In Travel Leaders Group’s recent survey that highlights luxury travel trends for 2014, the top luxury “destination” is European river cruising. In the 2014 Virtuoso Luxe Report, river cruising took the second spot in terms of the “five biggest travel trends for 2014.” In fact, river cruising is so popular that half of the new ships launching in 2014, according to stats published during the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) state of the industry press conference back in January, are river cruise ships. Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA, told us during an interview that “river cruising is the fastest-growing segment of the cruise industry. It’s quite popular for people who are avid cruisers already. We see the demographic for river cruises skew much more to the Boomers, who really like the idea of the ships…and the ability to walk on walk off each day into a different community on the river.” (The full Christine Duffy interview is available on recommend.com).
And that brings us to the river cruising story we feature in this issue, but there’s a twist—it’s a river cruising product in our own backyard, along the Columbia River and its tributaries on board Un-Cruise Adventures’ S.S. Legacy. Cruise editor Vivian Holley writes, “Book clients aboard S.S. Legacy and they’ll travel storied waterways once plied by pioneers sans WiFi, TV and cabin phone…. [Clients will] trace the epic journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Westward expansion, and the colorful steamboat era, when communities transformed from Indian villages to bustling boat landings.”
Our own backyard also gives us Rhode Island. Editor Lane Nieset traveled to the smallest state in the U.S. and writes here that it’s “teeming with culture, culinary delights and a charming ambiance, most evident in its capital city Providence, and the state’s seaside gem, Newport.”
Of course, not every client wants to stay stateside, and for those travelers looking to see beyond our boundaries, Recommend’s editors traversed the globe to bring you stories on Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa and Okinawa. Check out our masthead to see where Recommend’s editors are off to this month—no coincidence there are two European river cruise inaugurals.
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In this issue, you’ll find the Great Britain Travel Planner created in partnership with VisitBritain. It highlights some of Great Britain’s best offerings, including its singular destinations in Scotland, England and Wales; must-do 2014 events, including Homecoming Scotland; countryside enchantments; cultural and heritage attractions; its culinary highs and its shopping delights. We’ve also included information on the tremendous array of airlift to the destination from the U.S. and Canada, and listed both the British and U.S. tour operators that can help you create the perfect vacation for your clients.
We hope that once you read through this planner, you’ll realize that although London is truly magnificent, there’s a world waiting for your clients beyond England’s gleaming capital city. As Sandie Dawe, VisitBritain’s CEO, says, “As an American, if you’ve been to London and you’ve been to the Cotswolds, you might think, ‘I’ve done it all, so why go somewhere else?’ And we want to say, ‘Well, no.’ If you like the Cotswolds, then you’ll like Suffolk, Kent, Devon and Cornwall. If you like Scotland and the Highlands and you’ve been there, then you are probably going to like Wales, or the Lake District.” In other words, when presenting Great Britain to your clients, point them “outside the box”—surfing in Wales, cooking with local chefs in Scotland, antique shopping in Bath.
become a CATS—certified anguilla travel specialist
The all-new Anguilla Travel Agent Specialist Program offers information on everything this island offers: from its very elegant accommodations, including some fabulous villas, to restaurant picks, must-sees, festivals and the most important information of all—how to get to Anguilla. Once you look over the course material and take the 20-question exam—available online at edu.recommend.com/anguilla—you’ll be eligible for an array of incentives, including prizes, consumer leads, The Travel Institute and Association of Canadian Travel Agencies credits, and FAM trip opportunities to one of the Caribbean’s most elegant destinations.