Travel agents are the driving force behind the sale of river cruises, according to research from Travel Market Report’s River Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents. As such, and when it comes to all travel product knowledge, fams play a vital role for agents not only to maintain that distinction, but to further increase their river cruise sales.
For agents who are considering ramping up their knowledge of this market segment, here are the river cruise fam policies of thirteen of the most popular river cruise lines in the industry:
AmaWaterways – Fams are offered 60 days prior to departure and are subject to availability. Fam dates and applications are on the travel agent portal on the line’s website.
American Queen Steamboat Company – Fams are offered on some summer and winter sailings, from time to time, and they are bookable inside 30 days of departure only. Fam opportunities are announced via email at varying times throughout the year. Agents must complete a fam request form and send it to the river cruise line’s office.
Avalon Waterways –Agents must be currently employed with an agency, and produce more than four traveled passengers annually. Fams can be accessed via the Globus family website.
Belmond – Fams are subject to availability and based on production of the agency; also, they are not confirmed more than 60 days from departure. Organized fam trips are by invitation only. Individual fam trip requests are qualified based on availability and production of the agency.
CroisiEurope – The line offers a 50 percent discount per person, based on availability. Escorted fams are organized several times a year, by invitation.
Crystal River Cruises – Fams are offered on select sailings throughout the season at significantly reduced rates and can be accessed on Crystal’s resource center for travel agents and through blast emails.
Emerald Waterways – Discounted rates are available for travel agent partners and are promoted to agents who have signed up to partner with the line through its website or their BDM.
Riviera River Cruises – Fams are available upon request and a 50 percent agent rate for cabins booked inside 60 days is available for any agent registered with Riviera.
Scenic – Discounted rates are available for travel agent partners and are promoted to agents who have signed up to partner with the line through its website or their BDM.
Tauck – Fams have been replaced with the operator’s agent rewards program, which allows agents to earn points based on traveled passengers to apply towards their personal travel with Tauck. Fam trips are by invitation only through the national account managers who host the trips.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises –Fams are offered throughout the year. Uniworld promotes them through email blasts and agents can sign up by calling 1-800-733-7820.
Victoria Cruises – Fams are offered through tour operators, at whose discretion participants are accepted.
Viking River Cruises – Fam trips are offered based on availability and demand. Travel agents can contact their Viking director of business development and/or inside sales for availability.