Letter from the Editor

It’s our blustery March issue and if you’re looking out for fair winds in your 2012 sales projections, you won’t want to miss this month’s features on European river cruising and small ship cruising in the U.S. The demand for cruising product has become literally insatiable, prompting more and more new builds for all of the destinations the river cruise companies serve. AMAWaterways, Avalon and Uniworld all have new builds on the Mekong this year and their inventory is fi lling up fast. Viking River Cruises is putting six new Longships on European rivers over the next fi ve months. They’re also adding two new builds in 2013 and two more in 2014 for a total of 10 new ships in the line’s inventory. And here’s the thing, they’re already booking them. Uniworld is putting another new ship on European rivers next year. Its bookings in the North American market, by the way, are up over 40 percent this year over last, making it their best sales year ever. AMAWaterways is up more than 24 percent this year and they have a new ship in Europe, as well, in addition to the Mekong and Africa. Avalon, too, is seeing its best sales year ever.

And don’t discount domestic river cruising either with one river cruising company—American Cruise Lines—offering more than 30 itineraries throughout the U.S. They offer excellent travel products for families with a wealth of activities and historical attractions that can be shared with multigeneration vacationers. If your clients want to step up to a yachting vacation without the hassles and expense of owning a boat, there’s American Safari Cruises, which can take them to some of the hottest destinations in Alaska, on the Snake and Columbia rivers, even the Hawaiian Islands—all destinations that are perfect for the active vacationer who wants a taste of something unique. American Safari Cruises, too, is bringing another new ship on board its inventory in 2013. It will debut in Alaska during the summer sailing season and then head down to the Snake and Columbia rivers in the fall and spring.

There’s also new product on the Mississippi, with next month’s debut of the Great American Steamboat Company’s Steamboat American Queen, the largest paddle wheeler ever built that will offer, among other things, Epic Civil War voyages. The point is, if you’re not selling river cruises, you’re missing out on some very lucrative sales and commissions so it’s time get on board and check out our river and small ship cruise features in this month’s issue.

all-inclusive resort guide

Still another must read, must save, and for that matter—a great pullout to give to clients—is this month’s All-Inclusive Resort Guide-The Caribbean & Mexico, an in-depth listing of all-inclusives with all the information you’ll need to sell these resort brands.

next month

We’re going to be bringing you the new Panama Specialist Program, full of information on new product and loads of information on how to sell Panama as the hot vacation destination it’s become. We’re also going to be bringing you an onboard feature on Lindblad Expeditions’ fascinating Galapagos program, a pair of New Zealand vacation options, a tasty feature on Brussels, a look at paradise in Hawaii, plus a whole lot more. In the meantime, have a great read.—Rick Shively