A newcomer in the Australian market, Riviera Travel likes to do things differently to the better-known river cruise operators.
The European river cruise line has disrupted the local market with its launch here in Australia in mid-2016, with bookings from Australians doubled in the past year.
Riviera Travel international sales & marketing manager, Tom Morgan spoke to Travel Monitor about the company’s growth, what makes their river cruises different and how agents can get on board the sales boom.
“We’ve now had more passengers travel with us and word of mouth from them is one contributing factor. Over 97% of our customers say they would travel again with us.” Tom Morgan said.
“We have also seen a high take up from Australia for our no single supplement cabins and dedicated solo river cruises.”
Tom Morgan describes Riviera Travel is firmly a five-star river cruise line, which offers much better value than others in this market.
“One of the main things we do differently is that we don’t offer an all-inclusive river cruise experience. What I mean by this is we include the things your customers want, so all excursions and the great food on board is included in the price but we don’t do all inclusive drinks.”
“Many of our customer don’t drink or only have the odd drink with dinner so we don’t think it’s fair to make everyone pay, especially when many customers want to explore and not feel like they have to drink on the ship. We do offer a drinks package for $199pp for a 7-night cruise or they can buy drinks as they go with a large glass of wine costing around 4 euros.”
Riviera drops the ‘all inclusive’ fare so customers only pay for what they want. This enables the company to offer fares up to 50 percent lower than other major lines.
“The volume of customers we take every year lets us pass on the great rates we receive to the customer. While we are new to the Australian market, we are not new to river cruising,” Tom Morgan explains.
Travel Agents can better book their clients with Riviera Travel as the company has increased their sales presence in Australia. Riviera is looking to further grow this presence, noting Australia as an important market focus.