Smooth Sailing

As the year comes to an end, we all start thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. Most of these are things that you might want to improve upon, and some are places that you want to visit.

This past year, one of my resolutions was to experience a river cruise. I had heard about many great experiences from travelers as well as travel advisors, and the river cruise industry had bragged about double-digit growth and new ships that would raise the bar on a luxury experience. I received invitations from many of the river cruise companies, but my prerequisite was that I wanted to experience the cruise with other travel advisors.

As I only had a small window of time based on my travel schedule, I ended up joining the Amadante on The Vineyards of the Rhine & Mosel with 45 other advisors. Gary Murphy, AMA Waterways’ VP of national accounts, was our host. (He’s pictured with me in the lower photo.) The common feedback I received was this was easy and very unique and hard to compare to anything else.

I have lots of thoughts on this so I am just going to rapid-fire all the positive experiences. You walk on the ship as if it is your home, your cabin is steps away from everything, it doesn’t feel overcrowded, the food is amazing—when you get off the boat, fresh local food is coming on—you can sit on a couch indoors or a comfy chair outdoors and sightsee in slow motion.

Wi-Fi is available on the entire boat so you can communicate with the outside world, the rooms are spacious and the showers are amazing (best water pressure I have ever experienced on a moving vessel, in fact). Bikes were unloaded at every stop for us to use, and the shore excursions are very well-planned. The staff members are very attentive and super-friendly. In a future issue, you will get to read a travel advisor’s firsthand experience.

My final thought to you is that you are missing the boat if you are not selling this product. You might say that the demographics skew to seniors, but that is changing as more and more travelers experience river cruising. I felt very comfortable with my fellow passengers and can’t wait to do it again. My New Year’s resolution is to definitely go on another river cruise in 2012. Make it your clients’ resolution, as well!

Happy Holidays,

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