How to sell river cruises to ocean cruisers
ALEX PINELO, vice president of sales, AmaWaterways
International travel is poised to make a strong comeback — and river cruising will be among the first vacation experiences to rebound. Many ocean cruisers will be seeking more intimate ways to travel with companies they can trust to keep them safe while providing a personalized luxury experience.
The following are key selling points to help grow your business by introducing ocean cruisers to the luxury of river cruising:
A seamless experience
It’s said that oceans take you to countries, but rivers take you through them. On a river cruise, guests step aboard and unpack just once, travelling between multiple destinations at a slower pace, which allows for double the leisure time. Our ships are always close to land, dock in proximity to city centres, and with a small number of guests on board, embarkation and disembarkation is always quick and easy. Reserving all your client’s travel plans through AmaWaterways — including flights, transfers and hotel/land extensions and Travel Waiver Plus — increases your commission and your client’s peace of mind. Warm-hearted, genuine and knowledgeable, AmaWaterways’ Cruise Managers are there for guests every step of the way – even during our optional land extensions before and after their river cruise, unique in the industry.
Floating boutique hotels
AmaWaterways’ intimate river cruise ships offer the luxury of personal space yet accommodate an average of only 156 guests (based on current protocols, all European river cruise ships are cruising with less than 100 guests). Our floating hotels offer elegantly appointed staterooms and suites, most featuring our signature view-enhancing twin balconies, offering fresh air and breathtaking scenery. Further, 18 of our European ships have earned the Green Award certification for their safety, quality and environmental performance.
Redefining the river cruise experience
For discerning ocean cruisers seeking spacious suites and multiple dining choices on board, AmaMagna awaits on Europe’s legendary Danube River. Twice as wide as traditional river ships, AmaMagna offers five bars, four unique restaurants serving exquisite locally sourced cuisine, an onboard cinema and an expansive Zen Wellness Studio. Recognized as one of TIME magazine’s World’s Greatest Places, AmaMagna is the perfect ship to convert luxury-seeking clients from ocean to river.
Included and immersive experiences
Contrary to the additional charges that many ocean cruisers are accustomed to, AmaWaterways offers a variety of included excursion choices each day. Tours personalized for gentle, regular and active walkers, as well as guided hikes and bike rides, are operated in small groups of just 10-15 guests, ensuring both social distancing and front-row views.
Offer peace of mind
We understand how important it is for you to give your clients confidence about their upcoming vacations. From pre-cruise health questionnaires to enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures to social distancing guidelines, you can find answers about our most up-to-date health and safety protocols on our website under “Travel Updates.” Further safeguard your clients’ travel plans with our newly enhanced Travel Waiver Plus, providing cancellation for any reason, up to 24 hours prior to the start of their AmaWaterways purchased services.
Whether you’re new at selling river cruises or looking for ways to connect with your clients during this time and beyond, AmaWaterways is here to support you and your business. We have increased the frequency of our virtual events, from our Webinar Wednesdays that help you grow your sales, to our Sip & Sail cocktail hours that inspire guests’ future travel plans. AmaWaterways also just announced the return of the Sell Five, Sail Free booking incentive – six months ahead of previous annual launches. Travel advisors who book five new FIT bookings between now and Dec. 2021 will earn a complimentary seven-night AmaWaterways river cruise for themselves and a companion. As an added bonus this year, advisors who make 10 or more new FIT bookings will have the opportunity to be among the first guests to sail on board the spectacular AmaDahlia, debuting on Egypt’s Nile River in Sept. 2021. Visit AmaWaterways’ Travel Advisor Portal at AmaWaterways.com/agent for full terms and conditions, as well as product education and sales and marketing training.