On the heels of AmaWaterways’ beautiful AmaDahlia celebrating the close of her first season on Egypt’s legendary Nile River last week, the company announced it will launch a second ship in Egypt. The second ship, named AmaLilia, after the sacred blue water lily flower of ancient Egypt, will set sail in 2024 to meet the growing demand for this exotic offering.
Like AmaDahlia, AmaLilia will sail the immersive Secrets of Egypt & Nile itinerary, offering an unparalleled 11-night cruise and land experience including a seven-night roundtrip river cruise from Luxor, paired with three nights pre- and one-night post-cruise stays in historic Cairo. Similar to her sister ship, AmaLilia will be thoughtfully designed with regionally inspired décor, spacious staterooms and suites, and a specialty restaurant included in the river cruise fare.
Check out the AmaDahlia photo gallery below. Photos courtesy of AmaWaterways. Read the rest of this entry »
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 Read the rest of this entry »
The Travel Institute and AmaWaterways have launched a new, additional $50 bonus commission for all travel professionals who successfully graduate with their CTA, CTC, or CTIE in 2022 and subsequently book and deposit a new AmaWaterways river cruise within 90 days of their certification date.
“Certification from The Travel Institute has propelled many travel advisors’ forward giving certified advisors the knowledge, know-how, and confidence they need to best advise their clients. We want to recognize those advisors for making this investment in their careers and striving to be their best for our mutual guests by giving them something extra to recognize this achievement,” shared Diane Horan, CTC, director of Strategic Partner Networks with AmaWaterways.
Horan, a longtime advocate of agent education and The Travel Institute, said the new bonus commission applies to any new booking for travel in 2022 or 2023 and is combinable with some additional promotions that may also be available at the time of booking. For advisors who graduated earlier in 2022, the program is retroactive to January 1 allowing 90 days from announcement of the bonus program for early 2022 graduates to complete a new AmaWaterways river cruise client booking.
According to Guida Botelho, CTIE, director of training for The Travel Institute, the AmaWaterways bonus commission in effect decreases the cost of certification by approximately 10%. “We applaud AmaWaterways, the leader in luxury European river cruising, for their efforts to support, recognize and reward travel professionals who go above and beyond to achieve a higher level of professionalism, career success and satisfaction via certification. Together with our graduates, they are creating truly amazing travel experiences,” she said.
To receive their $50 USD, pre-paid digital Visacard,* graduates must first register for the commission and then email AmaWaterways providing their date of certification along with the passenger’s full name and booking number. The card can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted and is redeemable for one year from date of issue; full details for the commission plan are available online at registration. Learn more at The Travel Institute.
Part 2 of 2 in a series on how to cope with long telephone hold times. Read Part 1.
Gilligan might have regretted booking his three-hour tour on the S.S. Minnow that turned into a 60s TV show, but today’s travel advisors have come to rue their own travel nightmare: the four-hour telephone hold times involved in trying to reach some suppliers.
At AmaWaterways, chief marketing officer Janet Bava noted that call volumes skyrocketed when Europe loosened its travel guidelines in March. “We saw a huge influx in demand, and we had to staff up very quickly across the board. It was an issue, but we’ve been able to solve it.”
It took about two weeks to respond, she acknowledges; but now Read the rest of this entry »
Exceptional Demand Leads Luxury River Cruise Line to Add Additional Opportunities for Guests to Experience the Beauty of Portugal
Luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways today announced that it has extended its 2022 and 2023 Portugal river cruising season with 14 additional sailings round trip from Porto onboard AmaDouro. With cruises available through the end of December, guests now have the opportunity to experience the joys of this popular destination in the early winter season with temperate weather, fewer crowds, and charming Christmas markets, complemented by stunning landscape and delectable food and wine tasting experiences.
“Full of rich culture, inspiring architecture, and enticing cuisine, our Portugal sailings have always been extremely popular. This demand inspired us to extend both our 2022 and 2023 season until the end of December, giving guests another reason to travel and experience all that Portugal has to offer during this special time of year,” said Kristin Karst, co-founder and executive vice president of AmaWaterways. “The extended season opens up a new opportunity for our travel partners to reserve groups to visit Portugal’s festive Christmas markets, delightful vineyards, and historic sites during this quieter period!”
