For the first week in January, the weather in Amsterdam was predictably chilly but the atmosphere and welcome on board AmaKristina was warm and festive as over 100 members of the AmaWaterways family came together for our first Global Sales and Operations Summit.
The week-long program had been designed to share important product updates from the Operations Teams in Calabasas and Basel, review sales and travel partner results from the Sales Teams in the USA, Canada, UK and international markets and provide everyone with an overview on our marketing and strategic growth plans for the next two years. It was a busy agenda as we took the teams to visit AmaLea in the ship yard where she was getting her finishing touches before her March 2018 debut and also to visit the new mockup of 355 sq. ft. staterooms for AmaMagna which will join the fleet in 2019. New excursions were tried out and new partner hotels were visited.
Selina, our Sports Scientist in charge of our new Wellness Program, hosted stretching and core strengthening classes every morning but it wasn’t too surprising that the biggest turn out was for her “Champagne Yoga” class.
We were very fortunate to have five cruise managers with us during the Summit and their perspective on our guests’ cruise experience helped guide many of our decisions on how best to personalize the onboard services and the many tours we offer to our guests. Always at the center of innovation is the culinary and wine aspects of an AmaWaterways river cruise and we were very happy to have Primus Perchtold, our executive chef and other members of his team onboard with us to participate in these discussions.
Like a true family event, we had engagements and birthdays to celebrate and sales successes to recognize. It was a fun and incredibly productive week that opened new communication channels and stimulated a lot of new projects that we are all busy following up on now.
There is a special Spark that fires innovation, engagement and operating excellence and for me that Spark starts with the respect that each department has for the other’s work and the understanding that all departments need to be in synch to be able to deliver extraordinary vacation experiences to our guests. That Spark shone brightly throughout the Summit.
Rudi and I were very proud of the teams - the presentations and group discussions brought out new ideas and exciting opportunities to consider. The bar was set high and planning is already underway for next year’s event!!!