European Waterways has announced the release of its brochure for the 2013 cruise season. The brochure highlights what the company calls one-of-a-kind “Longer Waterway Journeys” on cruises through France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. It also offers an in-depth look at the company’s diverse fleet of luxury hotel barges, which operate on the inland waterways of these five countries, as well as those of Italy, Luxembourg, England, Scotland, and Ireland.
“Along with presenting information on our many themed cruises, onboard amenities, and the overall ‘luxury barging experience,’ the 2013 brochure lays out our cruise offerings by region, detailed information, maps, and itineraries,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “This makes it a great resource for travel agents to help customers in picking the hotel barge, cruise and region that best fits their requirements.”
Banks said that “as one of the market’s most agent friendly companies, European Waterways’ 10% commission applies to their all-inclusive cruise prices, which include all the extras such as wines, bar drinks, excursions, and local transfers. Agents sometimes don’t earn commission on these because some companies charge them separately onboard. Clients tend to prefer the all inclusive approach as well. As a result, typical agent commissions can range from an average of $1,000 for a double occupancy cabin booking to over $10,000 for a 13 night charter of hotel barge Panache, which accommodates 12 passengers.”
A new highlight in the brochure are “Longer Waterway Journeys,” which traverse multiple regions of Europe, including Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxemburg. Their duration average 11 to 13 nights and cover more land than the traditional European Waterways’ cruise, which are one week.
“But don’t be fooled by the fact that these cruises cover more territory than our standard, one-week offerings,” said Banks. “You can hardly call it ‘fast paced’ when your fastest speed is five miles per hour! Our guests still enjoy the scenery and participate in local excursions that ensure they fully experience the cultural and scenic wonders of the various regions and their cities.”
Banks continued: “These longer journeys offer more of an adventure, providing guests with a rare opportunity to truly explore the character of different canals, while witnessing a wide array of charming villages, cultural attractions and landscapes along the way.”
Among European Waterways’ longer journeys are 11 or 13-night cruises from Belgium to Paris on the barges Panache, Savoir Faire, and La Nouvelle Etoile. Starting in the medieval Flemish city of Bruges, nicknamed “Venice of the North” for its canals and cobblestone market squares, the cruises will wind through Picardy before reaching Paris. Another cruise in late Fall is a 6-week/1,000 mile cruise from Provence, France to Holland that takes guests on through several countries and on historic rivers, such as the Rhone, Seine, Moselle and Rhine.