AmaWaterways launched its new virtual “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour on April 22. The first in the series was hosted by Kristin Karst, co-founder of AmaWaterways and Godmother of AmaKristina, who was joined by eight of the leading river cruise line’s travel industry Godmothers. Close to 2,000 travel advisors attended. The live onscreen “Sip & Sail” series was launched to help the line remain personally connected with travel advisors and past guests until AmaWaterways’ much anticipated return to the rivers.
“I am overjoyed by the tremendous turnout and feedback on our inaugural virtual ‘Sip & Sail’ Cocktail Hour,” said Karst. “The event was such a wonderful opportunity for our industry’s hardworking travel advisors to come together with a cocktail in hand, and join our industry Godmothers onscreen as they shared some of their favourite travel memories and celebrated the contributions travel advisors make to our industry. The positive energy and confidence in the future radiating from these iconic travel leaders was infectious!”
Based on popular request, AmaWaterways is holding its first-ever broadly available virtual Sip & Sail featuring the Emmy-winning TV host and Godmother of AmaMagna, Samantha Brown, in dialogue with Karst on May 14 at 4:00 EST. Travel advisors are encouraged to pre-register a week before the event by visiting AmaWaterways’ Travel Advisor Portal.
During the first virtual “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour, guests shared their favourite cocktail, memories from past christenings, favourite ports of call and tips for staying strong, positive and resilient while preparing for the future. A special guest was Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network representing AmaWaterways dear friend and first industry Godmother, the late Michelle Morgan.
Joining Karst for the event were:
- Debbie Fiorino – Senior Vice President and COO of Owned Brands for World Travel Holdings; Godmother-in-waiting of AmaSiena (2020)
- Libbie Rice – Former Co-President of Ensemble Travel Group; Godmother of AmaMora (2019)
- Filomena Andre – Vice President, Travel Products & Services of Automobile Club of Southern California, Travel; Godmother of AmaLea (2018)
- Jackie Friedman – President of Nexion, Godmother of AmaViola (2016)
- Michelle Fee – CEO and Co-Founder of Cruise Planners; Godmother of AmaSerena (2015)
- Brenda Kyllo – Vice President, Strategic Alliances, AmaWaterways; Godmother of AmaSonata (2014)
- Valerie Wilson – Founder of Valerie Wilson Travel; Godmother of AmaPrima (2013)
- Alex Sharpe – President and CEO, Signature Travel Network; In memory of the late Michelle Morgan, Godmother of AmaLyra (2009)
- Susan Murphy – Daughter of AmaWaterways’ late Co-Founder Jimmy Murphy, Current AmaWaterways Board Member; Godmother of AmaCello (2008)
The actual complimentary, pre-dinner “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour onboard its European fleet has received rave guest reviews since it was first introduced in 2018. The virtual “Sip & Sail” series, created as an innovative and interactive way to remain connected with travel partners and past guests, will feature special guests and cover numerous topics of interest to travellers dreaming about or planning for their next vacation.
“At the heart of the travel industry is the human desire to connect with people and my heart was warmed as I witnessed the goodwill and friendship that was shared during this very special hour together,” added Karst. “I am already looking forward to the next ones, as we continue to keep that spirit alive while anxiously awaiting our return to the rivers.”
AmaWaterways Extends Suspension of River Cruise Season Through July 31
AmaWaterways also announced an extended delay to the start of its 2020 sailing season. The official statement, delivered by AmaWaterways President and Co-founder Rudi Schreiner, is as follows:
“As this unprecedented situation continues to evolve, we remain attentive to the latest developments in order to adapt our operations to best safeguard the health and well-being of our guests and crew. Due to continued efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, we have made the decision to suspend river cruise operations through July 31, 2020, at this time. We are in the process of contacting all travel advisors who have clients affected by this new suspension date in order to provide them with options best suited to their clients’ needs.
While current events have made this temporary suspension necessary, the rivers continue to flow, and we remain in a secure position to resume cruising, once we are confident that it is safe to travel again. Our ships and our teams are on standby anxiously waiting the day when we’re able to once again welcome guests onboard to experience the magic of an AmaWaterways river cruise.”