Destination Features River Cruising Sales and Marketing Supplier

How to Attract First-Time River Cruisers with AmaWaterways’ Incredible Experiences

River Cruising is an Amazing Travel Experience, Here are some Tips on Getting your Clients on Their First One!


Contributed By: AmaWaterways


River cruising is an incredible way for your clients to explore the world with ease, finding hidden gems in the regions they sail through that they may not have otherwise discovered, and an easy way for you, their travel advisor, to earn lucrative commissions. Leading the way in river cruising for more than 20 years, award-winning AmaWaterways has differentiated itself from other lines and provides top-notch support to travel advisors, making it easy for you to grow your river cruise business.



Who is AmaWaterways, the Heart of the River™?

For those who are new to AmaWaterways, “Ama” means love – and the line puts love in everything they do, from the way their warm-hearted Cruise Managers greet you each morning on board to the way the chefs passionately prepare your food in the galley. From the moment guests step on board to the time they disembark as the crew bids them farewell, the river cruise line ensures that guests will have an awe-inspiring experience and will create precious memories that will last a lifetime along the rivers of Europe, Asia, Africa and, beginning in 2024, South America.



In 2002, three families with a love for river cruising and a dream of creating the kinds of journeys that they wanted to experience with their loved ones came together to form this iconic river cruise line. AmaWaterways’ Co-Founder and President, Rudi Schreiner, grew up in Vienna, at the heart of the Danube River. Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Kristin Karst discovered the magic of travel in her hometown of Dresden, Germany, sailing with her family along the Elbe River. The river cruise line’s beloved late Co-Founder Jimmy Murphy realized his passions for people and travel in Ireland, planting the seeds for his future career. Each of the river cruise line’s itineraries is thoughtfully curated under Rudi’s guidance as the “Godfather of River Cruising.” Much of their crew also hail from the regions we sail through – unique in the cruise industry.



With this founding idea in mind, AmaWaterways treats their guests to luxury experiences throughout their entire river cruise journey. Truly amazing locally sourced cuisine is served at every meal, and guests have the opportunity to enjoy an awe-inspiring dinner evening at The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant. During this immersive culinary experience, guests will watch as the chef creates an incredible multi-course meal right before their eyes. At each port, your clients can choose from a variety of included excursions – several of which are exclusive to AmaWaterways, such as an in-depth tour of Germany’s Lahneck Castle along the Rhine River and the year-round Oktoberfest celebration in the Bavarian town of Vilshofen that can be enjoyed on many of their Danube River itineraries – both just for AmaWaterways guests. These are all included in your clients’ river cruise fare, so they can immerse themselves in the full AmaWaterways experience without any unexpected or hidden fees.



With unparalleled service from their incredible Cruise Managers and crew as they take care of your clients’ every need, guests will have a wonderful and memorable experience as they sail on spacious ships, and AmaWaterways puts that same care and attention into supporting travel advisors.


With unparalleled river cruise and land journeys available across four continents, there is no better way for your clients to explore the world, and no better partner in providing them with the best possible travel experience while supporting your business.



Why River Cruising?

Why is river cruising such a special experience that your clients will not want to miss? One of the fastest growing sectors of the travel industry, more and more people are discovering river cruising and returning home ready to plan their next journey on the rivers.



A saying that AmaWaterways Co-Founder Kristin Karst loves that showcases the uniqueness of river cruising is: “Oceans take you to countries – rivers take you through them.” Unlike larger vessels on the open sea, river cruises offer a more intimate experience, both on board the ship and on shore. AmaWaterways’ ships sail with an average of just 156 guests, allowing those enjoying the river cruise line’s carefully curated itineraries to blend in and experience the sites as if they were a local when arriving in each new destination along their journey. On board their ship, guests can relax, embracing the luxury of space provided to them in their amenity-filled staterooms. Many of these stylish staterooms include AmaWaterways’ signature twin balconies, so guests can bask in the breathtaking views from Austria’s UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to the castles along the Rhine River with both a French balcony and an outdoor balcony. The spacious atmosphere flows into the public spaces of each elegantly appointed ship as well – through the Main Lounge with its floor-to-ceiling windows, to the fitness room with its state-of-the-art equipment, to the Sun Deck where the heated pool or soothing whirlpool await.



