ACTA Sets Sail With Avalon Waterways On River Cruise Summit

One hundred twenty-five (125) Canadian travel advisors – many of them new to river cruising – embarked on the Avalon Vista in Amsterdam over the weekend to join the Avalon Waterways and ACTA 2023 European River Cruise Summit.

Onboard their home “suite” home they’ve enjoyed their morning coffee with a castle or two as they sail the Romantic Rhine. While they are experiencing river cruising and the Avalon difference including Panorama Suites; passion exploration via a choice of excursions, Happy Hours and local entertainment on board, the week is complemented with educational workshops and networking sessions to help grow their business.

Pam Hoffee, president of Avalon Waterways, said: “I’m thrilled to get to introduce the joys of Avalon and river cruising to advisors here on the Rhine River. There’s nothing like stepping onboard the Avalon Vista for the first time in Amsterdam and getting to sail through postcard-perfect scenery and exploring each port, following personal interests. The Canadian advisor community is incredibly important to us, and it’s been exciting to have the opportunity to partner with ACTA on our inaugural river cruise summit to showcase this robust – and profitable – travel style to so many, first-hand.”

For many of the advisors, what’s been valuable has been experiencing Avalon’s signature Suite Ships – with two full decks of Panorama Suites that feature the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies.

Of the Panorama Suites, David Berry from Travel Agent Next Door, said, “Experiencing the Panorama Suites first-hand was a highlight, and I was genuinely taken aback by the spaciousness of the bathrooms and the top-notch amenities.”

Michele Smith, Trevello, MLS Custom Travel agreed: “The Panorama Suites, with beds facing the mesmerizing views, showcase the thoughtful layout and design of the Suite Ships. That, on top of the enlightening learning sessions, relaxed networking, top-tier excursions, and entertainment onboard have truly elevated the experience.”

During this first-ever special event, travel advisors have not only had the chance to experience elevated cruising with Avalon, but they have also participated in workshops and networking, igniting inspiration and business opportunities along the way.

“One of the many reasons we partnered with Avalon to put together this first-ever European River Cruise Summit was to provide Canadian advisors with a place and platform to experience a river cruise, learn about selling them and ultimately, maximize their earning potential,” said Wendy Paradis, president of ACTA. “This summit has delivered breathtaking views and ‘to dos’ but has also provided our advisor community with invaluable networking, enriching education experiences and inspiration to grow their business.”

Carolyn Bechard from Travel Best Bets agreed with this sentiment. “Experiencing Avalon’s relaxed luxury and impeccable service first-hand is crucial for us as travel advisors,” she said. “Meeting with the Avalon and ACTA teams – as well as Air Canada and Manulife – and connecting with fellow Canadian advisors onboard has been incredible. And the Rhine Gorge? Simply breathtaking!”

Hoffee expects the enthusiasm of first impressions – including those around Avalon’s discernable differences – will carry through the week. “The feedback so far speaks volumes,” said Hoffee. “Advisors are genuinely impressed by our diverse excursion choices, authentic local entertainment, unparalleled service and staff, fantastic dining experiences and, of course, our signature Panorama Suites that offer breathtaking views, right from bed. Many have inquired if this is the standard cruise experience their clients can expect, and I’m proud to say, ‘yes’ – this is Avalon.”

The group is just half-way through their weeklong journey of educational experiences and incredible networking. Picturesque Heidelberg, Strasbourg and Breisbach – including the Black Forest – are also still on the menu.

In the Photos

Pam Hoffee & Wendy Paradis on the Avalon Vista, with Canadian flag behind them

Attendees hang out in the Panorama Lounge, including: Angela Dabideen – Expedia Cruises; Pauline Witter – Travel Agent Next Door; Christine Crump – Expedia Cruises; Marva Layne – Nexion Canada; Marlene Peters – Exclusive Travel; Ann Shaw – Travel Agent Next Door; Fiona Bowen – ACTA.

Advisors on the Magma excursion