A river cruise line that until last year was hardly known on the UK market is now providing a raft of opportunities for agents.
Fred. River Cruises, one of the pioneers of trade river cruise sales in the UK, was appointed GSA for Austrian-owned Amadeus River Cruises in 2017. This month the line launched its latest vessel, the 140-passenger Amadeus Provence sailing on the Rhone and Saone, and at the christening event in France trade partners and guests heard about the new-build for 2018.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Amadeus is one of Europe’s longest established river lines and the addition of Amadeus Provence, with unique features including an infinity pool along with the company’s trademark walk-in wardrobes in every stateroom, brings the fleet to 14. The Amadeus Queen, which debuts in spring 2018, will be the first ship to boast an indoor pool.
Representatives from Fred. attended the christening held outside Lyon and were impressed by the ship that has 62 standards cabins measuring 188 square feet and eight 284 square foot suites, the majority with panoramic drop-down windows. Other amenities include a pool deck bar, gym, hair salon, massage room, complimentary bikes and a five-course dinner each night as standard. Unlike the majority of lines Amadeus does not include excursions in the fare, allowing clients to choose from a range of pre-bookable packages.
Steve Williams, managing director Fred. Olsen Travel, said: “Amadeus offers a different type of stripped back product that does not compromise on quality. As the river cruise product becomes more mature, and people return more than once, the option for agents to offer clients a choice regarding excursions is an attractive one and means they are not paying for tours they don’t go on. Plus, all excursion packages are fully commissionable.
“Fares represent tremendous value and the three premium Silver ships, and the newest vessel, have a range of excellent onboard amenities and the decor is very elegant. As far as Amadeus Provence is concerned, there’s not another ship like it on the Rhone.”
This year Fred launched an agents’ reward card scheme that runs until the end of 2017. Beginning with a £10 Love2shop voucher for the first Amadeus booking, it culminates with an iPad Mini for the 12th booking.
Amadeus Provence sails on seven-night roundtrip itineraries from Lyon, visiting historic destinations such as Avignon and Arles, with shore excursions to the Camargue and Beaujolais wine region.
Strengthening the fleet further in 2018 will be the 164-passenger Amadeus Queen, which will operate on the Danube, Rhine, Main and Dutch and Belgian waterways. Similar to the three premium Silver ships, a new onboard highlight will be an indoor pool.
“It will have a roof which can be opened in fine weather and in the evenings this area may also be used for informative talks, functions and cinema showings,” said Amadeus managing director Marcus Leskovar.
“In the building of this new ship we, in close co-operation with the renowned Dutch shipyard De Hoop, aimed to follow the award-winning model of the Silver ships and also innovatively further develop the Amadeus Queen. There will be generous public areas and spacious cabins, and the 12 suites will have an outdoor balcony and cosy reading corner.”
To find out more about the Amadeus reward scheme call 01473 242665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. fredrivercruises.co.uk