River cruise newcomer impresses senior Australian cruise agent
“A great value product which Australians will love once they hear more about it,” is how the General Manager of Perth cruise agency, Bicton Travel, describes river cruises with Australian market newcomer, Riviera Travel, following a famil aboard one of Riviera’s ships in Europe.
Bicton Travel GM, Michael Middleton, was hosted aboard Riviera Travel’s new river ship, Emily Bronte, for several days in Holland during a CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) conference in Amsterdam from November 17 to 20, 2017.
The 167-passenger Emily Bronte was one of four, five-star, all-suite ships launched in Europe earlier this year by Riviera Travel, which is based in the UK as the market leader of European river cruises.
“This was my first experience onboard a Riviera Travel ship and I was very impressed,” said Mr Middleton.
“From my time onboard, I could see Riviera offers a stylish and luxurious product that’s also very affordable and that should really appeal to Australians,” he said. The service was excellent and the food was fantastic and Riviera also ensures the cruise experience is flexible, with a mix of included tours and free time, which Australians will appreciate. Australians will also like the fact that fares don’t include automatic gratuities so they can tip as they like.”
Mr Middleton said he was confident Australian sales for Riviera Travel would rise as awareness spread of the product, which was launched in the Australian market for the first time last year.
“At Bicton Travel, we now have first-hand experience of Riviera Travel product so that will help us sell more of their product. And as more Australians cruise with Riviera, word will spread quickly so I expect they will do well in this market.”
Established in 1984, Riviera Travel offers a fleet of 11 luxury ships which will carry a record number of guests on 300 river cruises across Europe in 2018.
The company last year launched its first campaign targeted at Australians, with a dedicated website and brochure in Australian dollars. Riviera Travel has a no-direct-booking policy, with all bookings by Australians made via travel agents. In Australia, Riviera Travel product is distributed by wholesalers Cruiseco and Cruise Traveller.
Including daily shore excursions, fine dining and afternoon tea, fares with Riviera Travel are available from A$2099 per person – twin-share or solo use – for a seven-night Blue Danube cruise and from A$4349 per person – twin-share or solo use – for Riviera’s most popular cruise itinerary, a 14-night Heart of Europe cruise between Cologne and Budapest.
Unlike other lines, Riviera offers a simple, transparent and affordable fare structure, with no hidden costs, and a no-discounting policy which saves guests from discovering fellow passengers have paid less than them for the same cabin.
Bookings and brochures are available via Australian travel agents. Visit www.rivieratravel.com.au