Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

In Focus: River Cruising

Riviera intensifies support for North American travel advisors

All-suite vessel Geoffrey Chaucer is due to enter service for Riviera River Cruises this year
Riviera River Cruises increased its commitment to the North American trade by accepting bookings for its European sailings exclusively from travel advisors.

Riviera is also now assisting travel advisors with flight arrangements and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for their clients. Additionally, several familiarization trips will be offered in the spring.

‘Riviera River Cruises has always been supportive of the travel agency community and we’re excited to take that support even further in 2020,’ said Marilyn Conroy, EVP sales and marketing for North America.

Referring direct business to advisors

‘As we begin taking bookings solely from travel advisors, we look forward to turning business back over to them when consumers come to us directly. We want Riviera to be the river cruise line advisors think of first, and we believe this makes us the only line that can honestly say it is 100% supportive of the travel agency distribution system.’

Since Jan. 1, consumers who contact Riviera directly are being referred to book their river cruise through their own travel advisor or, if they don’t already have one, the booking will be turned over to the nearest advisor to them with whom Riviera already has a relationship.

All-in-one bookings

Also since the start of the year, Riviera is assisting advisors with flight arrangements and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays throughout Europe for clients who want to extend their trip. The line has negotiated attractive airfares between the US and Europe, and advisors will be able to arrange for flights, hotels and the river cruise, and purchase travel insurance, for clients all in the same booking process.

Additionally, Riviera will be offering familiarization trip invitations to advisors who have completed the company’s online training course.

Extended hours for reservations

Riviera recently expanded the operating hours for its reservation line to accommodate travel advisors in the western US and Canada. The line is open 9 a.m. Eastern Time/6 a.m. Pacific Time to 8 p.m. Eastern time/5 p.m. Pacific time.

Riviera’s reservation team is led by Chris Barker and also includes Merle Twigg, Ryan McVinnie, Suzanne Williams and Adam Spark.

The line operates 15 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including exclusive departures for solo travelers with no single supplement. Its fleet of 13 ships is one of the youngest in Europe, with none older than six years.