Riviera Travel recently hosted six travel agents on a fam trip on the Rhine, Strasbourg and Heidelberg itinerary, giving them an insight into what clients can expect on board and during excursions.
Sailing from the picturesque Cologne on Geoffrey Chaucer and visiting the Rhine Gorge and Koblenz, among other destinations, these agents were hosted by Riviera Travel key account manager Beverley Philpotts and business development executive Jessica Payne.
Sampling the full Riviera experience, agents gained valuable knowledge, to be put to good use when speaking to clients. Here’s their story.
Abbie Ross, Hays
“We can easily sell this now to a diverse range of ages of our customers. The cruise has something for everyone.
“I picked up some real insider knowledge. The drinks package, along with the tea and coffee machine, actually means guests can have 24 hour drinks at all times.
“I will 100 per cent make more sales as a result of this trip. Since being back, I’ve already given out five brochures to customers who are interested in river cruises.
“I feel like this will be such an easy sell going forward, even switch-selling from the typical bucket and spade holidays. This is something I’m so confident in with me having this as a personal experience.”
Catherine Bracegirdle, Not Just Travel
“I absolutely loved the trip. The ship was much more luxurious than I expected and the cabin was nicer. I thought I’d feel a bit shut in, but I didn’t.
“I also suffer with sea sickness and came prepared with tablets. I didn’t take any, as the ship was so smooth.
“It was the most relaxing trip I’ve ever been on and also the only one where I’ve come back and have lost weight. My favourite places were Strasbourg and Heidelberg – they were absolutely beautiful with such character.
“It was great seeing the different cabins. I can now happily speak to people about the amazing food, amazing staff, how relaxing the whole trip was and how well organised it was.”
Mike Silford, Suitcase Travel
“The ship was magnificent and is not undersold being five-star. The floor plan, especially the split level to the restaurant and to the lounge above, is designed really well.
“There are lots of space-saving designs around the ship and in the cabins. I received a great understanding of the type of passenger, as this is the first cruise that I have done with Riviera and a cruise with predominantly UK-based passengers, as opposed to most other cruise lines that are multinational.
“I enjoyed Heidelberg and Strasbourg, but the unexpected highlight for me was Speyer and the Tecknik Museum. I had never heard of it before.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and the Riviera ship and ambience – this will make it easier to sell.”
Sonia Lee, Go Cruise
“The trip was fantastic. It was superbly organised from start to finish. This was my first river cruise trip and it didn’t disappoint.
“The magnificent cathedral at Cologne stood out, with its imposing architectural grandeur right in the centre square.
“The old and the new buildings blending together showcases how the city embraces traditions while evolving into a new era.”
- Learn more about Riviera Travel’s plans for travel agent partnerships in this Cruise Corner interview with the operator’s key account manager Claire Hills.