Sailing onboard the spectacular AmaDouro, the extension of the 2022 and 2023 season in Portugal includes additional dates for AmaWaterways’ Enticing Douro itinerary – a seven-night roundtrip from Porto river cruise along the Douro River Valley. Throughout the itinerary, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic cultural experiences with a variety of included small-group shore excursions, such as:
- A visit to the tranquil village of Entre-os-Rios where they will enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch at a local Quinta (a country estate)
- A step back in time as they stroll through the historical city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- A guided hike of Porto, followed by a tasting of Port, Portugal’s most renowned contribution to the world of wine
Portugal is known for its mild winters that make it a magical destination during the pre-Christmas period. Those wishing to extend their time in the destination can add three nights in Lisbon pre-cruise, including a tour of the city and a morning excursion to Serra de Sintra, one of the loveliest mountain villages in Portugal. Guests will enjoy the temperate climate as they stroll through Lisbon and Porto’s intimate Christmas markets, where they will find charming handmade gifts and festive treats.
Travelers interested in experiencing AmaWaterways’ extended Portugal season from November 12 to December 31 during the 2022 season can take advantage of the More to Love sale. Guests who book their Portugal sailings for this year by June 30, 2022 will enjoy a comprehensive package complete with a 7-night river cruise in a French balcony stateroom, round-trip airfare, transfers, a 3-night pre-cruise land package in Lisbon, port charges, and Travel Waiver Plus starting at $5,999 USD* per person. With this special sale, guests can enjoy extended time in Portugal with a comprehensive, peace-of-mind package.
For more information or to book an AmaWaterways river cruise for a client, visit AmaWaterways.com or call 1.800.626.0126. Follow AmaWaterways on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmaWaterways, Instagram @AmaWaterways, Twitter @AmaWaterways, and YouTube at YouTube.com/AmaWaterways.
Saying goodbye is the hardest part of any good trip—especially when faced with the reality of having to go back home and make your own bed. On a good river cruise there are wonderful accommodations and great ports, but the thing that makes the entire experience is the people that are there. Without fun guests the cruise is boring; without a good crew the cruise is awful. Fortunately, the people that I sailed the Rhône with on Avalon were one of the most glorious groups of people I’ve ever met. Read the rest of this entry »
Ama means love, and AmaWaterways is celebrating the start of its 2022 sailing season through Europe with the launch of an all-new More to Love sale, available on select 2022 European river cruises.
AmaWaterways is now offering a comprehensive package with a 7-night river cruise in a French balcony stateroom, round-trip airfare, transfers, a pre- or post-cruise land package, port charges and Travel Waiver Plus all included with a starting price of US$5,499 per person. To ensure maximum flexibility, two alternative specially priced packages are also available for clients that may have their own air or land arrangements. The sale is available for new reservations on over 60 cruises departing between March and the end of December 2022. Read the rest of this entry »
In last week’s newsletter, we asked you when is the earliest you’d be ready to river cruise again in Europe. Nearly 85 percent of you are ready to river cruise in 2022, with spring 2022 getting the largest slice of the pie.
We asked, What gives you confidence about your answer as to when you would cruise? Or what’s holding you back? One reader commented: Time to move on; two years is enough and life is short. Indeed.
Another wrote: Because we went on a river cruise in 2021 and a small boat cruise two weeks ago. Steve and Lorraine are actually friends of ours here in Asheville. We had dinner with them last Sunday and learned that despite traveling in Europe from last August until late November, including a river cruise on AmaWaterways in September, they remained Covid free. In fact, they said they generally felt safer abroad Read the rest of this entry »
Though it feels like forever since I have sailed the rivers of Europe, I was lucky enough to do so twice in the fall of 2021. My first trip back to Europe was onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaSiena. After traveling to Europe once during the pandemic I felt like an old pro, so when Avalon Waterways reached out and asked me to sail the Rhône, I jumped at the opportunity. There was fear that came with my first trip back to Europe, but on this second trip in early October, I was vaccinated, boosted, fearless and ready to go.
Avalon Waterways required all passengers and crew to be vaccinated, and I had to take a Read the rest of this entry »
Think no one’s river cruising? Think again. While river cruising in Europe generally takes a pause during the cold of January and February, as well as much of March, regions outside of Europe still see river cruises operating.
