Hot product updates to boost sales
Iconic BVI resort island destination Saba Rock set to reopen following the reconstruction post Hurricane Irma
Saba Rock, the legendary island resort in the British Virgin Islands, will officially open this spring, following a complete rebuild after the rampage of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
“We’re eager to rejoin our local tourism partners in welcoming guests to this beautiful destination,” said General Manager Alain Prion. “Saba holds a special place in the hearts of many, and we can’t wait for our past guests to see and experience the new resort. We expect fans will embrace our new identity and hope our chic and casual setting will attract new customers as well.”
Saba Rock’s transformation includes a complete rebuild of the entire island resort. The new contemporary design aesthetic features a fresh take on the destination’s nautical lifestyle that allows the island’s ocean surroundings to be the centrepiece of the resort experience. The resort’s seven guestrooms and two suites reflect the same design concept with added elements that depict the fun water-based adventures that attract visitors from all over the world including diving, kiteboarding, and windsurfing.
In addition to new the accommodations, Saba will offer elevated resort amenities and services including a bar and restaurant on the lower lever that features an eclectic menu of Caribbean-fusion cuisine, as well as a Happy Hour Bar and Lounge on the upper deck, which can be rented out for private events. Other onsite amenities include a dive shop, retail boutique, spa with select services, full-service marina, and a kiteboarding and kitesurfing school.
“This whole process has been a labor of love for the entire Saba Rock team, and I am truly proud of how we were able to navigate the challenges at hand and bring the new chapter of this iconic resort to life,” continued Prion.
Saba Rock works with travel advisors. For more information about visit www.sabarock.com. Reservation will open soon.
Windstar outlines sailings through May 2023 and produces new voyage planner
As cruise lines have had to update their deployment plans several times over the past year, small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has released a new printed voyage planner brochure with nearly 200 pages of information detailing offerings from when its first yacht will set sail on May 1, 2021 through May, 2023.
“This beautiful coffee-table publication is meant to educate and inspire people about Windstar and the 180 degrees from ordinary experience we have to offer,” says Windstar Cruises’ President Chris Prelog. “In 2021 through 2023, we have a mix of long-time favourites and fresh new itineraries, recently transformed yachts and exciting new cruise tours. We have planned further out so people can book early.”
Windstar realized that now, more than ever, travellers are looking even further ahead to plan their next cruise vacation. The brochure will begin to land in mailboxes this week, and agents interested in requesting a copy or viewing a digital version can access it here: https://www.windstarcruises.
An overview of some new itineraries by region:
- Windstar sails in Alaska from late spring through summer. Voyages are scheduled beginning in 2022 aboard the newly transformed all-suite Star Breeze.
- In 2022, a new, shorter seven-day Scenic Alaska cruise will feature coastal wilderness cruising along the Canadian Inside Passage.
- Windstar will sail in Southeast Asia on limited voyages in late 2021/early 2022 and will return to comprehensive sailings in Asia with five brand-new itineraries beginning the fall of 2022.
- In 2022, Island Hopping through Japan and Windstar Crew Hometowns: Philippines & Indonesia are new and noteworthy standouts.
Australia & New Zealand (New destination)
- In 2022, Windstar will debut its first-ever comprehensive itineraries to Australia & New Zealand aboard the newly transformed Star Breeze, visiting small, rarely visited ports of call like Middle Percy Island and Thursday Island. Overnights in Brisbane, Port Douglas, and Sydney, plus a late-night departure in Melbourne are other highlights. Pick from eight itineraries in the region.
Canada & New England
- Windstar sails in Canada & New England in the fall aboard the newly transformed Star Pride.
- In 2021, a new Iceland to Montreal itinerary will focus heavily on Greenland, including several days of scenic fjord cruising, and a revamped New York to San Juan sailing is much more than a “repositioning cruise” with two overnight stops in Bermuda, plus a day in St. Kitts and St. Bart’s.
- In 2022, a new Boston to San Juan offering includes warm Bermuda beaches on the journey.
Caribbean & Central America
- Windstar sails in the Caribbean from late fall to spring, but in 2021, Windstar will also sail its waters throughout the summer season aboard Star Breeze.
- In 2021, Windstar will make first-time visits to Miami and Key West in December.
- In 2022, Windstar will offer new sailings in Mexico, on both the East and West coasts, including an option from Cozumel to St. Maarten with rare Windstar visits to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and tiny Cayman Brac.
