ONBOARD AVALON POETRY II — Travel advisors are in a good position to help fully vaccinated Canadian travellers feel confident making travel plans, says Steve Born, VP Marketing for Group Voyagers, which markets the Globus family of brands. That includes cruises with Avalon Waterways.
This past week Born has been sailing onboard the Avalon Poetry II with media – including Travelweek – as well as regular passengers on the Rhone River in France, for an ‘Active & Discovery’ cruise.
The ship departed from Lyon on Oct. 5 and wound its way along the Rhone to Port-Saint-Louis, near Marseille for an 8-day itinerary.
Born spoke to Travelweek about the river cruise company’s return to sailing.
“There are many benefits to river cruising; the appeal has always been there,” explained Born. “I’m optimistic for advisors – if they can hang in there, they’ll be rewarded by their clients for their expertise.”
With its latest promotion ‘Now is Our Time’, Avalon Waterways is hoping to lure travellers from the Great White North with the tagline: ‘The World Misses Canadians. Rekindle Your Love For Travel.’
“For us it wasn’t a matter of consumer demand, it was a matter of access. We had plans in place since March 2021 to prepare for the day,” says Born.
He and his colleagues first looked at which countries were open to vaccinated Americans and started promoting the ‘spirit of travel’ in May 2021.
“For Canada, we chose to start our ‘Now is Our Time’ promotion now when we see a confidence growing in the Canadian market,” Born told Travelweek.
Avalon Waterways resumed sailing July 27, 2021 in Europe and is currently offering two-thirds of its itineraries. The river cruise line plans to offer all tours for 2022.
A new storyteller series featuring authors and musicians will launch later this month, the first edition kicking off with celebrated Outlander author Diana Gabaldon.
Experiencing the ‘Suite Life’, with its two full decks of panoramic suites, 91 guests (capacity is 128 guests) embraced the new normal of travel on this most recent sailing. All passengers were fully vaccinated with proof of vaccination and completed all pre-entry forms for France. A PCR test done within 72 hours of the return to Canada was included.
Check Travelweek’s Facebook page for daily updates including crew profiles and excursion news from the Active & Discovery sailing on the Rhone on the Avalon Poetry II. Also watch for an upcoming feature in Travelweek on sailing with Avalon Waterways, and the company’s future plans for 2022.