Riviera River Cruises taking U.S. bookings solely from advisors

Riviera River Cruises' George Eliot sails mainly Rhine itineraries.

Riviera River Cruises’ George Eliot sails mainly Rhine itineraries.

U.K.-based Riviera River Cruises will only take North American bookings from travel advisors, effective Jan. 1.

The 13-ship line said it has experienced “rapid growth in sales” from travel advisors. Riviera offers 15 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways.

If consumers contact the cruise line directly, they will be directed to book with their travel advisor. If they don’t already have an advisor, Riviera will refer them to the advisor nearest the consumer who already has a relationship with Riviera.

“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,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera’s executive vice president of sales and marketing for North America. “This is a relationship we can all benefit from.”

Riviera also announced several other agent-friendly initiatives for the new year. 

Starting Jan. 1, the river cruise line will be able to help advisors with flights and pre- and post-cruise hotel stays throughout Europe. Riviera said it has negotiated favourable airfares from the U.S. to Europe. Advisors will be able to arrange flights, hotels, a river cruise and travel insurance in the same booking process.

Several fam trips are planned for the spring. Advisors who have completed Riviera’s online training course will receive emailed invitations.

Riviera has grown rapidly in recent years, including through dedicated sailings for solo travellers.