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ExpeditionTrips in the News

For questions, please contact Ashton Palmer at ashton@expeditiontrips.com or 206 547-0700

ExpeditionTrips.com set for launch

by Laura del Rosso

SEATTLE -- ExpeditionTrips.com, a company specializing in small ship cruises, is preparing a mid-October launch.

Founded by Ashton Palmer, a former expedition leader for Abercrombie & Kent, Quark Expeditions and Zeghram Expeditions, the firm plans to act as a wholesaler, a one-stop shop for travel agents looking for small ship cruises around the world.

It has signed agreements with 30 companies that offer small ship cruises and expects to sign on many more, creating the only searchable database of such travel products on the Internet, said Kristy Royce, a former operations manager for Zeghram Expeditions and ExpeditionTrip.com's vice president.

The reservations staff at ExpeditionTrips.com includes former expedition leaders and naturalists who have worked on the ships and can act as travel counselors for travel agents not familiar with the products, Royce said.

"The Internet is the resource for the client and travel agent to do comparison shopping, but we feel there is a need for knowledge and hand holding -- for someone to explain the differences in the 30 ships that go to Antarctica, for example," she said.

In addition, visitors to the site receive e-mail notification of last-minue cabin space, special offers and discounts.

Bookings will not be taken on-line, but through a toll-free number, 877-412-8527. Commission on all products is 10%.

Clients who enter the site will be asked whether they have a travel agent; if they do, the agent is credited for the booking with full commission.