Masters Conference at Sea

What is the Masters Conference?

Cruise Lines International Association (Australasia) Masters Conference is an opportunity for travel agents to advance their sales and marketing skills (all referenced back to the cruise industry) in a conference environment whilst cruising on board an CLIA (Australasia) Cruise Line Member vessel.

Who should attend?

The topics covered at our Masters Conference are not just aimed at owners and managers. Something that can’t be ‘taught’ but can be ‘caught’ at Masters is enthusiasm – if you have the right attitude, CLIA (Australasia) Masters will benefit your career regardless of your role within the cruise industry.

Who is eligible?

Participation at the CLIA (Australasia) Masters Conference is open to consultants who have achieved CLIA (Australasia) Ambassador status and are currently employed by an CLIA (Australasia) Member Travel Agency or are a CLIA Individual Member.

What is the format?

The Masters Conference includes 6 x 3-hour conference sessions. It is not run as a structured famil as partners are welcome to join participants when not attending sessions. We aim to set aside ample time at leisure to enjoy ports of call and spend time with your partner and/or other members of the group.

What topics are covered?

Topics covered are designed to inspire all levels of participation from front line consultants through to owners and managers. Please note: product updates and specific information on our 60+ CLIA Member Cruise Lines are NOT covered in the course content. A broad outline of the Masters Conference syllabus is listed below.

Introduction and overview – you are not what you think you are!

Every industry including travel (and cruise) is going through change. The strong will survive and the weak will not….

  • Why are you in business?
  • What business are you really in?
  • Why should I do business with you?

Product Knowledge – what you really need to know.

You may know the nuts and bolts of your product but let’s make it easy for your client…

  • Why sell cruises?
  • Elements of a cruise holiday
  • Types of cruise holidays
  • Breaking down the barriers – who is serving who?

Magnificent Marketing – what is the right way to be an effective cruise seller?

You don’t need a university degree to understand marketing but many of us are afraid of it. From junior consultants to business owners understanding exactly what marketing is and how you can use it to benefit your career, your business and your personal life is a great asset to have.

  • The definition of marketing
  • Competitive trends
  • What is a niche?
  • Supplier relations
  • Retail trends
  • Marketing strategies
  • Putting it all together

Sales – not another sales seminar!

We are all taught to sell in a retail environment but do you have what it takes to really grow your sales and customer loyalty. We take your knowledge of the sales process and go deep, very deep. Infact deep enough that it takes you to a new level of sales that only our Master Agents have!

  • What really are the critical stages of the sales process?
  • Personality types
  • Styles of selling

Customer Service – would you buy from you?

If there is one area of your business that will have you stand out from your competitor – this is it.
Is ‘good’ really ‘good enough’?

  • What are your customer’s expectations?
  • Clients for life

Time Management – make more time to sell cruise holidays.

Everyone is guilty of spending a percentage of their day in an unproductive manner.

  • Manage your time effectively
  • What is a priority
  • Procrastination
  • Delegation

Life Planning – cruise for the rest of your life.

Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go!

  • Foundations for fulfilment
  • Setting priorities
  • Being the best

Who is the trainer?

With more than 30 years in retail travel Scott Koepf became Vice President of Sales of Avoya Travel/America’s Vacation Center, one of the largest and most awarded travel companies in North America and beyond. He previously served as President of the National Association of Career Travel Agents. Prior to his role with NACTA Scott was with Sabre Holdings as General Manager of the Jurni Consortium, TMA and the country’s largest host travel agency, Nexion. Scott was also a full-time motivational speaker and sales trainer and a consultant for various retail organizations and travel industry suppliers.

Scott opened a cruise travel agency in 1985 and in 1989 became President of Cruise Holidays International. Scott was responsible for taking the franchise company from 12 franchises to over 120. In 1991 he returned to owning an agency which quickly became one of the top cruise selling agencies in the country.

Scott began his career in commercial real estate but Scott’s passion for travel lead him over the next few years to jobs as Entertainment Director for Club Med at various locations throughout the world, a Physical Education Teacher in South Africa and as an entertainer on cruise ships with his wife.

