AmaWaterways' first British godmother will name AmaDouro

Julia Lo Bue-Said is CEO of Advantage, UK’s largest independent travel agent partnership Julia Lo Bue-Said is CEO of Advantage, UK’s largest independent travel agent partnership

Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said will serve as the godmother for AmaDouro at festivities in Porto, Portugal, on April 12. She is AmaWaterways' first British godmother.

Trade partners are key

'A huge part of our success is due to our very important trade partners, and Advantage has been incredibly supportive of us as we continue to grow our brand in the UK. For that reason and others, Julia is a welcome addition to our family of godmothers,' said Kristin Karst, EVP and co-owner, AmaWaterways.

As CEO of Advantage, the UK’s largest independent travel agent partnership, Bue-Said is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, as well as overseeing the strategic efforts and overall vision for the company. A seasoned industry veteran, Bue-Said started her career overseas and held various positions at Thomas Cook, Balkan Holidays and The Best Travel Group before joining Advantage, where she has worked for more than 20 years

In 2012, she was inducted into the Women's 1st Top 100 Club for Travel and Hospitality.

Bue-Said said she is humbled to serve as godmother. 'This honor comes during a milestone year as Advantage celebrates our 40th anniversary. AmaWaterways' commitment to the UK trade is testament of the opportunities developing partnerships create, and we fully support their commitment to drive more business through our members,' she added.

Stuart Perl, managing director of AmaWaterways UK, noted the office has built close relationships with the UK travel trade since opening two years ago, increasing the brand's awareness in that market.

40% increase in bookings

'We have seen a 30% increase in revenue from last year and nearly 40% increase in forward bookings year-to-year,' he added. 'These achievements would not be possible without the incredible support we have received from our travel industry partners, and we are proud to have Julia as our first UK godmother.'

AmaDouro offers 51 spacious, elegantly designed staterooms, most with outside balconies for views of hills and vineyards along the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley. Additional amenities include a Panoramic Lounge for nightly entertainment, a heated Sun Deck swimming pool, fitness room, massage room and the regionally-inspired dishes and hand-selected wines.

One of three new Ama vessels this year

Joining sister ship AmaVida on the Douro river, AmaDouro will be based in Porto and offer seven-night round-trip 'Enticing Douro' cruises. AmaDouro is the first of three new vessels that will be added to AmaWaterways’ fleet this year. The others are AmaMora, sister of AmaLea and AmaKristina, sailing on the Rhine, and the double-wide AmaMagna on the Danube.

Posted 17 January 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review