Published on : Thursday, April 18, 2019
River cruising is taking the nation by storm and increasing in popularity each year with sales up 82 percent over the last five years for home-based travel agents with Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® Recognizing that the best way to sell a river cruise is to experience it, Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. chartered AmaWaterways’ AmaLea to host its first-ever River Cruise Summit. Approximately 150 travel agents attended the weeklong travel agent training, which cruised from Budapest, Hungary to Vilshofen, Germany.
“We pride ourselves on providing our network of agents with the most engaging, interactive and educational training opportunities – whether they are online or in person,” said Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “Our River Cruise Summit is just one innovative way we blend fun, learning and relationship building. Whether they were newbies or seasoned agents, everybody walked away from the Summit not only with a deeper understanding of river cruising, but also with a new extended family.”
From guided biking and city tours to wine tastings and local entertainment, attendees experienced all the highlights of a river cruise. What’s more, they also sat in on presentations from Scenic Cruises and Avalon Waterways, received a sneak preview tour of the AmaMagna prior to its deployment, and they had the opportunity for a dinner and tour aboard a Crystal River Cruise. Attendees also raised $2,100 for Make-A-Wish®, which grants wishes of children with critical illnesses, by participating in a sightseeing fundraising walk through Bratislava.
“We were so honored to have been chosen to host the first ever River Cruise Summit onboard the beautiful AmaLea,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “There was such a remarkable level of energy, enthusiasm and eagerness to learn as well as a true sense of camaraderie among all the advisors. We can’t wait to welcome everyone for the next River Cruise Summit in November 2020 aboard AmaMagna.”
In 2018, river cruise sales were up double-digits as a result of the increased marketing efforts of travel agents with Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. In addition to providing them with dedicated river cruise-themed direct mail pieces and emails, it is also featured in the luxury brochure, on websites and in the free Automated Social Media Program.
“Attending this Summit gave me the confidence to sell more river cruises,” said Dream Vacations franchise owner Bill Schneider of Tampa, Fla. “This was my first river cruise and I paid close attention to the details many of my clients often ask about such as the embarking and disembarking process, quality and organization of the excursions and luggage delivery to name a few. Now that I have experienced river cruising, I can discuss and answer questions from clients with firsthand knowledge.”
The River Summit kicked off the 2019 Immersive Educational Series, which will feature intimate training opportunities on niche topics such as luxury in April 2019, groups in June 2019, and land in August 2019.