Cruise Strategies Ltd. has partnered with New Orleans-based French America Line and will serve as the company’s representative in Canada for its inaugural season.
In August, French America Line will introduce a new era of boutique US river experiences with the launch of the intimate 150-guest flagship Louisiane. Formerly the Columbia Queen, the Louisiane is undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment to reflect an elegant French-inspired ambiance to embrace the rich history of the areas it sails, once known as French America.
Inaugural sailings for a maximum of 150 guests will begin Aug. 22 out of New Orleans. Travellers can sail from the charms of the Mississippi Headwaters of the Ohio River Valley to the rugged beauty of Tennessee’s Wilderness, Cumberland and Red rivers regions.
The luxurious ship will accommodate guests in 75 staterooms and suites for sailings that “celebrate the cultural and epicurean influences of La belle France mixed with warm Southern hospitality and refined, unobtrusive service.” The Louisiane’s small size allows it to navigate in narrow areas and access historic river ports on five American rivers that larger ships cannot reach.
“We are bringing a breath of fresh air to cruising America’s waterways by offering an exceptional product that redefines the American cruise experience and which can earn travel agencies a 15% commission on an average booking value of $8,000 per stateroom in our inaugural season,” says Tom Markwell, president of French America Line. “Clients can savour the culinary art of our acclaimed Chef de Cuisine, Regina Charboneau and enjoy a host of extra amenities such as an included pre-cruise deluxe hotel night in their embarkation port, complimentary Traveler Collection custom-crafted shore excursions in every port of call, complimentary free-flowing hand-selected spirits, wines and beers, complimentary WiFi, iPads in each stateroom/suite with pre-loaded e-books, daily programs and menus, and luxury touches such as a welcome gift of delicate Parisian macaroons from the House of Ladurée.”
To celebrate the new partnership, French America Line has introduced a special offer that includes pre-paid gratuities, a one category upgrade and US$100 per stateroom/suite shipboard credit on bookings made by July 29. All bookings will be handled directly by French America Line’s call centre at 1-888-387-1140. Agents are advised to mention promotion code CSCA01.
Cruise Strategies’ team will provide sales and marketing support to their network of retail travel agencies throughout Canada. Services include extensive sales and product training, support for group opportunities and group travel, webinars, promotional opportunities, co-operative ad campaigns and cruise and client event presentations as well as public relations and communications.