A group of agents had a spring in their step when Amadeus River Cruises kicked its 2019 cruise season with a mega fam on the Dutch and Belgian waterways aboard its flagship Amadeus Queen.
The trip – which took place last week – included a visit to the world-famous Keukenhof gardens in the opening week. Over a period of just two months each year the 80-acre park showcases a dazzling display of seven million blooms – many of them tulips – which is always a top excursion for clients on springtime sailings.
A total of 40 agents from the UK and US were invited to experience the Amadeus product on a two-part sailing between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where they were treated to the full passenger experience. Other excursions included city tours in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, plus a visit to the impressive Delta Works, the world’s largest flood protection system.
Training sessions were held throughout the cruise, providing agents with an in-depth understanding of the European river operator’s itineraries, passenger profile and fleet – the most modern on Europe’s waterways. Hosts from Amadeus River Cruises UK also held sessions to explore how they can work more closely with agents to increase their river sales.
Amadeus River Cruises UK sales manager Dave Chidley, who was with agents throughout both legs of the fam, said: “The trade is extremely important to us and we understand that it’s only possible to live and breathe a product if you have in fact lived and breathed it, so we wanted to enable agents to experience and taste the product for themselves.
“We know ourselves that when agents have first-hand knowledge of a brand they are much more confident when it comes to selling and we see it as a vital part of our role to help facilitate this.”
The fam received an enthusiastic response from participants, and some have already reaped the benefits of the trip.
Connoisseur Travel’s James Clark said: “I had a great time on board and was very impressed by Amadeus and the Amadeus Queen. In fact, on my return to the office we had an enquiry for a river cruise for a single gentleman. I was of course able to tell him all about the product and he came in and booked.”
Commenting on the Amadeus Queen, The Cruise Specialists product manager Nicola Cowan said she was particularly taken with the relaxed feel in the Amadeus Club – situated at the aft of the ship – which has a swimming pool, bar and relaxed lounge area.
She added: “My biggest surprise was the size of staterooms which seemed much larger than other ships I have been on. I was lucky enough to visit the Keukenhof gardens in full bloom on an excursion, and we had the most entertaining tour guide who really brought the gardens to life. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Amadeus to any of my colleagues or clients.”
Following the success of the recent agent sailing, Amadeus River Cruises has committed to putting on more fam trips throughout 2019. Any agents wishing to register their interest or find out more about what the operator has on offer should contact [email protected].