Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises help Travel Agents up their Game Cruise lines offer slate of “Spring Training” tools for Travel Agent partners

Miami – (May 19, 2009 ) – Premium cruise line Celebrity Cruises has a long-standing philosophy when it comes to its travel agent partners: teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Celebrity Cruises and deluxe sister line Azamara Cruises have announced a robust line-up of spring and summer training tools designed to help agents become more successful at matching their clients with upscale cruise vacations.

Celebrity’s popular “Five-Star Academy” is an online training portal that certifies travel agents as “Five-Star Agents” expert in Celebrity Cruises’ offerings. Since its inception in September of 2008, Celebrity Five-Star Academy has seen more than 11,000 travel agents register and take courses; 2,000 of these have completed the series and been named Five-Star Agents as a result of their success. Celebrity Five-Star Academy will soon launch the first of several electives outside the five levels required for completion. This elective focuses on ways that travel agents can employ various marketing tools and tactics to help grow their business.

Azamara is developing its own version of a multi-level online training program. Called “Azamara World Academy,” it will feature three levels of courses that participating travel agents must successfully complete before moving on to the next level. Topics will focus on Azamara’s unique and unusual destinations, culture-rich shore excursion offerings, unparalleled onboard service and dining, and more. Azamara World Academy is currently slated to launch in late June 2009.

Celebrity and Azamara offerings and ways travel agents can boost their own business are the focus of a 10-city tour, currently underway and continuing through October of this year. An average of 75 travel agents have attended each training event on the tour so far; these have taken place in Atlanta, Baltimore and Chicago. Space is limited but openings still exist for events in Detroit (May 20), Mich.; Marina del Rey (June 3), Calif.; Palo Alto (June 23), Calif.; Vancouver (July 9), British Columbia; Framingham/Boston (August 12), Mass.; Long Island (August 18), NY; and Toronto (August 26), Ontario.

Since February of this year, Celebrity and Azamara have been presenting two separate series of web-based training sessions, or webinars, with monthly opportunities to participate. The “Learning” series has presented travel agents with compelling details on topics such as Azamara’s all-stateroom butler service and Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox in Europe. The “Leadership Team” series of webinars has given travel agents the opportunity to hear directly from various Celebrity/Azamara executives, including President and CEO Dan Hanrahan, Senior Vice President of Sales Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, and Senior Vice President of Marketing Wayne Wielgus. Dan Hanrahan will host June’s “Leadership Team” webinar.

Participation in these activities is free. Travel agents are encouraged to visit CruisingPower website to find out more about these and other available tools. About Azamara Cruises
Azamara Cruises unlocks the hidden corners of the world for those who desire to immerse themselves in the rich details of every voyage. The deluxe ships – Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest – offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of enchanting Europe, elite Asia, and the most captivating Caribbean. The line also offers unique cruisetours in Asia and Europe. For more information, travel agents are encouraged to call 1-877-222-2526. Guests are invited to call 1-877-999-9553.

About Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale vacation experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal and South America. The line also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Noted for four of the top 10 “Top Cruise Ships in the World” in the large-ship category, as voted by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (February 2009 readers’ poll), Celebrity’s fleet – including the new Celebrity Solstice – will be joined by Celebrity Equinox this year, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, Or visit Celebrity Cruises website