Scott has two college degrees from the University of Nevada in Reno including a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He is still active in theatre when time permits, having won best actor awards in both Northern and Southern California . He now lives in the Fort Worth area of Texas with his wife Pam and their three daughters (who surprisingly all love travel and theatre!)

Masters Accreditation

Following the conference, participants are required to undertake a ‘work-based assignment’. Upon successful completion the individual is endorsed as a Master Cruise Consultant by CLIA on behalf of the cruise industry. 100 points are added to the individual’s profile and a new Cruise Masters Certificate is issued. An agency with a Master Cruise consultant employed then receives a higher ranking on the CLIA (Australasia) website search.


The Masters Conference is held annually – generally around September/October


Below is a list of historical venues and the supporting Cruise Line Member vessel.

YearDestinationNightsCruise Line memberShip
1999Port Arthur to Sydney4Norwegian Cruise LineNorwegian Star
1999Darwin to Brisbane5Royal Caribbean Int.Legend of the Seas
2000Great Barrier Reef4Captain Cook CruisesReef Endeavour
2001Asia7Norwegian Cruise LineSuperstar Virgo
2002Mexican Baja4Carnival Cruise LinesCarnival Ecstasy
2003Hawaii7Norwegian Cruise LineNorwegian Star
2004Eastern Mediterranean7Costa CruisesCosta Mediterranea
2005South Pacific8P&O CruisesPacific Sun
2006Mexican Riviera7Royal Caribbean Int.Vision of the Seas
2007Caribbean7Carnival Cruise LinesCarnival Valour
2008Eastern Mediterranean7MSC CruisesMSC Poesia
2009Alaska7Holland America LineWesterdam
2010Yangtze River, China5Viking River CruisesViking Century Sun
2011Darwin to Fremantle8Royal Caribbean IntRadiance of the Seas
2012Transatlantic Crossing7Cunard LineQueen Mary 2
2013South Pacific8Carnival Cruise LinesCarnival Spirit
2014Mexican Riviera7Princess CruisesCrown Princess
2015Asia5Royal Caribbean IntQuantum of the Seas
2016To be announced in February 2016

The venue for the following year is generally announced with the intention of giving potential participants approximately 9 months notice.


As the CLIA (Australasia) is a not-for-profit organisation, every effort is made to keep the cost of attendance to a minimum. With generous support from our Cruise Line Members and other 3rd parties, participants should budget on around AUD$1,800 per person twin share (plus airfares).

What’s included / not included?

Inclusions vary each year depending on the destination but will generally cover; One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation; a four to seven night cruise onboard an CLIA (Australasia) member cruise line; welcome cocktail function; transfer from hotel to pier for embarkation; attendance at all conference sessions conducted by CLIA (Australasia) Masters Trainer – Scott Koepf; Masters Conference Workbook; tea/coffee/iced water morning & afternoon tea during conference sessions; all meals on board ship; all entertainment on board ship and all port taxes and charges.

We DO NOT include return airfares (and taxes) to/from destination; arrival transfers (airport to hotel); departure transfers (pier to airport); gratuities; travel Insurance; beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic at any time other than where advised ie; Welcome Cocktail function) or any other items of a personal nature.

What others have said!

‘Exceeded my expectations, I can’t wait to go back to the office and start work, in fact, I just wish I could do the training again, it was so inspiring!’
Rosemary Thomas, HWT Niddrie

‘The Masters Conference was an absolutely great experience and Scott was an amazing lecturer’
Peter Heathcock, National Network Travel

‘It was a great experience which is really helping my business’
Santo Montalto, Cruiseabout Toorak

‘I loved every moment of the Masters; it was one of the highlights of my 34 year travel career’
Denise Fowler, The Travel Brokers Auckland

‘Best course I have attended in 31 years of travel’
Esther Fraser, Mary Rossi Travel

‘Loved everything about it, Scott’s seminars are second to none’
Matt Halloran, Travelmanagers

‘Great conference, I would certainly recommend to any consultant to attend and learn’
Jenny Fulton, RACT Travelworld

‘Masters answered my question of what do cruise experts have that I didn’t, thank you!’
Eeha Foong, Jetset Kardinya

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