Q – I have enjoyed your site and passed it on to friends. But I just don’t see why you would possibly claim that travel agents will help you with the planning for no fee on a totally free basis. Sure you don’t want to back off of that one
A – No, not at all. In fact, over 90% of all travel agent transactions including cruises, river cruises, escorted tours, safaris, and inclusive vacation packages, virtually any program that appears in a brochure, is priced with the commission to the agent built-in. If you book directly, you will still be charged the fixed price. True, some agents charge additional fees, but most don’t.
Since river cruise lines have small boats with fewer than 200 guests, they are particularly strict about enforcing their pricing guidelines. Agents earn their commissions but they are not permitted to take part of the payment from the line and use it to lower the cost of the cruise for their clients. Such practices could mean that the agent will lose the right to sell and represent the particular line.
So always assume your travel agent is earning a comfortable level of commission when you purchase a river cruise. But also assume that their services to you are, indeed, complimentary.