Published on : Thursday, October 1, 2020
AmaWaterways today proudly announced it received three awards at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Global Live Conference held virtually August 25-28, including the highest honor of Partner Company of the Year. The family-owned and operated company was also recognized as River Cruise Line of the Year and chosen as one of two winners of the ASTA Small Business Network Exemplar Award, based on the company’s unwavering support of travel advisors during a year that has brought many unexpected challenges.
“We are deeply grateful to be presented with such outstanding honors and humbled to have been named Partner Company of the Year for the last three years,” remarked Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-founder of AmaWaterways as she virtually accepted the awards. “Our teams have worked diligently to stay engaged with the travel advisor community and these awards are a true testament to their hard work and devotion. We are overwhelmed by the support the ASTA travel advisors have shown us during our time apart from the rivers, and we salute our valued travel partners and cherished members of our AmaFamily for helping ensure a strong future for the entire river cruise industry!”
Striving to promote excellence in the travel industry, the ASTA Awards program recognizes professionals and organizations who make lasting contributions to the industry. Winners are chosen by ASTA members, due to their commitment to partner with agencies and reward their travel advisor sales force accordingly.
In addition to being named River Cruise Line of the Year, 2020 marks the third consecutive year that ASTA members have singled AmaWaterways out from all the cruise, land and air supplier partners to receive the top honor of Partner Company of the Year.
“ASTA and the ASTA Small Business Network are pleased to once again recognize AmaWaterways’ excellence with three supplier member awards,” said Bob Duglin, ASTA vice president of Host Agencies and International Membership. “Year after year, the AmaWaterways team has remained steadfast in their support of travel advisors and focused on providing their clients a trusted and innovative travel experience to be enjoyed in the years ahead.”
At the first signs of a delayed 2020 season, AmaWaterways tapped into its pioneer spirit and redirected all marketing efforts to provide travel advisors with the support and innovative tools needed to help their displaced clients. The company has launched a variety of virtual marketing resources in order to remain personally connected and engaged with the travel advisor community, including weekly Webinar Wednesdays, Virtual Sip & Sail events and a Virtual Marketing Suitcase that provides training and support to advisors looking to sell intimate river cruise vacations. Additionally, AmaWaterways has hosted more than 1,500 virtual events and town halls with executives and travel advisors sharing industry insight and news, as well as uploaded more than 40 YouTube videos sharing the experience and inspiring travelers to take an enchanting river cruise journey.
In its 18th year, the award-winning line has earned a reputation for transforming the river cruise industry with innovative design, itineraries and unparalleled, personal service. Its financial stability has allowed AmaWaterways to continue to focus on future developments which include three new ships debuting next year. Sister ships AmaSiena and AmaLucia will join AmaWaterways’ Green Award-certified European fleet, while the luxurious AmaDahlia will sail The Secrets of Egypt & The Nile itinerary starting in September 2021. A sign that travelers are craving intimate ways to explore the world, the newly designed 68-passenger AmaDahlia is more than 65 percent sold out for her inaugural September to May sailing season which has been extended to the end of June in 2022 to meet the demand.
“These awards voted on by our ASTA travel advisor partners mean a great deal to us, particularly this year when we all have been dealing with so many uncontrollable factors affecting international travel,” added Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “I am very optimistic for the future of river cruising and remain focused on new ship design that will enhance our guest’s river cruise experience while protecting the environment and enriching the local communities we visit. We look forward to continuing our reputation as the industry’s leading river cruise line and No.1 supporter of our travel partners.”