AmaWaterways, which has restarted their river cruises in Germany (see their press release HERE), has a new video (above) that details their new safety measures, which were also discussed in a VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE this week. While things are difficult now, executives for the cruise line see a rosy future ahead. It appears river cruising may be on the forefront of where cruise travel is going. -- Gerry Barker.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Seattle, Wash., Aug. 5, 2020 — With continued restrictions on gathering in place and in an effort to remain cost-effective, Holland America Line is developing new ways to help travel advisors move their business forward and keep travel dreams alive for their clients. The latest initiative introduced by the cruise line is “Virtual On Stage Alaska,” a live, online version of the “On Stage Alaska” program that pairs a lively presentation hosted by an agency in partnership with Holland America Line.
“Virtual On Stage Alaska” is designed to maintain the spirit of the original event and inspire clients to book by providing information about the culture, history and travel opportunities in Alaska. “Virtual On Stage Alaska” features Holland America Line’s Alaska Experts who broadcast a live webcam presentation with a question and answer session. At no cost to the agency, travel advisors simply promote the event within their local market and invite their clients and guests to join online from home.
“’On Stage Alaska’ is one of our most successful programs and has proven effective in boosting Alaska bookings for our agency partners, so with the need to remain distant we found a unique way to offer this program and keep Alaska top-of-mind for the 2021 season,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “There’s no better way to learn about Alaska than from people who know it best, and between our expertise of having been in Alaska for more than 70 years and the Journey Hosts who have lived it, we’re setting agencies up to successfully sell this region with an event that costs them nothing.”
Travel agencies can begin scheduling “Virtual On Stage Alaska” events now for events to be held beginning in August and running through early December. The elimination of cost to the agency and travel time for the Journey Host teams will give more agencies the opportunity to expose their clients to Holland America Line’s award-winning Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys.
“Virtual On Stage Alaska” will continue to feature Holland America Line’s 21-day promotional booking window with an exclusive “On Stage Alaska” offer for agencies to extend to attendees of up to $350 in Onboard and Land Tour credit, plus $99 deposits. Holland America Line also is offering agents an extra 2% bonus commission on new 2021 Alaska bookings through September 30, 2020.
“Holland America Line’s On Stage Alaska” is one of the longest-running and most successful marketing initiatives in the cruise industry. Kicking off its 38th year in 2020, Holland America Line has brought its passion for the Great Land to the doorsteps of its travel agency partners by combining exciting personal presentations with unbeatable booking incentives.
Travel agencies or advisors interested in hosting a “Virtual On Stage Alaska” event should contact their Business Development Manager or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel advisors can connect with their BDM and the sales team through GoHAL.com or by emailing email@example.com. Holland America Line’s sales team is active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For more information, call 1-800-426-0327.
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, Aug. 5, 2020 – Consistent with the decision announced today by the members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to voluntarily extend the pause in U.S. cruise embarkations until Oct. 31, 2020, Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests and travel advisors that we have cancelled all cruises scheduled to embark between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.
Guests are being offered an enhanced value package of a future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.
If conditions in the U.S. change and short and modified sailings are possible, the industry may consider an earlier restart, and we would consider that as well. In the meantime, we will continue to work with public health and government officials to finalize enhanced health and sanitation protocols and procedures that will guide our eventual return to service.
We thank our guests for their continued patience and support as we work through these difficult decisions. When the time is right, our terrific onboard team will be waiting to welcome our guests back to give them the great vacation they deserve.
(PRESS RELEASE)_NEW ALBANY, Ind., July 30, 2020 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower® Family Company, is excited to announce the American Countess Unsung Heroes Contest to recognize the individuals who are going above and beyond to support their communities in response to COVID-19. In anticipation of the American Countess inaugural sailing on August 23, 2020, the Unsung Heroes Contest will award five individuals with a complimentary cruise of their choice aboard any American Countess sailing on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers this September – December 2020.. The contest follows the recent announcement of AQSC’s partnership with Ochsner Health and the cruise line’s enhanced Safety and Health Protocols, which are ready to be implemented when AQSC resumes operations this summer.
“At American Queen Steamboat Company, we live by the motto Storied Rivers. Deeply Moving™, and today, we are deeply moved by the stories of the unsung heroes who are tirelessly working to support and protect their communities in the face of COVID-19,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “With our new health and safety measures in place, we look forward to welcoming these local heroes on board as we set sail once again.”
Nominations can be submitted through the contest’s dedicated landing page. Submissions are encouraged to include individuals from a range of backgrounds, from nurses, teachers, first responders and neighbors to travel agents bringing positivity to their communities. Nominations are open now through August 24, 2020, with the winners selected by an internal team comprised of AQSC leadership, including John Waggoner. The five winners will be announced on August 31, 2020, in which they will receive a complimentary cruise for themselves and one guest on board a September-December 2020 American Countess sailing. Note, eligible cruise itineraries are subject to blackout dates due to availability.
