Cruise Planners makes it official with Signature Travel Network

September 30, 2022

It’s official! After a lengthy and careful research process, Cruise Planners has joined Signature Travel Network. Cruise Planners previously was affiliated with American Express’s Travel Representative program for 18 years, which was set to end in December 2022. With over six-decades in the travel industry, Signature continues to attract the travel industry's most successful and prominent retailers. The decision to join Signature came down to shared values that Cruise Planners believes will enhance the travel experience for clients of their 2500-strong home-based travel agent franchise network. The move adds a large seller to Signature — Cruise Planners is No. 18 on Travel Weekly's 2022 Power List — and gives the franchisor a home where it will find support and additive technology, marketing and training.

Once news of the representative network's demise made its way through the industry, the major consortia started reaching out, said Theresa Scalzitti, Cruise Planners' chief sales officer. The franchisor set up introductory calls, asking for the "full menu" of each consortium's offerings.

Along the way, Cruise Planners did ask itself the question of whether it even needed to join a consortium, because it already offers its members what they need to sell travel.

"But the more digging we did, and the more conversations we had with some of the top suppliers in the industry, it really kind of boiled down to, why not?" Scalzitti said.

Signature Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners CEO & Co-Founder Michelle Fee with Signature Travel Network President & CEO Alex Sharpe and Cruise Planners Chief Sales Officer Theresa Scalzitti.

“This is welcome news and we feel strongly that this is the right direction for our company,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners. “Signature’s programs are impressive and we felt the essence of the pillars we hold ourselves to are reflected in their company as well. There are many complementary programs that Signature offers that will elevate the Cruise Planners brand and give advisors an extra edge to propel their business.”

While Cruise Planners stands on its own when it comes to technology, Signature focuses heavily on industry-leading technology, marketing and training programs that Cruise Planners will be able to leverage to augment their offerings.

Signature Travel Network unveiled a new branding and logo and tagline at its annual Owner’s Meeting at the JW Marriott Nashville, where Cruise Planners’ executive team is in attendance.