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How to Start a Cruise Planners Franchise in 2023 Looking for information about how to open a Cruise Planners franchise? Here's what you need to know.

By Entrepreneur Staff

Michael Dunning | Getty Images

What is the Cruise Planners franchise opportunity?

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 in the United States. Cruise Planners travel advisors work from home selling full-service travel packages, including cruise line and land-based vacations, travel insurance, car rentals and more. 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 comprehensive training and on-going coaching to establish and grow your business. As we like to say, you are in business for yourself but never by yourself.

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As an independent travel industry advisor, you will earn money helping clients plan amazing travel experiences such as cruise ship vacations, land tours, all-inclusive resort vacations and more. Our model gives you the flexibility to start a home-based business and work it 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!

Each Cruise Planners franchisee earns money by doing what they love most – talking about the travel industry! 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 or on your dream vacation… not a bad way to spend a Monday!

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 No. 1 top global producer for Sandals and Beaches Resorts.

What to know about the Cruise Planners franchise opportunity

With nearly 30 years of travel franchise experience and the nation's largest home-based travel agency franchise network, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, knows what it takes for you to be successful in your new home-based travel agency business.

Cruise Planners' business-in-a-box model (combined with much heart, soul and personal attention) gives you everything you need to grow your own successful travel business.

How much does a Cruise Planners franchise cost?

To open a Cruise Planners franchise of your own, here are the financial requirements, cash required, and ongoing franchise fees associated with business ownership:

Initial franchise fee: $695 - $10,995

Initial investment: $2,295 - $23,465

Veteran incentives: 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

Royalty fee: 1.5 – 3.0%

Term of agreement: 3 years

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.

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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

Cruise Planners does not offer in-house financing, however the brand does maintain relationships with third-party lending sources which offer funds to cover the franchise fee.

How much do Cruise Planners franchise owners make?

As with any business, this depends on several factors. While marketing your Cruise Planners business is important, the most important factor is you and the effort you invest in your business. We have franchisees who work their business five hours a week and those who work 80 hours. It's completely up to you, but this too will affect your earning potential. While we cannot tell you how much money you will make, during your due diligence period, you'll have the opportunity to speak with other Cruise Planners franchisees about their experiences with running a home-based travel business.

Why you should start a Cruise Planners franchise

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.

The marketing and technology ("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 franchisees, without any hefty monthly fees. And our technology – created specifically for the Cruise Planners franchise opportunity – 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.

Request more information about franchising with Cruise Planners by filling out this form to learn more and begin the discovery process for your very own franchise operation!

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find the personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests, and budget.

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Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


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