We are very excited and honoured to be part of the Virtuoso network and are looking forward to working with you to create high quality holiday experiences for your clients. This page contains information about us, how we operate and what benefits you get from working with us.
- 50 Degrees North employs staff from more than one Nordic country, which means we offer in-depth specialist knowledge of each destination.
- We aim higher than most of our competitors with regards to quality and uniqueness of our itineraries. E.g. we have run photography tours, Nordic food tours, design and architecture tours, etc.
- We are the “affordable” high end and boutique choice for the Nordic region, rather than the top end luxury option.
- We give honest advice in regards to our product, local conditions and what clients can expect. We will not sell a product that we don't believe is right for your client just to secure a sale.
- Rather than trying to sell everything, we have created strong relationships with a handful of local suppliers including properties (boutique hotels, lodges, castles, manor houses) and activity providers. This means our rates are good, and our clients are often given preferential service. We avoid chain hotels where possible.
- We keep updated on local conditions and product, and our staff travels to our destinations on a regular basis.
- Many of our tours are unique in the industry, and we often find that competitors copy us. E.g. we are (per date) the only incoming operator for the Nordic region who offers a Farm Stay product in mainland Scandinavia.
- Our staff has many years experience in the travel industry, with a great contact network, giving us access to product and services that is not readily available through ordinary channels.
- When possible, we will look for the unique experience for your clients rather than the traditional and well-trodden choice.
50 Degrees North is a Virtuoso Preferred Global Tour Operator under the Virtuoso Destinations & Experiences program. This program includes On-sites (DMCs located in the destination country), Tour Operators and Specialty Suppliers (Limousines, Event tickets etc.).
On-Site vs. Tour Operator (modified information from Virtuoso.com)
What's the difference between an On-Site and a Tour Operator? While there is some crossover, there are also differences:
- Offers individual customisation based on clients' needs and interests
- Based in local market/in-country; provides destination expertise and ground support
- Pricing mainly on a net basis in local currency
- Sells specific country or geographic area
- Uses local employees and operators (may sometimes outsource suppliers)
- Provides tours (escorted, fixed departures), packages, groups and FIT (Foreign Independent Travel)
- Has local offices in North America, Australia and on-site in Norway, ensuring easy communications around the clock
- Charges in USD/AUD/EUR and provides commission on gross
- May sell the world, or specific destination(s)
- Usually sub-contracts drivers, guides, local services (some have local offices)
- Some sell direct to clients or may be B2B only
The way we operate our business makes us into a combination of an On-site and a Tour Operator.
We believe that our specially crafted tours in unique destinations will deliver your clients benefits and experiences that cannot be measured in money. After their trip your clients will most likely share with excitement stories about their first encounter with a Polar Bear or Moose in the Nordic Wilderness, the night they spent in a glass igloo under the Northern Lights or the sailing trip they took under the Midnight Sun - a room upgrade, free lunch or late check-out might not get a mention.
- The best agency commission in the industry.
- Priority service for Virtuoso Advisors (this means your request goes to the top of the queue).
- Early check-in/late check-out for your clients in a selection of our boutique partner hotels (subject to availability).
- Free cabin selection for your clients on Classic Hurtigruten voyages along the Norwegian coast.
- Access to intimate local destination knowledge provided to you by our all Scandinavian staff.
- Access to private bespoke itineraries with unique experiences created to suit your clients’ interests.
- Peace of mind with our 24/7 support for you and your clients in three time zones through our offices in Melbourne - Australia, Vancouver - Canada and Lillehammer - Norway.
As we are a Tour Operator, we have our own negotiated tour operator rates and private benefits at hotels including some of the Virtuoso properties. Virtuoso hotels are not contractually required to pass on the Virtuoso Amenities to us and thus, we cannot access them for your clients. If the amenities are important to you, we advise you to contact the hotel in question directly.
This is advice from Virtuoso Tips for Working with Virtuoso Destinations & Experiences Partners: "Make more commission with hotels when booked through a tour operator or wholesaler. You can still call your contact at the hotel and advise them that your client is coming and request the Virtuoso Amenity."
We put together high quality tours with thought and consideration for the best choice of accommodation, location and added local charm. We will provide you with our best quote for your clients that is usually gross including your special Virtuoso commission.
We are contractually not allowed to break-down costs. Our partner suppliers give us competitive and confidential net tour operator rates that must be included in a package and must never be shown separately.
Our preferred payment methods are by eNett (Australia only) or bank transfer. Bank details are listed on our invoices, which you receive when payment is required.
We also accept payments by your company credit card (VISA or Master Card). We may also charge your clients' credit cards (VISA or Master Card) for their travel services booked by you. In this case we will refund your commission to you after all travel arrangements are completed and the client has returned home. Please make sure we have your full banking details (including swift code) in order for us to process the commission.
Typically, a deposit of 20% is required unless the booking is for high season (Christmas bookings) or voyages to the Arctic region when a deposit of 25-30% applies. Full payment is due no later than 70 days before departure, 90 days, if you have a Arctic Expedition Voyage in the trip.