With sales from travel agents growing rapidly, Riviera River Cruises is increasing its commitment to the agency community by accepting bookings for its European river cruises exclusively from travel advisors.
As well, Riviera will begin assisting agents with flight arrangements and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for their clients. Additionally, several fam trips for advisors will be offered this spring.
Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ executive vice-president sales and marketing North America, said that, “Riviera River Cruises has always been supportive of the travel agency community, and we’re excited to take that support even further in 2020.”
Conroy continued, “As we begin taking bookings solely from travel advisors, we look forward to turning business back over to them when consumers come to us directly. We want Riviera to be the river cruise line advisors think of first, and we believe this makes us the only line that can honestly say it is 100% supportive of the travel agency distribution system. This is a relationship we all can benefit from.”
Consumers who contact Riviera directly will be referred to book their river cruise through their own travel advisor or, if they don’t already have one, the booking will be turned over to the nearest advisor to them with whom Riviera already has a relationship.
Riviera recently announced it is expanding the hours of operation for its reservation line to accommodate agents in Canada and the western US. The reservation line is open from 9 a.m. EST to 8 p.m. EST.
Avalon Waterways is returning to Egypt this year after a brief hiatus, inviting travellers to stand at the foot of the pyramids, answer the riddle of the Sphinx and sail down the historic Nile River, aboard the MS Farah – a luxury cruise ship, featuring 62 staterooms and suites – on its new Taste of Egypt itinerary.
Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways, said, “We are thrilled to return to Egypt and the Nile River with this once-in-a-lifetime vacation. From welcoming travellers to Cairo, “Mother of the World,” and inviting them to look up at the “Stairway to the Sky,” to welcoming them on board the MS Farah to sail through Africa’s ancient history and civilizations along the Nile, this is a very special, awe-inspiring experience for cruisers of all ages.”
On the 10-day adventure to ancient Egypt, travellers will explore the Pyramids and Sphinx in Giza; visit the Ramses II and Alabaster Sphinx in Memphis, as well as Cairo’s oldest church – the Hanging Church – and Tutankhamun’s Tomb in the Egyptian Museum – all of this and more before even stepping foot on the MS Farah in Luxor to embark on their Nile Cruise.
Along the Nile River, passengers will visit the Luxor Temple; Avenue of Sphinxes; the massive Karnak Temple Complex, including the Temple of Amun-Ra; the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens; the Temple of Kom Ombo (an unusual double temple); Temple of Isis, and more.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collec-tion has released a sneak peek of a new super ship S.S. São Gabriel, set to debut in Portugal on April 9.
One of four Super Ships launching next year as part of the brand’s continued elevation, the new S.S. São Gabriel will join fellow new super ships S.S. Sphinx, Mekong Jewel, and S.S. La Venezia for the highly anticipated 2020 season.
“Expanding upon our commitment to transform our entire fleet to super ships in the coming years, we’re thrilled to share a first look at the stunning S.S. São Gabriel,” says Uniworld president Ellen Bettridge. “Evoking a fresh new design inspired by the majestic landscapes in Portugal and adorned with gorgeous Portuguese tiles, the São Gabriel will bring the destination to life for our guests, while maintaining the highest calibre of service and personalization.”
Set to be the newest ship on the Douro River, the S.S. São Gabriel was designed to embody the beautiful Douro River Valley region through its décor and food and wine. The entire top deck will offer all lavishly appointed suites enhanced with butler service, giving clients the option to dine at any time they’d like, while enjoying the ship.
Guests on S.S. São Gabriel will experience the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley on the ship’s 11-day Portugal, Spain & The Douro River Valley itinerary sailing from Lisbon to Porto, while indulging in the best of Spanish and Portuguese culture and cutting-edge, locally sourced cuisine.
“We have been partnering with The Travel Corporation’s family of brands since 2017, and this year, we are delighted to partner with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection to support the launch of their new super ship in Portugal,” says Miguel Moraes, global trade marketing director at Visit Portugal. “Our strategy is to promote all the regions of our diverse country than can be visited year-round. The luxury traveller is a key target for us, as they have the propensity to stay for longer and spend more while on holiday in Portugal, and this partnership with Uniworld allows us to meet this objective.
We look forward to welcoming the S.S. São Gabriel in 2020 and the clients it will attract from the USA, Canada, UK and Australia.”
Uniworld’s additional 2020 super ships will take guests to Vietnam and Cambodia, Egypt and Northern Italy. The new vessels include the S.S. Mekong Jewel and S.S. Sphinx, both debuting this month, as well as the S.S. La Venezia debuting in March.