units||2,720 (as of 2023)|
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
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.
|$695 - $10,995|
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.
|$2,295 - $23,465|
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
|27% off franchise fee, free training for owner and 1 guest, $250 marketing credit, $60 design credit, marketing assets, 1-year free errors & omissions insurance|
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
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?||Yes|
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|
Meetings & Conventions
Security & Safety Procedures
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Additional details about running this franchise.
|Is absentee ownership allowed?||No|
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||1-2|
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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