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Viva Cruises: ‘Building brand awareness in the UK is vital’

Viva Cruises, Viva Two

Viva Cruises COO Andrea Kruse explains how the river cruise operator intends to spread its message in the UK market and improve trade relationships.

What are the key objectives for Viva Cruises over the coming months?

As well as continuing to build awareness of Viva Cruises in the UK market, our main objective is focused on the trade – we want more tour operators to feature and sell our products to consumers.

After the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in demand for European river cruises from a wide variety of international markets – so we’ve got a very international approach. However, at the moment, our main focus markets are the UK, US, Scandinavia and Spain.

How are you building your brand presence and awareness?

We’ve had a PR and communications agency based in the UK since the end of 2019, which is helping us spread the name of Viva Cruises, create brand awareness and differentiate us against other river cruise operators.

In terms of trade, we have recently appointed a sales office in the UK with two major objectives: educating the trade about Viva Cruises and getting more UK tour operators and travel agents to feature and sell our itineraries to consumers.

Viva Cruises COO Andrea Kruse
Viva Cruises COO Andrea Kruse

What’s your message for UK travel agents who do not know much about the brand?

Viva Cruises was founded in 2018 as the first in-house tour operator of Swiss shipping company, Scylla AG.

Since then, it has grown rapidly and now boasts an eight-ship fleet sailing on major European rivers, including Viva One and Viva Two – our own new-build ships – with the third one, Viva Enjoy, launching in September 2024.

What can guests expect on Viva Enjoy?

The ship will have 95 cabins for 190 passengers, three restaurants, an open-plan lounge and a spacious sun deck and fitness and wellness area.

Viva Enjoy will mainly sail on the Danube from September to December 2024. Its 12-night maiden voyage will leave on 22 September 2024 from Frankfurt to Vienna.

Will more new ships follow in the future?.

We have several other ships in our fleet, which we are gradually renovating and adapting to the Viva Cruises’ look and feel.

The latest ones were Viva Voyage and Viva Gloria. They were renovated earlier this year and now feature a fresh new design and bar concept called Viva’s Vino, where guests can enjoy a wide variety of wines.

All these renovations and new ships mean that we have one of the most modern fleets on Europe’s rivers, something we are very proud of.

How do you differentiate your brand against other river cruise operators?.

All Viva itineraries include our signature all-inclusive product, which includes snacks, full board, high-quality alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, minibar, beauty products from luxury cosmetic brand, Rituals, wifi and all tips and gratuities.

Viva was also the first river tour operator in Europe to offer cruises all year round.

From January to March each year (while most cruise lines are still in hibernation), we have themed cruises, including wellness itineraries and shorter city trips for those who prefer travelling on the river at the beginning of the year.

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