Uniworld’s River Royale

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Young claims that Uniworld pays the highest commission levels in the travel industry and they market exclusively through the travel agent. They have incentives for high-producing agencies, including overrides.

Three new ships, five new Europe river cruises, and one new river cruise in Russia will be introduced in 2011, along with a number of optional pre- and post-cruise extensions. New ships include the River Antoinette, which will sail Castles Along the Rhine, the Douro Spirit, sailing in Portugal and Spain’s Douro River Valley, and the River Victoria, which will take passengers on the Imperial Waterways of Russia.

Special incentives for travel agents to book groups, either escorted or not, are offered including a complimentary tour conductor berth for as few as nine full fare guests, plus group savings and other features. (Group marketing support is at a dedicated group’s department: 800-425-0043.)

Rates for the 9-day Burgundy & Provence itinerary with departure dates still available in 2010 start at $2,049.

exploring beyond the portsUniworld offers a number of pre- and post-options for its river boat sailings. Obviously, from a time- and client-tested standpoint, commissionable arrangements for these pre- and post-cruise options is the way to go.

However, with the ever-increasing demand by veteran travelers for new venues and adventures, travel agents should consider the old fashioned “IT” arrangement where client’s personal tastes and desires are considered and a pre- or post-tour is arranged specifically for them.

One way to do it in Europe, and in France particularly, is the use of trains. The French Rail System is efficient and easy to use. Signage in all the stations make it simple for clients to access specific trains in a timely manner. The French system (SNCF) offers transportation via the TGV, high-speed trains throughout France; Thalys, state-of-the-art trains linking France to cities in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands; the Lyria, between France and Switzerland; and if you wish to go to London, the high-speed channel tunnel train.

Significant information is available from Rail Europe. Train schedules are easy to access on Rail Europe’s website and a host of printed
materials is also available from Rail Europe’s offices in the U.S.