Globus family of brands is creating and implementing vacations that take travellers beyond the typical tour and elevate them above the traditional cruise. “Key to everything is the myriad of excursions and choice that guests have whether they choose to cruise or tour with us,” says Carla Brake, Director of Business Development, Globus family of brands, in this edition of Take 5.
1. Travel is back! How are bookings looking for the rest of 2022, and for 2023?
“Worldwide, travel is back and 2023 is coming out strong. Countries that are leading that surge in touring are in Western Europe, specifically Italy, France, Britain & Ireland, Spain & Portugal.
“For Avalon Waterways, the Active & Discovery travel style is driving bookings. Now available on every major river in Europe, these, no-one-does-it-like-this itineraries invite cruisers to be choosers, picking from up to 28 included ‘Classic’, ‘Discovery’ and ‘Active’ excursions throughout their cruise.”
2. What sort of booking trends are you seeing?
“Travellers are interested in vacations that provide them the opportunity to customize their experience to their own personal interests and tastes. They’re also interested in discovering new experiences in their favourite destinations – experiences that help them immerse in new ways – or getting them off-the-beaten path to discover new destinations with fewer crowds and even more wonder.
“For Globus, our travel styles that get them what they’re looking for are Choice Tours and Undiscovered Tours. River cruises naturally take travellers off-the-beaten path for smaller group discoveries in different ports. Our Active & Discovery cruises take that idea to a whole new level, inviting cruisers to explore their passions in incredible destinations across Europe while hiking, biking, kayaking, baking, indulging in local tastings, painting classes and more.”
3. Can you share with us some of Globus family of brands’ differentiators? Why should travel advisors recommend Globus family of brands tours to their clients?
“The Globus family of brands is creating and implementing vacations that take travellers beyond the typical tour and elevate them above the traditional cruise. Key to everything is the myriad of excursions and choice that guests have whether they choose to cruise or tour with us.
“We are THE go-to for their clients’ vacation needs. We deliver experiences that go beyond the globe’s must-see landmarks to get travellers up close to our local favourites – and favourite locals – while presenting them the greatest menu of touring styles to experience the world in the ‘wow’ ways they desire. With 12, unique ways to tour the world (see below) plus river cruising vacations across the globe, we have the perfect vacation offering for every traveller’s need.”
The Globus / Cosmos Touring portfolio:
1. Classic Tours (Globus and Cosmos)
2. Choice Touring by Globus
3. Undiscovered Tours (Globus and Cosmos)
4. Off-Season Escapes
5. Independence by Globus
6. Small Group Discoveries
7. Value-Minded Tours (Cosmos)
8. Private Tours
9. Cruise & Tour
10. Faith-Based Tours (Globus and Cosmos)
11. Rail Vacations (Globus and Cosmos)
12. Special Event Tours
4. What do you want agents to know about Avalon’s Active and Discovery cruise itineraries?
“As more cruisers choose the small-ship cruise alternative, inviting them to sail down the world’s most legendary waterways with fewer people and more of everything, we have curated a collection of the most intriguing experiences. On our Active & Discovery itineraries, the compass is in the palm of guests’ hands to choose from up to 28 included excursions.
“On our Active & Discovery cruises, featuring Avalon Choice excursions, every day is an adventure and every adventure is up to guests with nearly unlimited choices available to cruisers across every major river in Europe, including the upper and lower Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Rhône and Seine Rivers as well as the waterways of Holland and Belgium.
“Some examples of included excursion choices are …
- Spelunking into a cave in Southern France for an underground wine tasting
- Visiting a medieval marketplace in Bernkastel
- Hiking to the top of Dracula’s castle in Visegrad
- Paddling a canoe on the mighty Moselle, legendary Danube or romantic Rhine, depending on the itinerary
- Wine-tasting and vineyard walks along the Moselle
- Cycling through Le Havre or the Dutch countryside, depending on the itinerary
- Walking in the footsteps of Van Gogh through Auvers-sur-Oise or in Arles, depending on the itinerary
- Visiting Chantilly Castle where the experts of the Confrérie des Chevaliers Fouetteurs de créme Chantilly help guests create Chantilly cream
- Taking a late-night walk through haunted Viviers
- Enjoying a cocktail workshop in Palais Benedictine where world-famous Benedictine liquor is made
- Participating in a Trappist Beer tasting in Austria
“Priced from Cdn$3,495, our Active & Discovery vacations include more excursions – at the same cost – as other river cruise itineraries. They are the perfect choice for travellers who have a diverse set of interests; those who want to customize their vacation; those returning to a river for a new experience and multi-generational travellers with different passions and pace levels. There’s nothing else like them on Europe’s rivers.
“Since launching Active & Discovery cruises on the Danube River in 2017, we have added these popular itineraries to every major European waterway we sail, increasing offerings by 600%. In 2023, we are providing cruisers six Active & Discovery itineraries with 47 departures.”
5. What are some new highlights with Globus family of brands that you want to make sure agents (and their clients) have on their radar for the months ahead?
“For Avalon Waterways we’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to add Portugal to our robust vacation portfolio and that day has finally arrived. In 2024 we will be inviting guests to sail the Douro with us and experience our new eight-day cruise and Suite Ship – the Avalon Alegria.
“The Avalon Alegria will feature our signature, award-winning Panorama Suites on two full decks. Each Suite provides guests 200-square-feet of living space, Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the views for which river cruising is famous. In addition, the Alegria, will provide guests with a pool on the Sky Deck to bask in the sun and soak-in the beauty of Portugal while sailing from a new, poolside point-of-view.
“In addition, beginning in 2023, we’re inviting guests to toast an exhilarating afternoon and kick-off a lively evening on all our European cruises with complimentary drinks at Happy Hour. It’s just another way we are invested in hosting guests and every moment of their elevated cruising vacation through Europe.
“On the touring front it goes back to the point that we are the go-to for their clients’ touring needs. No matter how their clients want to see the world, with our greatest menu of touring styles and the breadth of destinations we visit we have them covered. Our team is here to help Advisors plan the perfect vacation for their clients.”