To ensure the safety and comfort of both guests and crew, AQSC is staying current with guidance, mandates and public health advancements communicated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), United State Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), United State Coast Guard (USGC), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the municipalities each vessel visits. New steps being implemented across the entire AQSC fleet include pre-cruise screening, crew screening, updated boarding processes, reduced passenger capacities, increased sanitation measures and enhanced technologies to ensure the safety of all on board. Technology highlights include Ochsner Health’s Virtual Employer Clinic, which allows team members and guests, if necessary, to virtually talk to an Ochsner healthcare professional without ever disembarking, as well as MXP Protect, which enables AQSC to implement controlled processes across critical areas of operation with thermal scanning.
For additional information and reservations, please contact American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5289, visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com or call a professional travel agent.
For more information on the new Safety and Health protocols, please visit: https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/health-and-safety-protocols/.
(UPDATED JULY 5)_ Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, hosted a virtual media briefing this week on what health and safety measures MSC has enacted. You can view his comments in full by going HERE.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Geneva, Switzerland (August 3, 2020) - Speaking today at a press conference held in Italy, MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato revealed the full details of the Company’s comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been developed to support the restart of operations in the Mediterranean, designed to protect the health and safety of guests and crew as well as the local communities that the Company’s ships will visit.
MSC Cruises has been working closely with the different authorities in the countries where the Company’s ships will call, to develop a comprehensive protocol. A dedicated task force, with the input and support of leading external medical experts, developed a robust protocol with new MSC Cruises’ specific operating procedures that go beyond the actual regional and national guidelines and effectively set a new standard. Additionally, RINA, the independent maritime certification corporation, has verified that the protocol meets the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action.
MSC Cruises has developed comprehensive operating procedures that build upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board the Company’s ships. The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises excursion as an added level of protection for guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for guests. With all of these measures in place, MSC Cruises aims to offer guests the safest possible vacation.
MSC Cruises has worked to encompass every aspect of the guest’s journey from the moment of booking, embarkation and life on board through to disembarkation and the return home, while preserving the uniqueness of the guest experience.
Restart with Mediterranean Itineraries
MSC Cruises is preparing for a potential restart this summer in the Mediterranean which — in terms of the current development of the pandemic and its tourist attractions — is where the Company’s guests would want ships to be deployed. While awaiting the necessary final approvals, two MSC Cruises’ ships are making preparations – flagship MSC Grandiosa and popular ship MSC Magnifica. MSC Grandiosa will offer 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean and MSC Magnifica will serve the East Mediterranean. Their actual departure dates will be determined in accordance with the guidelines received by the relevant authorities. The itineraries that are planned include Greece and Malta where the authorities have not only re-opened their ports to cruising but also have approved the health and safety protocol to support MSC Cruises’ restart of operations.
(PRESS RELEASE)_FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., August 3, 2020 – Atlas Ocean Voyages, the small-ship, luxe-adventure cruise brand, today announced MAX SHORE, extended, regional odysseys that include a complimentary, three- to six-day overland adventure during the voyage. These “vacations-within-vacations” bring guests to must-see, inland destinations and landmarks that Atlas is first to offer in the cruise industry. With MAX SHORE, Atlas Ocean Voyages delivers a complete, guided land-and-sea luxury experience so adventurers can immerse themselves more deeply in the attractions, traditions and excitement surrounding the Black Sea and the Holy Land. Consistent with Atlas’ All Inclusive All the Way style, air and land transportation, lodging, meals and beverages are included on MAX SHORE voyages. Furthermore, Travel Advisors who book their clients on 2021 MAX SHORE odysseys will receive a $500 or $750 gift card now – and 15 percent commission at time of their clients’ sailing – known as GET PAID NOW.
“No other cruise brand offers an included, multi-day overland adventure like Atlas Ocean Voyages does with MAX SHORE,” said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. “Essentially, we’ve combined two unforgettable, travel experiences – a luxury cruise and a fascinating land tour – into one without compromising either. Usually, tour extensions are at an additional cost and require more days pre- or post-cruise, but MAX SHORE includes the extended, overland adventure for guests without having to extend their travel time.”
Atlas Ocean Voyages remains committed to supporting Travel Advisors with GET PAID NOW. Travel Advisors immediately receive a $750 or $500 gift card for each deposited booking in a Suite or Veranda/Horizon/Adventure stateroom, respectively, plus earn 15 percent commission when their clients sail. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages’ GET PAID NOW, Travel Advisors can visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/partneroffers.
“The great thing about MAX SHORE is that they are sold as one commissionable package with everything included,” said Brandon Townsley, Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships. “We’ve seamlessly wrapped cruise, land adventures, cultural immersions and transportation in one complete package for Travel Advisors to sell. It’s a great value and Travel Advisors GET PAID NOW and earn a great commission.”
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