Beginning in the New Year, Riviera River Cruises is increasing its commitment to travel advisors. The UK-based river cruise operator will accept North American bookings exclusively from travel advisors, effective Jan. 1, 2020, “in response to rapid growth in sales through the travel agency community.”
Consumers who contact Riviera directly will be referred to book their river cruise through their own travel advisor or, if they don’t already have one, the booking will be turned over to the nearest advisor to them with whom Riviera already has a relationship.
Riviera will also begin assisting travel advisors with flight arrangements and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for their clients starting on Jan. 1. Advisors will be able to arrange flights, hotel and river cruise accommodations, and purchase travel insurance for clients, all in the same booking process.
Additionally, several fam trips for advisors will be available in the spring of 2020. Fam trip invitations will be offered by email to advisors who have completed Riviera’s online training course.
“Riviera River Cruises has always been supportive of the travel agency community and we’re excited to take that support even further in 2020,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ executive vice president sales and marketing North America. “As we begin taking bookings solely from travel advisors, we look forward to turning business back over to them when consumers come to us directly. We want Riviera to be the river cruise line advisors think of first, and we believe this makes us the only line that can honestly say it is 100% supportive of the travel agency distribution system. This is a relationship we all can benefit from.”
Riviera River Cruises also recently announced that it will expand its hours of operation for its reservations line to accommodate travel advisors in the western U.S. and Canada. Starting on Jan. 1, the reservations line will be open 9 a.m. Eastern Time/6 a.m. Pacific Time to 8 p.m. Eastern Time/5 p.m. Pacific Time. Riviera’s reservations team is led by Chris Barker, and includes Merle Twigg, Ryan McVinnie, Suzanne Williams and Adam Spark.