Unpack Once and Experience Multiple Countries

Another major draw is that guests can experience the cultures and highlights of iconic countries – France, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Vietnam, Egypt and so many more – while only having to unpack once. Instead of traveling between hotels to see the beautiful destinations Europe has to offer, guests can sail right into grand capitals and charming villages, walking right off the ship into the heart of these destinations. Guests do not have to wait in a long line to disembark, only to stay in a port city for a short time – they can simply step off the ship for a full day of included activities. Alongside an intimate group of kindred travelers, their local guide will regale them with the tales of kings and queens, renowned composers, great explorers and so much more as they walk, pedal or hike to fascinating castles, cathedrals, vineyards and beyond. Upon returning to the ship, they will once more embark on their own floating luxury hotel. And, with AmaWaterways’ extra touches, they will be greeted with refreshing water, chilled towels or perhaps hot mulled wine depending on the season, later whisked away to a complimentary daily Sip & Sail cocktail hour and treated to an exceptional multi-course dinner before an evening of live entertainment awaits. With AmaWaterways, all of these experiences are included in your client’s river cruise fare.


Your clients are not the only ones receiving amazing perks with AmaWaterways! Travel advisors can receive up to 18% group commission on the river cruise fare, with an additional 12% commission on pre- and post-cruise land packages, 10% commission on travel protection and extra hotel nights, and 5% commission on contracted air.


To learn even more about the wonders of river cruising and the line’s latest promotions, visit AmaWaterways’ Travel Advisor Portal, filled with valuable toolkits, recorded webinars and more, at


Marketing River Cruising to Your Clients 

Such incredible experiences awaiting on the rivers, so how do you showcase this value to your clients? River cruising offers a diverse array of opportunities to explore and engage with the world, so there is always an aspect to these journeys that will speak to your clients. With the perfect opportunity to explore the world with loved ones and the delights of shared interests among their fellow river cruisers, there are a variety of ways to market AmaWaterways’ immersive river cruise experiences.



Companions Make All the Difference

Exploring the rivers with loved ones can strengthen your connection and create lasting memories, and AmaWaterways makes this easy! There are many included amenities on board, from exquisite multi-course dining and dishes crafted with fresh, locally sourced ingredients as well as a complimentary Wellness Program with host-led fitness class to a variety of excursions each day and incredible onboard entertainment. With so many elements of their journey taken care of by AmaWaterways, your clients will never have to worry about creating and coordinating elaborate travel plans with their loved ones. After they select their itinerary and reserve their place on board one of AmaWaterways’ river cruises, all they will have to “worry” about is deciding which of the many available excursions they will explore along their journey.


AmaWaterways warmly welcomes multi-generational families on board their ships – and this is evident even in the designs of several of their ships. With connecting staterooms available for reservation on select ships such as the innovative AmaMagna, the whole family can seamlessly come together while also enjoying the privacy of their own separate spaces. During their river cruise journey, families will also find that there are excursions that appeal to every member of their group. Younger guests can embrace the local culture through hands-on excursions such as their intimate banitsa pastry and yogurt tasting in Vidin, Bulgaria, where they can learn how to create these traditional delicacies in the home of a local family, during AmaWaterways’ 7-night Gems of Southeast Europe itinerary. Guests in groups can choose the same enriching excursion together or split up to pursue different activities, and at the end of the day, they can swap stories and share experiences over a delicious multi-course meal in one of AmaWaterways’ incredible restaurants. For larger families, you can also work with AmaWaterways to create a group sailing experience, which allows your clients to receive special savings and gives you a bonus in the form of a Tour Conductor credit.