- In 2023, the new Spanish Treasures via the Panama Canal starts on the Pacific side of the canal before heading to Panama’s Bocas del Toro and San Blas Islands, Cartagena/Santa Marta in Colombia, and ending in Aruba.
Carnival says agents will maintain advisor commission rates at current tiers through 2022
To show its appreciation to travel agents, Carnival Cruise Line said it will honour the commission tier each account earned in 2019 through 2022.
By doing so, Carnival is ensuring that travel advisors will continue to earn commission at their current rates for the next two years without commission percentage changing.
Adolfo Perez, Carnival’s senior vice president of global trade sales and marketing, said: “We truly appreciate the continued partnership and loyalty of our valued travel partners. By maintaining our current commission tiers, we’re recognizing the important role that travel advisors play in the vacation-selling process while providing peace of mind knowing their efforts through 2022 will be compensated at the rate they have worked so hard to earn.”
Carnival had previously announced that commission tiers would be maintained through 2021, so today’s announcement extends this protection for an additional year. Commissions are typically commensurate with sailed booking volumes at Carnival.
Discovering the sublime Rhine with Avalon Waterways
As Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways, sees it: “The Rhine River delivers travellers to ‘bucket list’ countries and capital cities while sailing off-the-beaten-path to small villages that look as if they’ve been pulled from the pages of fairytales.”
And Hoffee adds: “The Rhine gifts travellers a sail through time and is the perfect river to cure a cruiser’s cabin fever while also offering a feast for travel cravings.”
According to Avalon Waterways, there are seven reasons why travellers are choosing the Rhine River on their journey back to travel in 2021:
- 1. High Five – Cruising down the multinational waterway of the Rhine with Avalon, travellers can traverse five countries– Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria – exploring picture-perfect towns and bucket-list destinations like Basel, Strasbourg, Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam and Rotterdam along the way.
- 2. Connect Four – The Rhine River is a ribbon that ties together fascinating countries, cultures and history. It also flows into other legendary waterways, presenting the opportunity to combine a Rhine itinerary with three other renowned rivers – the Moselle, the Main and the Danube – for a more robust river cruise.
- 3. Castles in the Air – Between Rudesheim and Koblenz, more castles take center stage than anywhere else on the planet. This fairytale fantasy known as the Upper Middle Rhine or Rhine Gorge has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status and the well-earned moniker, “The Romantic Rhine.”
- 4. A Pop of Colour – Surrounded by brilliant-coloured tulips, the waterways of the Netherlands feed into the Rhine River, presenting unrivalled springtime scenery including the beginning, middle and end of the rainbow.
- 5. More to Pour Over – While many people think of Germany for its “brewtiful” beer scene, the vineyard-lined Rhine River Valley paints a sweeter story with “grape” days that invite you to sniff, swirl and sip your way through everything from Rieslings and delicate Silvaners to full-bodied Spätburgunders.
- 6. Unique UNESCO – A delightfully dizzying number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be found along the Rhine River Valley, including the Rhine Gorge, the Cologne Cathedral, the Speyer Cathedral, the Town of Bamberg and the Old Town of Regensburg.
- 7. Merry Memories – There’s no better way to unwrap the magic of the Old World than with a journey through the tradition-rich, German Christmas markets with their mulled wines, handmade sweets and hardy holiday décor on a festive wintry river cruise.
And along with giving travellers one of the widest variety of vacations available on the Rhine River (nearly two dozen itineraries), only Avalon Waterways has created what they call “Short and Suite” getaways ranging from five-and six-days, providing time-starved travellers and first-time river cruisers the chance to test river cruise waters.
Avalon is also the only river cruise line that offers travellers highly customizable Active & Discovery itineraries on the Rhine River, giving them a choice of nearly 30 “Active,” “Discovery” and “Classic” excursions throughout their vacation.
Said Hoffee: “We take great pride in inviting travellers to cruise against the stream on the Rhine River. In addition to our Avalon Choice excursions and Adventure Hosts on every itinerary, our relationship with Globus, Cosmos and Monograms gives travellers exclusive access to Your Way cruising which seamlessly provides them options for immersive sightseeing access, hotel accommodations and transfers in European cities before and after each cruising vacation.”
Sail on over to https://www.avalonwaterways.ca/River-Cruise-Deals/ for more.