At the heart of the travel industry is the human desire to connect with people and nature in the world around us. Despite current uncertainties, this desire remains as strong as ever and we know that you, our guests, together with your trusted travel advisors, are at home dreaming and starting plans for those next precious vacations experiences – and what better way to see the world than by sailing its rivers?
Our river cruise ships welcome between 102 and 196 guests – much like boutique hotels – and sail on national waterways docking daily in very close proximity to historical sites, quaint village markets, iconic wine cellars and also with easy access to medical services if needed. Once we resume our river cruises, rest assured that we will take all preventive measures as recommended by the health authorities, as well as intensify our normal very high standards of hygiene on board. We are already working closely with our travel advisor partners here and our suppliers in the destinations we sail to ensure that all our guest and crew screenings, onboard sanitation procedures and onshore excursions will be operated in strict accordance with the most up-to-date recommended protocols.
The global situation is still evolving, but we do anticipate seeing some European river cruise companies easing into regional river cruising this summer. However, for us, a major question is when European countries will open up completely to North American travelers as this may come a bit later in a second phase.
Travel advisors are working diligently with their clients to reschedule travel plans for 2021 and 2022, and in many cases, we are seeing more friends and family members being added to these reservations. I’m very excited by the interest in France that we are seeing for AmaKristina moving over to the Rhône River ( Colors of Provence ) and the new Burgundy itinerary for AmaCello (Essence of Burgundy & Provence). For this special May message, I wanted to share a French tradition with you – May 1st is always celebrated with beautiful little flowers, Lily of the Valley or “Muguet” (pronounced “mu gay”). The custom began on May 1, 1561, when King Charles IX received a sprig of the tiny flowers as a token of good luck. He liked the idea so much that he decided to start a tradition that has continued to this day.
As spring settles in, there seems to be a greater appreciation of nature and the world around us and while we may not be cruising quite yet, there are many special reasons to celebrate in May, including Travel Advisor Appreciation Day on May 6th. Travel advisors are valued and trusted members of our AmaWaterways family and have proudly demonstrated their incredible value by assisting their clients in rescheduling travel plans during this challenging time.
Thank you to travel advisors for all you do to keep us exploring the world safely and with peace of mind! While our floral salute is virtual today, we look forward to offering this good luck Muguet bouquet in person to our guests and travel advisors joining us on board our French ships next May.