Coral Springs, Fla. – June 17, 2011 – Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, celebrated the hard work and dedication of a group of top producing travel agents by coordinating an enlightening biblical voyage through Israel with Educational Travel Services (ETS), a travel company specializing in trips to the Holy Land.
Cruise Planners/American Express CEO Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia, senior vice president of sales and marketing, joined 29 top producing agents on the eight-day trip that included visits to Bethlehem, Mount Zion, Mount of Olives, Jericho, Sea of Galilee, and Jerusalem.
“Our agents work hard and are dedicated to creating unforgettable vacations for their clients. This trip was a chance for us all to connect, unwind and create our own unforgettable expedition,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners/American Express. “It is also important that our agents were here because now they can go back to their clients and, with their first-hand knowledge of traveling to the Holy Land, recount what a magical destination this is and further expand their role as a ‘trusted travel advisor.’”
The group took a pilgrimage to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Jericho, Mount Zion and took a dip in the Dead Sea where the group floated in the salty water together and covered themselves in an exfoliating mud. To truly experience the Holy Land on a personal level, the group was also given time to explore their own spirituality at such holy sites as the Western Wall, a sacred site located in Jerusalem.
“The trip to Israel was an exhilarating and spiritual journey,” said JJ Kuykendall, a top producing agent with Cruise Planners/American Express. “The connections we made on this pilgrimage will stay with me forever and having the opportunity to travel with Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia was an experience I will never forget. To be asked by Home Office to take this trip because of our hard work as a Cruise Planners agent made every moment extra important and so very special for the group. This is a trip I will never forget.”
About Cruise Planners/American Express
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative, is the largest home-based travel agent network in the cruise industry with more than 700 franchise owners across the country that independently book cruises and associated travel. Named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur magazine for the past eight years, Cruise Planners positions franchise owners for success by providing them with innovating marketing, booking and lead-generating tools as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives.
Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include Agency of the Year from American Express (2010), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007 – 2010), Norwegian Cruise Line Home-Based Agency of the Year (2010), Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year from Celebrity Cruises (2010), four coveted Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly in 2010, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Awards (2004 – 2010), Globe Award from American Express Vacations (2010), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2010), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer (2009). For more information, please visit www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com.
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