All this being said, sailing with a friend is not required to have a great experience on an AmaWaterways river cruise – sometimes, the best traveling companions are the friends you make along the way. From the extraordinary crew who will remember guests by name to fellow friendly cruisers, many who embark on the line’s innovative ships create deep bonds that last long after they disembark at their final port. Even if a guest is traveling solo, they will not feel alone. If your client is interested in sailing solo on AmaWaterways’ itineraries through France, many of the ships gliding along those idyllic rivers include special single occupancy staterooms – perfect for a party of one. In other staterooms, solo travelers will have a single supplement payment. This river cruise line warmly welcomes solo travelers who wish to explore the world, meet kindred cruisers and become a part of the extended AmaWaterways family.


For more details on solo traveler offers and more, visit


Themed Sailings: Cater to Your Clients’ Interests

Another element of river cruising that is attractive to potential clients is themed river cruises. Every person has something they are passionate about – an interest or hobby that makes their eyes light up when it comes up in conversation or when they engage with it on their own. What better way to explore these passions than on a river cruise specially designed to explore it?


The destinations along the Danube River entice clients with a love for classical music. From Strauss’s The Blue Danube to Mozart’s Linz Symphony, the Danube River has inspired countless musicians throughout the centuries, and now it will inspire your clients on AmaWaterways’ new 7-night Celebration of Classical Music: The Danube itinerary. Guests can follow in the footsteps of the region’s famous composers during a walking tour in Vienna, Austria, or take a special excursion to the city of Salzburg, Austria, where Mozart was born. Along this uniquely curated journey, guests will be treated to a variety of live performances in the destinations they visit as well as on board their AmaWaterways ship. Whether your client is a musician, a classical music connoisseur or simply a discerning traveler seeking a nuanced and immersive experience, the Danube River will be their melodious muse on this incredible classical music themed journey.


For wine connoisseurs, they need look no further than AmaWaterways’ Celebration of Wine River Cruises. Indulge your clients in one of more than 60 exclusive wine-themed sailings through Europe’s most celebrated wine regions. With enhanced epicurean experiences included in the price of the cruise, these thrilling river cruises through France’s iconic Bordeaux region, Portugal’s Douro Valley, Germany’s Riesling-rich Moselle Valley and beyond provide a unique and delicious dimension to already enticing itineraries. Guests can enjoy a special food and wine pairing on board as well as exquisite tastings accompanied by interactive discussions lead by a dedicated Wine Host. From the vineyards to the table, your clients will love the immersive wine experiences that AmaWaterways provides on these exclusive sailings.



Clients looking to celebrate winter holidays along the rivers of Europe will love the Christmas Markets river cruises curated by AmaWaterways. During this time, guests can browse colorful market stalls filled to the brim with whimsical handicrafts and take in the aromas of cinnamon dusted almonds and Lebkuchen gingerbread while sipping a mug of hot mulled wine beneath endless strands of twinkling lights. After exploring the magical Christmas Markets, your clients will once more embark on the most elegantly decorated ships on the rivers, the attentive crew awaiting their arrival with mugs of savory hot chocolate and mulled wine ready for them. On board, guests can enjoy a variety of holiday activities -caroling with the crew and decorating Christmas trees in the Main Lounge, and may even be visited by the legendary St. Nicholas. AmaWaterways keeps the Christmas spirit alive and well on board these heart-warming holiday sailings.


For special resources, marketing tools and more to help you advertise these “special interest” itineraries to your clients, visit the river cruise line’s Travel Advisor Portal at


Create Your Own Special Interest Experience with AmaWaterways’ Group Program

Perhaps you have a group of clients who want to approach their river journey from a different perspective. Is a local church group looking to explore the historic cathedrals along the Rhine through France and Germany, basking in the beauty of the buildings’ Gothic architecture and learning from their religion’s past? Do your clients have a passion for art and would love to follow the footsteps of Impressionist innovators along the Seine River in France? Would your clients be enthralled by joining a group of golfers and playing at pristine courses as they sail through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on the legendary Danube River? With AmaWaterways, you can curate a custom group experience for your clients, making all of these ideas and more possible. With a minimum threshold of five staterooms for ten guests, these groups can be a great way for your clients to celebrate a milestone in their lives with the people they love or explore the rivers with like-minded travelers.



