The 101 Best Reasons to Cruise: SeaMaster Cruises Franchise Network Surpasses Century Mark
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The 101 Best Reasons to Cruise: SeaMaster Cruises Franchise Network Surpasses Century Mark

Franchise Owners Say "Control Over My Own Destiny" is Best Part of Being in Network

Minneapolis, MN (May 29, 2007)-Three years after the launch of SeaMaster Cruises, the franchise network is proudly announcing it has reached the milestone of welcoming its 100th and 101st franchise owners. Less than three percent of all travel-related franchise systems can boast growth of more than 25% over a three year period,* while SeaMaster Cruises has experienced nearly 40% growth in the past year alone. SeaMaster Cruises franchise owners offer personalized cruise bookings and expertise from virtual or home-based offices.

Along with this achievement, SeaMaster Cruises is releasing data about why its franchise owners have chosen this career opportunity and what their customers appreciate most. "Feeling control over my own destiny" is the biggest reason they've selected--and stayed with--SeaMaster Cruises. Franchise owners listed the following choices as the best part of being with SeaMaster Cruises:

1. Feeling control over my own destiny
2. The feeling that I'm blazing a new trail in my career
3. (tie) Having a business that helps customers navigate their cruise choices
3. (tie) Being part of the cruise/travel industry
5. Working from a virtual office

Additionally, when asked what their customers most appreciate about their business, the most popular answer was that customers appreciate SeaMaster Cruises franchise owners' expertise in the cruise industry. Following closely behind, franchise owners say their customers also appreciate their ability to fulfill their expectations. Other customers value the franchise owners' flexible schedules due to their home-based or "virtual office" arrangement and that they can meet with them face-to-face.

SeaMaster Cruises Welcomes 100th Franchise Owner
"These findings demonstrate why SeaMaster Cruises has experienced such phenomenal growth," said General Manager Mark Schiffner. "We provide the tools and support for our owners to confidently blaze their own trails and have control over their personal and financial destiny, while at the same time giving them the ability to sort out the many cruise vacation options for their customers."

SeaMaster Cruises has been publicly lauded over the past year with testaments to its early success. In fact, for the first time in 2007, Entrepreneur magazine included SeaMaster Cruises in its annual Franchise 500, and ranked it 21st in its Top New Franchise Ranking. Moreover, SeaMaster Cruises placed in the top 25 of the Franchise Business Review's annual franchise rankings. "That ranking was particularly special because it independently surveyed the satisfaction of our franchise owners," said Schiffner.

One of SeaMaster Cruises' key differentiators is that its franchise owners bring unique life experiences to the table, equipping them for the challenges of owning a business. Most of these entrepreneurs do not come from a cruise business background--they attain cruise industry knowledge through SeaMaster Cruises training in classrooms and at sea.

Two examples of that success can be found in franchise owners Jill Skrzynski of Rochester Hills, MI, and Sheri Clarke of Bowling Green, KY. Clarke had previously worked in the pharmaceutical business while Skrzynski came from the airline industry.

"The leaders at SeaMaster Cruises understand completely the cruise and franchise business," said Skrzynski, who was one of the first people to join the network in 2004. "They helped me with a clear-cut marketing plan for my cruise business from day one, and added new elements to it as my business grew. It has worked for me, and the one piece of advice I have for others is to follow the SeaMaster Cruises path to success."

SeaMaster Cruises has also developed an array of turnkey marketing and prospecting tools. Clarke said they've been a key element to her success. "SeaMaster Cruises provided franchise owners with a template for mining group cruise business. Within a week, I had a proposal ready and was out seeking new groups," Clarke said.

SeaMaster Cruises Welcomes 100th Franchise Owner
For information on joining SeaMaster Cruises, visit the franchise section of www.seamastercruises.com.

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* Source: FRANdata and Franchising World; Sample size: 847 franchise systems

SeaMaster Cruises, a home-based, cruise-only franchise organization, is part of Carlson Travel Group, Inc. Carlson Travel Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Carlson. In addition to SeaMaster Cruises, brands include: Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Cruise Holidays, Results Travel, Carlson Leisure Travel Services, Carlson Vacation & Business Travel and Carlson Destination Marketing Services. In 2007, for the first time, SeaMaster Cruises was included Entrepreneur's Franchise 500®.

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