Ama’s Bava on Christmas Markets in Portugal and Other Ways to Earn High Commission This Year | Travel Research Online


Ama’s Bava on Christmas Markets in Portugal and Other Ways to Earn High Commission This Year

AmaWaterways extended its Portugal river cruise sailings through the Winter Holiday Season this week, for the first time, adding 14 new round-trip sailings in Portugal on the AmaDouro.

It’s a sign of how strong the interest in Europe river cruises is running this year, says chief marketing officer Janet Bava.

“We saw a huge influx in demand for Europe with the loosening of travel guidelines, and very quickly got a lot of demand for the western side of Europe. We were completely sold out for Portugal,” she told TRO at Seatrade Cruise Global last week. “But our travel partners were still calling us—so we said why not extend the season, especially since Portugal tends to have warmer weather, and go ahead and help travel advisors generate some extra commission for 2022.”

While Ama is the first river cruise line to extend Douro sailings through December, Bava says it believes Portugal will offer some competition to the more popular traditional holiday market itineraries. “The holiday markets along our route are similar to those in Provence, with beautiful little shops where you can find ornaments and keepsakes,” she says. “It’s very festive, and a wonderful experience. We also decorate our ships beautifully, so it’s a wonderful family experience. And we know our Canadian snowbirds will love it.”


Douro River


Ama’s “Enticing Douro” seven-night itinerary excursions include a traditional Portuguese lunch in a country estate in the village of Entre-os-Rios and a visit to Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests also can add a three-night Lisbon pre-trip. A special More to Love offer, running now through June 30 for sailings from November 12 through December 31, includes a French balcony stateroom, airfare, transfers, the pre-cruise in Lisbon, port charges and Travel Waiver Plus for $7,639 per person.

Also generating excitement at Ama is the Seven-River Journey, the cruise line’s version of a world tour. “It’s not new, but it’s unique,” Bava said. Many travel partners think they don’t have a client who’s right for such a long and high-priced itinerary, “but we’re seeing that, if you invest the time to really promote it within your database, yes you do have the right guests.”

Ama is there to support you in the sale, she said, with webinars and tool kits. “Often you invest a lot of time and energy on products whose commission is not so high, but those who really focus on marketing and sales that target your ideal clientele are seeing their business shift to higher-value trips that yield higher commissions. So they are really working smarter, not harder. At the end of the day, some customers of the mass market cruise lines are spending a lot more on board—but their travel advisors are not making commission on that. With our packages you get commission on everything, without having to call a hotel and an airline and a cruise supplier. This is where your commission check goes to five digits.”


Cheryl’s 40-year career in journalism is bookended by roles in the travel industry, including Executive Editor of Business Travel News in the 1990s, and recently, Editor in Chief of Travel Market Report and admin of Cheryl Rosen’s Group for Travel Professionals, a news and support group on Facebook.

As an independent contractor since retiring from the 9-to-5 to travel more, she has written regular articles about the life and business of travel agents for Luxury Travel Advisor, Travel Agent and Insider Travel Report. She also writes and edits for professional publications in the financial services, business and technology sectors.

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