Friday,  January 24, 2020  9:58 pm

Cool is the new hot: how to sell Quark Expeditions to your clients

Cool is the new hot: how to sell Quark Expeditions to your clients
Photo credit: Sam Crimmin/Quark Expeditions
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

While winter in Canada may send most travellers south to warmer temperatures, agents looking to land a big sale in 2020 may already be considering an Arctic or Antarctic voyage for their clients.

And while travellers will get to experience all the adventure and excitement that such a journey entails, Quark Expeditions ensures that they’ll also enjoy luxury and comfort, said Cara Matthew, the company’s business development manager for North America, in a recent interview with PAX.

With programs such as Frozen Planet (for which Quark brought the BBC to Antarctica to film segments) increasing awareness of the world’s polar regions, Matthew said that travel to these destinations is increasingly popular. Canadians are even becoming interested in exploring the Arctic regions of their own country, she added, with interest surging in trips to Baffin Island and Ellesmere Island.

“I think Quark Expeditions is this hidden secret, Matthew said, adding that more travel advisors are considering these products for their clients. “Expedition travel as a trend has arrived and the demand from clients is there.”

Quark's High Arctic Odyssey itinerary explores the Russian Arctic on a three-week journey (photo credit: partnerphotos@quarkexpeditions.com)

What’s new for Quark?

Citing Quark’s emphasis on innovation, Matthew pointed to a number of new itineraries for the Arctic in 2020.

While explorations such as High Arctic Odyssey – which traverses a number of islands in the Russian Arctic – last 22 days, travellers looking for a shorter escape can opt for programs lasting as little as 14 (Faroe Islands) or even seven days (Svalbard/Spitzbergen).

On the opposite side of the globe, Matthew highlighted a new Fly Cruise program which allows travellers to skip the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica, reducing the trip’s length for clients with limited time while maximizing Antarctic exploration.

This season, Matthew said that Quark has also introduced its latest vessel, World Explorer, offering travellers luxurious way to make their polar journey. With a 1B ice rating fit for polar journeys, the all-suite, all-balcony ship offers plenty of space and luxury touches including a spa with L’occitane products.

“It’s quite nice after a polar plunge,” Matthew added.


Identifying a Quark client

According to Matthew, there’s a wide range of travellers seen on Quark’s itineraries. While guests typically fall within the 35-70 age range, there are plenty of exceptions, from an 86-year-old traveller in Greenland to a father-daughter duo who were celebrating a high school graduation.

Travellers in search of adventure and education are also frequent guests, she said, as are the “checklisters” who want to be able to say they’ve “visited Antarctica or have seen a polar bear.”

Guests travelling for wellness are also candidates for Quark, Matthew said, describing these guests as those who “want to spend time in nature and recharge.”

Quark's Fly Cruise program in Antarctica allows travellers to cross the Drake Passage by plane (photo credit: partnerphotos@quarkexpeditions.com)

Agent assistance

According to Matthew, one of the best ways for agents to sell their clients on Quark – particularly those who think a polar expedition is high adventure and low comfort – is through a small gathering where she can present the product to an agent’s prospective Quark clients.

“Some people say it’s the best trip they never knew they wanted to take – they think it’s too adventurous,” she said. “We have groups for active travellers or laid-back travellers. Cool destinations are now the hot places to go, as everything’s so different.”

Agents can also access Quark’s Partner Resource Centre for images, videos and white label resources which they can use on their own sites. For more information or sales inquiries, contact Matthew at cara.matthew@quarkexpeditions.com.


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