“We’ve been waiting for this for over 14 months and it’s finally here,” said Alex Pinelo, v.p. of sales for AmaWaterways, during this week’s virtual AmaWaterways‘ Fireside Chat.
During the fireside chat, AmaWaterways announced they will be sailing through Europe this summer on select sailings. However, the line has suspended a series of departures through Sept. 11, 2021.
“I am very, very excited that we are finally restarting the whole season,” said Rudi Schreiner, AmaWaterways’ co-founder and president, during the chat. “I am happy we can get back to work on July 3 and that we are moving the entire fleet in and will be operating the entire fleet until the end of this year.”
During the restart, AmaWaterways will be heading to Portugal on July 3 aboard AmaDouro and aboard AmaVida on July 27. The line will be sailing through France starting on July 22 aboard AmaLyra and AmaKristina, and July 29 aboard AmaDolce. Itineraries on the Danube River will resume on July 21 aboard AmaMagna and AmaCerto, on Aug. 21 on board AmaLea and on Aug. 22 on board AmaBella, on Sept. 5 on board AmaVerde, on Sept. 6 on board AmaViola, and on Sept. 11 aboard AmaSonata. And for sailings on the Rhine River, AmaWaterways will be sailing aboard AmaSiena on July 29, and AmaMora on Aug. 5, AmaSerena and AmaLucia on Aug. 14, and on the AmaPrima on Aug. 24.
The line will resume sailings at 75 percent capacity for now on all vessels.
Looking to 2022, Kristin Karst, co-founder and executive v.p., AmaWaterways, said that it’s “filling up strongly.”
Schreiner added that, “The situation with the pandemic is moving forward, cases have been declining about 90 percent and a similar situation is happening in Europe. We will follow the guidelines of each country when it comes to entering the country and coming on board.”
While on board, Schreiner says that guests will be required to wear a mask when moving around the ship and when they’re not sitting down and eating. While in ports, guests will be able to go on their own and visit the towns. “One thing we don’t really yet know are what are going to be the individual restrictions when visiting places, but guests will be free to move around,” he added. “We are still five-seven weeks from the start, by then things might change.
“Our shore excursions will be altered, we’ll be doing a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking.… We’ll adjust and offer plenty of opportunities if things aren’t open [in the destinations],” he said.
“It’s about customization and catering to the interests together with the rules of the country,” added Karst.
Travel advisors are encouraged to keep up-to-date on the AmaWaterways’ website, as the line is updating protocols almost in real-time, said Karst.
When the line returns to sailing, a few things will be altered in order to keep guests safe. For one, said Schreiner, “We are completely changing our dining for breakfast and lunch. I’ve been working with our executive team for the last year on a new menu, on a new presentation. No more buffets; everything will be served, and you will have a tremendous choice. Choices will almost double from what you had on the buffet. We are all very excited for this whole new approach. I think guests will love it.”
For an added protection to planning your client’s future cruse, travelers will be protected with the line’s Ultimate Cruise Flexibility program, which has been extended through June 30, 2021. For added protection, traveler’s can add the line’s Travel Waiver Plus and enhance their coverage with AmaWaterways’ Cruise Protection Plan.
Travel Advisor Rates
Advisors who have completed and graduated from AmaWaterways’ course, can take advantage of the travel advisor rate up to 90 days before departure. For those who have not yet graduated, Karst says “you still can do so; the course is about 90 minutes.”
Another perk for advisors is the Sail with Me Program. Advisors who book three new FIT bookings through June 30 will be reimbursed for their FAM. You just have to pick a date you want to sail on, put on a virtual event with your BDM, promote it, and get people to sail with you. You’ll also get commission on those three bookings as well,” said Pinelo.