When planning a custom group experience for your clients, reach out to your regional Business Development Manager (BDM for short), and they will help you iron out the details of your special sailing. You will also receive assistance from your own designated Group Coordinator, who will provide you with customized flyers, emails, and more to help as you market your group sailing.


When river cruising in a group, your clients will also receive special savings. For a 7-night itinerary with at least five staterooms (10 guests reserved), guests will save $500 per stateroom, and their initial group deposit is reduced to $50 per guest. You will also receive a Tour Conductor credit for every nine full fares reserved, meaning that you can use that credit – the average price of one cruise fare for the group – for an additional commission or for an additional group discount for your clients. If you have a special guest that the group is centered around – an art instructor, a Wine Host or another figure that your clients are rallying around – you can also use the Tour Conductor credit to pay their river cruise fare – or join your clients on the cruise in a complimentary stateroom.


For more information about AmaWaterways’ group sailings, visit the river cruise line’s Travel Advisor Portal at to take the specialized Group Sailings course on AmaAcademy or peruse the Group Marketing Toolkit today!


Marketing to Millennials 

Today, river cruising appeals to a far wider demographic than ever before. AmaWaterways is consistently updating and innovating their ships, itineraries, and excursions to generate interest from a new generation of travelers. Millennials comprise a relatively untapped market mostly unfamiliar with river cruising, but this generation is now showing a growing interest in world travel. The luxury and convenience of river cruising, the breadth of a river cruise itinerary, and AmaWaterways’ unparalleled commitment to responsible travel have created the perfect opportunity for millennials to see the world one river at a time.


On any given day, a river cruise itinerary typically offers a variety of excursions for guests to choose from. Many outings are geared toward more active travelers: scenic hikes culminating in a panoramic view, guided bike tours of the city, and outdoor excursions to national parks all appeal to a younger generation of cruisers. AmaWaterways curates itineraries with different activity levels in mind, providing the luxury of choice to each of their guests with tours for gentle walkers, regular walkers and active walkers. AmaWaterways’ ships are similarly outfitted with active amenities, from a fully equipped fitness center to the newly unveiled pickleball court aboard the flagship AmaMagna. 



As we all know, sustainable and responsible travel are paramount concerns for the newer generation of river cruisers. AmaWaterways consistently undertakes initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and support local economies with their river cruise experiences. Twenty of AmaWaterways’ European river cruise ships have been honored with the Green Award as recognition for their industry-leading safety, quality, and environmental performance, including the innovative flagship AmaMagna. From energy-saving LED lights to individually controlled air conditioning in the staterooms to the line’s innovative myAmaCruise app, which reduces paper usage with the introduction of guests’ electronic travel documents, significant measures are being made and continuously investigated to lessen AmaWaterways’ impact on the environment. The delicious cuisine offered on every AmaWaterways river cruise is locally sourced, reducing the carbon emissions from shipping ingredients across long distances. AmaWaterways is continually implementing new measures to minimize their environmental impact while supporting local economies, leading the way toward a new generation of responsible river cruising.


Learn more about AmaWaterways’ commitment to sustainability and more on their website at


Become a River Cruise Ambassador to Your Clients



Your clients will soon fall in love with the exceptional river cruise experience that AmaWaterways provides – they just need to know that it is out there, waiting for them to embark on their dream itinerary. As an esteemed travel advisor, you are the perfect person to introduce them to the wonders of river cruising with a brand that truly embodies “Ama” (love). With in-depth marketing tools and resources on AmaWaterways’ Travel Advisor Portal and regional BDMs who are dedicated to helping you sell these immersive experiences, you are impowered to bring river cruising to your clients – the only step left is to take the leap and register at today!