SEATTLE, WASH. – Holland America Line recently reached a milestone when the 20,000th travel professional graduated from Holland America Line Academy, the brand’s award-winning travel agent training program offering learning through a combination of video instruction, reading and quiz interaction. Robin Dworkin, owner of GAP Travel in Levittown, New York, was the 20,000th graduate and received a bag overflowing with Holland America Line swag to commemorate the occasion.
Holland America Line Academy, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2017, is designed to support travel professionals in their ongoing quest for knowledge about travel sales, the cruise industry and Holland America Line. It began as a workbook sent to agents in the United States and Canada and later transitioned into an interactive online experience.
“Congratulations to Robin for not only completing our Holland America Line Academy courses, but for helping us reach an astounding 20,000 graduates,” said Eva Jenner, vice president of sales for Holland America Line. “When Holland America Line Academy launched 15 years ago our goal was to help agents better understand and sell our brand, and it has grown into a comprehensive, engaging and award-winning tool that is essential in setting our agents up for success.”
“Holland America Line Academy was very informative,” said Dworkin. “The series is an extremely effective way to virtually experience Holland America Line and become an even more proficient product ambassador. Thank you, Holland America Line!”
Holland America Line Academy Core Courses, which relaunched with a new program in 2017, include four core training sessions: “The Holland America Line Difference,” “Destinations and Itinerary Planning,” “Selling Groups” and “Secrets of Sales Success.”
The shorter Holland America Line Academy Specialist Training Courses series launched in July 2016 with “Alaska and the Yukon: The Great Land = Great Sales for You” and continued with “The Panama Canal and More,” “Selling and Sailing in the Mediterranean,” “Grand Voyages: Oceans Traveled, Journeys Savored, Dreams Fulfilled” and “Northern Europe: Its Iconic Cities, Hidden Gems and Scenic Beauty.” The courses were developed in collaboration with industry training expert Dr. Marc Mancini.
Travel professionals completing courses with Holland America Line Academy will be placed into three different levels of distinction: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. For Silver, travel professionals must complete all four Core Courses; for Gold, travel professionals need four Core Courses plus two of Specialist Training Courses; and for Platinum, travel professionals need to complete three or more Specialist Training Courses.
Rewards at each level include training credits with Cruise Lines International Association, as well as The Travel Institute for U.S. travel professionals or the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. A US$50 shipboard credit redeemed when cruising on a Travel Professional Appreciation fare, onboard amenities and a personalized and signed certificate, and appreciation gifts including Holland America Line luggage tags and a graduate pin.
Holland America Line Academy now includes training sites for agents in the key international markets of the United Kingdom, Australia and the Netherlands.