by Charlotte Flach
Shearings boosts 2022 river cruise programme
Shearings has boosted its 2022 European river cruise programme with the addition of eight new no-fly tours. MS Arena and A-Rosa Aqua will also join CroisiEurope vessels and MV Esmeralda to operate the river programme.
Featured rivers include the Rhine and Moselle, the Danube and the Seine, Loire and Rhone French rivers. One of the new tours is the ‘Floriade’ cruise, a once-in-a-decade opportunity to combine a cruise on the Dutch and Belgian Waterways, with a visit to the famous horticultural exhibition.
Cruises range in duration from a four-day ‘Amsterdam and Dutch Bulbfields’ cruise, to a 12-day journey through the heart of Europe ‘Cruising the Danube – Vienna and Budapest’. In addition, seven-, nine- and 10-day cruise holidays are available with dates from April to September.
Prices start at £429pp for a four-day cruise in Holland and all cruises can be secured with a £25pp deposit. The holidays include coach travel from local joining points, or door-to-door service; b&b at any pre- or post-cruise hotels specified, full board on the cruise, all drinks on board (except premium brands) and included excursions as detailed.
Ashley Dellow, Leger Shearings Group’s Head of Retail Sales, said: “We are so pleased that we can finally recommence European river cruising with an expanded programme, with well-known and highly respected cruise operator partners.
“Shearings makes it easy for agents to sell with nearly everything, from start to finish, thought of and included in the price to give a stress-free journey to the European rivers and a great holiday on the water.”
MSC introduces its first-ever winter Northern Europe itinerary
MSC Cruises has introduced a Northern Europe itinerary for this winter – the first time that the company has offered a winter programme in the region, with sales are open now.
Starting from November 14 2021, MSC Magnifica will offer seven-night cruises visiting five of Europe’s most popular cities – the Northern Pearls. The ship will call at Hamburg, IJmuiden/Amsterdam; Zeebrugge for Bruges and Brussels; Le Havre for Paris; and Southampton for the UK. There will be extended stays in port of up to 12 hours, and embarkation will be possible in each port.
UK holidaymakers will have access to weekly embarkation at Southampton’s brand-new Horizon Cruise terminal from November to April.
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director of MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said: “Following on from a full summer season with one of our newest ships sailing in the UK, we are pleased to be able to bring another first to our British guests with a winter itinerary in Northern Europe.
“MSC Magnifica, a popular ship with our guests, will offer weekly embarkation in Southampton from the brand-new Horizon Terminal at ABP Southampton that opened this summer. This gives holidaymakers direct and convenient access to some of Europe’s best cities for a great winter cruise.”
Princess Cruises debuts new marketing campaign
Princess Cruises has launched a new video advertisement called ‘Let’s take a REAL HOLIDAY’ as part of a new marketing campaign.
The advert will feature across a variety of platforms including UK Video on Demand channels Sky Adsmart, ITV Hub and All4, in addition to YouTube and Princess’ own social media channels.
The advert will run from October 4 through to November 30, 2021 alongside the cruise line’s current consumer 2022/23 Collection campaign, which includes fares starting from £759pp for a seven-night all-inclusive Norwegian Fjords cruise departing on April 23, 2022 on Sky Princess.
Tony Roberts, Vice President Princess Cruises UK & Europe, said: “With international travel opening up once more, we’re all ready to take a ‘real holiday’ and our new advertisement encompasses exactly what this means with Princess.
“As the summer draws to a close, marking the end of our Summer Seacations season, this campaign aims to inspire guests to think about their holiday plans for next year and beyond, in turn helping travel agents sell even more cruises with Princess."
Hurtigruten becomes first cruise lie to join ATAS
Hurtigruten Group has joined the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers (ATAS), becoming the first-ever expedition cruise company to join.
ATAS agents will have access to Hurtigruten’s travel agent portal, agentportal.hurtigruten.com. The portal will include information about destinations, ships and excursions, and access to custom marketing materials.
This year, Hurtigruten Group announced a series of new itineraries taking guests to lesser-explored destinations, including the Galapagos Islands, the Bissagos and Northern Russia.
Mark Walter, Head of UK Sales at Hurtigruten Group, said: “We are delighted to be a member of ATAS, and to bring the Hurtigruten experience to those passionate about adventure travel. This is a great opportunity for us to align with like-minded agents who understand our brand, products and ethos and to showcase the very best of what we have to offer to customers.”
American Queen Steamboat Company reveals rebrand
American Queen Steamboat Company is now American Queen Voyages, the new overarching brand merging American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines.
Offering a varied and comprehensive portfolio of North American itineraries, American Queen Voyages comprises American Queen Voyages River, American Queen Voyages Lakes and Ocean (including the Victory Cruise Lines fleet) and American Queen Voyages Expedition, which includes new Alaska and Central America expedition experiences beginning 2022.
Looking ahead, American Queen Voyages will offer eight vessels by 2023 and plans to deliver encounter-driven travel experiences throughout America's heartland rivers, the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and the Eastern Seaboard, Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula and the wilds of Alaska.
Kari Tarnowski, Senior Vice President Marketing and Sales, American Queen Voyages said: “To see America, you have to look beyond the roads, and American Queen Voyages embraces this notion with compelling travel encounters.
“We celebrate 10 years in business as American Queen Steamboat Company and embrace its legacy as we enter this new phase. We look forward to delivering American Queen Voyages to our guests, travel advisors and port partners across North America.”