Zane Kerby, ASTA President & CEO, and Kristin Karst, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of AmaWaterways
Leading Luxury River Cruise Line Voted Top Partner of the Year for 4th Consecutive Year and River Cruise Line of the Year for 6th Consecutive Year
CALABASAS, CA – (August 27, 2021) – Luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways today proudly announced its two latest industry accolades, presented at the close of the 2021 American Association of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Global Convention – an in-person event held this week in Chicago. For the fourth consecutive year, AmaWaterways was voted the top award, Partner of the Year, recognizing one organization among all cruise, land and air suppliers that goes above and beyond to support travel advisors. In addition, for the sixth year in a row, the line was named River Cruise Line of the Year – serving as a true testament to the unparalleled experiences and support the company provides travel advisors and their clients.
“We are deeply honored to be recognized with these two awards as so much of our success is due to our strong ties with our travel advisor partners and their commitment to work with us to embrace new opportunities that have emerged during these challenging times,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “It is humbling to be once again named ASTA’s top Partner of the Year out of the 500 wonderful brands that that make up ASTA’s travel supplier members. We are committed to listening to our travel partners and being a source of innovative sales and marketing support as international travel makes its exciting come back. On behalf of all our AmaFamily, we cannot thank ASTA members enough for these amazing recognitions!”
Created to recognize individuals and organizations making lasting contributions to the travel industry, the ASTA Awards Program honors those who strive to promote excellence within the industry. Each year, nearly 50 awards are presented to winners who are voted on by ASTA members and are presented at ASTA’s annual Global Convention.
“We congratulate AmaWaterways on their fourth consecutive year being recognized as ASTA’s supplier Partner of the Year,” said Zane Kerby, president and chief executive officer of ASTA. “They built an enormous amount of trust and admiration through the travel advisor community. Congratulations and thank you for being great partners to ASTA and to the industry.”
Over the past year, AmaWaterways has worked diligently to ensure its travel advisor partners are equipped with the tools needed to continue to promote and sell river cruises. Since the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, the line quickly adapted to a new type of virtual engagement and has hosted unique training and sales events including weekly Webinar Wednesdays and virtual marketing suitcases, providing advisors a variety of materials to keep their clients excited for a return to the river. Once AmaWaterways resumed sailings in July, a series of 17 executive hosted FAM sailings were launched, giving travel advisors the opportunity to be on board with its leadership team, learning about the product and getting valuable first-hand experience. Along with these sailings, advisors were offered a “Sail with Me” promotion, letting them earn back the cost of their stateroom by making three new FIT bookings for 2021.
“Our teams work diligently to ensure travel advisors always feel supported and equipped in every way to sell the AmaWaterways product to their clients, and we are honored to be receiving these awards that recognize these efforts and the value we place on our travel advisor partners,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “We look forward to continuing to live up to this recognition and serving the travel advisor community as we launch exciting new itineraries in highly sought-after destinations like the recently announced eco-friendly river cruise and land program for Colombia’s Magdalena River.”
For full details, or to book an AmaWaterways river cruise for a client, call 1.800.626.0126 or visit the Travel Advisor Portal at AmaWaterways.com. Follow AmaWaterways on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmaWaterways, Instagram @AmaWaterways, Twitter @AmaWaterways and YouTube at YouTube.com/AmaWaterways.
MEDIA NOTE: Hi-res versions of the images in this release can be found HERE.
Family-owned and -operated for more than 19 years, AmaWaterways offers unparalleled river cruise experiences with 26 custom-designed ships sailing Europe’s Danube, Douro, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhône, Saône, Seine, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, and Dutch and Belgian Waterways; Southeast Asia’s Mekong River; Africa’s Chobe River; Egypt’s Nile River and Colombia’s Magdalena River (2023).Co-founded and led by pioneering river cruise executives Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, the company is renowned for its extraordinarily warm and welcoming crew; innovative and sustainable ship design; its wellness activities including a wide choice of included small group shore excursions featuring biking and hiking options; and its award-winning, locally sourced cuisine with complimentary fine wine. Modern, spacious and tastefully decorated, most ships welcome an average of just 150 guests and feature onboard amenities such as a stunning Main Lounge, specialty Chef’s Table restaurant, hair and massage salons, a Sun Deck walking track with heated outdoor swimming pools with swim-up bars. AmaWaterways leads the river cruise industry in innovation highlighted with the launch of the revolutionary AmaMagna, and the introduction of the history-making Seven River Journey itineraries. The company also offers a variety of themed sailings and brand relationships, with sailings geared towards active travelers and families as well as group and charter options.
With the highest-rated ships in Europe according to the third edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe & the USA, AmaWaterways has received countless honors and accolades including Travel + Leisure’s 2020 World’s Best Award for “Best River Cruise Line” and Departures’ 2020 Legend Award for “Best Luxury Cruising Experiences This Year.” In addition, 20 ships in AmaWaterways’ European fleet have received the prestigious Green Award certification for industry-leading safety, quality and environmental performance.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org.
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Kayla Atwater/ Ella Chancellor
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