Travel agents working from home have traditionally had a lot of success in cruise sales, particularly to the Caribbean. Booking clients on further-flung trips such as Europe or Asia has been more difficult, especially given the economic climate of the past year and a half. One way to encourage more long-haul travel might be by selling your clients on a river cruise.
Jimmy Murphy of AMA Waterways stopped by our offices this week and had good news to share about the river-cruise business. Sales are booming on AMA’s European and Asian itineraries, he told us, and agents are clamoring for more space for their clients. There are plenty of benefits for clients on this kind of trip—for example, unlike land tours, river cruises offer an all-inclusive price with few surprises with the convenience of packing only once and the opportunity to see a destination from a whole new perspective. There’s also a confidence factor built in to cruising that may make travel to exotic destinations in Asia and Eastern Europe more palatable to less adventurous travelers. They know that at the end of a day of exploring temples in Vietnam or bicycling through an ancient Baltic village, they will be back in the comfort of a luxury vessel, enjoying a delicious meal and a few glasses of wine.
River cruising continues to be the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry, and if you haven’t sold your clients on it yet, this could be the time to do it. Many of the major river-cruise companies are adding ships and expanding itineraries, so check it out—it could be a great way to get your clients to go beyond their usual vacation.