From Bolivian Dreams to American River Cruise Success: Ariel Chavez's Cruise Planners Franchise Journey

Posted on: January 10, 2024 at 9:00 AM



Cruise Planners franchise owner Ariel Chavez's childhood dream wasn't to scale corporate ladders or crunch numbers in an office. He dreamt of exploring Japan, a distant land his father visited on business trips. Fate, however, had other plans, leading him to a life far from his Bolivian roots, where he became a US citizen, a civil engineer, and ultimately, part of the Cruise Planners brand family.

In 2002, while helping a couple translate real estate documents, Chavez casually mentioned his passion for engineering. Their serendipitous offer to host him during his engineering studies in Alabama changed everything. Though he still held onto engineering aspirations, Chavez's path unexpectedly shifted when he stumbled upon a travel franchise article. "Maybe I could work remotely while traveling," he thought. This led him to Cruise Planners and the travel industry, igniting a spark of possibility.

From Blueprints to Travel Brochures

Initially considering a two-year break before launching his engineering firm, Chavez saw a golden opportunity to combine his career aspirations with his love for travel. He traded blueprints for cruise brochures and founded "New Frontier," a Cruise Planners franchise specializing in luxury river cruises. Today, Chavez’s focus on river cruising taps into a booming market predicted to outpace ocean cruises by 2028.

Cruise Planners, a home-based travel franchise agency network, empowers its 2,500+ agents across the US to sell cruises, land tours, and resort vacations without the burden of brick-and-mortar offices. The system provided Chavez with the training, marketing support, and proven steps that fueled his steady growth. "It took 18 months to two years to really take off," he admits, "but now word-of-mouth and Cruise Planners' resources like social media and sales support keep my business thriving."

His days are a wonderful blend of client consultations, itinerary research, and community networking. His team - two agents and an administrative assistant - handles calls, secures travel plans, and assists clients, while Chavez handles business strategy. As a successful entrepreneur and father raising a foster son with his husband, Chavez cherishes the flexibility and work-life balance his business offers. He finds joy both in building his community through volunteer work and engaging with clients, often discovering new business opportunities through genuine connections.

Though he’d never cruised before becoming an agent, his first river cruise experience from Paris to Normandy ignited a passion. "It's completely different from ocean cruises," he explains. "You delve into the heart of cities, experiencing history, culture, and local life." This sparked his enthusiasm for river cruises, making him a natural guide for clients seeking unique travel experiences.

Bigger Travel Franchise Plans!

Never one to rest on his laurels, Chavez is planning an exciting 2024 adventure – an Antarctica and South Pole expedition for his clients. "It's on my bucket list, and I'm thrilled to share it," he says.

His advice for aspiring travel entrepreneurs? Research and connect with other Cruise Planners franchise owners. "Anyone can succeed if they're willing to work hard," he stresses, "but don't jump in blind." New agents benefit from a six-day STAR Academy training and ongoing one-on-one coaching. They can work part-time or dive in full-time, keeping in mind that income scales with booked vacations. "Some new franchisees become top producers quickly," Chavez acknowledges. "It took me a bit longer, but now I'm proud to be one myself!"

Ready to Chart Your Own Course with Cruise Planners?

Cruise Planners doesn't just offer travel perks; it fosters a supportive community - 92% of our franchisees agree that senior management drives the brand forward, and 93% love being part of the family. With awards like "Top Franchise for Women" and "Top Low-Cost Franchise," it's no wonder 96% of franchisees would recommend our franchise opportunity.

Travel experience isn't a prerequisite, but a passion for crafting dream vacations and helping clients is. With a low entry barrier and flexible work options, Cruise Planners offers you the chance to be your own boss and navigate your success story.

So, are you ready to combine small business ownership with travel and adventure? If so, reach out to the friendly Cruise Planners franchise team for more information on our great opportunity today!

Ready for a New Career?

Start Your Journey with Cruise Planners

Contact us now to discover the endless opportunities that await you as a Cruise Planners franchise owner.

Contact Us