Earlier this week, we heard from Patty Moss and her husband Bill, who were in Jordan before traveling to Cairo to board AmaWaterways’ new 72-passenger AmaDahlia.
Patty and Bill are doing a pre-cruise extension before embarking on AmaWaterways’ Secrets of Egypt & The Nile 12-day cruise program. She and Bill were in Petra yesterday with 10 others who are also Read the rest of this entry »
In last week’s post, Our New Year’s Eve Wish For You, we told you about Dolf Dunn’s Christmas Markets cruise. Dolf and his wife Lannie shared photos of Christmas trees at various ports of call (as well as Christmas trees on AmaSiena). The Dunns praised AmaWaterways for not missing a single Christmas Market. “If a city closed a market, AmaWaterways found an alternative one to take us to,” Dolf wrote.
AmaWaterways’ Kristin Karst saw our story and reached out to us. If you don’t know who she is, let me tell you about Kristin. Originally from the region of Dresden, Germany, Kristin is the high-spirited, always smiling Read the rest of this entry »
I LOVE Backroads. What’s to love? The company layers its active adventures, primarily cycling, on top of cruises, both ocean and river. That layering provides the perfect adventure: You spend your days being active, exploring Europe the way many Europeans do, straddling a saddle. Your floating hotel is your oasis for rest and replenishment.
In 2016, I had what turned out to be one of the best trips I’ve had on the rivers, cycling with my son while cruising on AmaWaterways. Check out Backroads Bike Trips & River Boating: A Winning Combination For Active Travelers. Rinse and repeat. In 2019, we cruised Ponant and pedaled Croatia, a wonderful trip that I summed up Read the rest of this entry »
At the end of August, I was invited to sail on AmaSiena on its christening cruise. This invitation was a big deal, not only because it was a christening cruise but also because this was my first cruise back since COVID.
Over the past few weeks I have shared how I prepared for cruising during COVID as well as my first impressions of the sailing and what it was like to be back on board. I also interviewed my cruise manager Martina, and held a webinar about my experience on board.
Though I feel like I have covered a lot about my sailing, I spent a lot more time covering COVID than I did the ship itself. So today, we will do just that. Read the rest of this entry »
When AmaWaterways invited me to the Christening of AmaSiena, I said yes immediately. The prospect of going on a river cruise for the first time since the summer of 2019 excited me so much that I agreed to come on the trip without giving any of the details a second thought. But, as my cruise approached, I found myself questioning my decision to cruise during Covid: What happens if I test positive for Covid on board the ship? Do I need to pack anything extra? What do I need to do to be cleared to fly to the Netherlands and, on the way back, to the United States? And, most importantly, how will my cruise experience differ to the cruises I’ve taken in the past?
I realize that many of you are considering river cruises as well but traveling during the pandemic leaves you with similar questions, which I want to share with you how I prepared for my return to Europe. Read the rest of this entry »
For customers looking for a unique destination they have not yet visited, AmaWaterways might just have the answer. Last week, it announced a new ship sailing a new river in a new continent to the Ama repertoire.
Colombia’s Magdalena River will host a partnership between Ama and Metropolitan Touring, known and well-respected by many travel advisors for its Galapagos and South America tours, aboard the brand-new AmaMagdalena in time for the holidays in December 2023.
On a press conference via webinar today, the two companies shared their excitement at having found one another, and in bringing the first luxury river cruises to the region. Just “two or three hours” from Florida, the Magdalena River offers beautiful scenery, diverse nature, and the second-largest Carnival in the world. (Also, the world’s best chocolate and best coffee, “and some really good rum,” says Metropolitan Touring’s Francisco Dousdebes.)
“It is the prime river in Latin America,” asserted Ama’s ever-cautious new destination seeker, co-founder and president Rudi Schreiner, who has been scouting “the whole area from Argentina to Read the rest of this entry »
To celebrate National Nurses Week, AmaWaterways has opened a selection of Europe sailings between October through December 2021 for eligible frontline medical heroes to enjoy a complimentary river cruise with one paying guest in the same stateroom. Read the rest of this entry »