Six personal travel managers recently enjoyed a dedicated TravelManagers’ famil to France where they experienced a six day Uniworld Boutique River Cruise on the Rhone River from Lyon to Avignon.
Hosted by Fiona Dalton, Managing Director Australia for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection the personal travel managers attending the famil were New South Wales based Beverley Burt representative for Ashbury, Michelle Collins representative for Bowral, Fiona Perry representative for Corlette, Rosemary Kates representative for Wollongong with Queensland based Emma Ross representative for Bulimba and Jeanette Dickson representative for Arundel.
Perry has sold a number of European river cruises but hadn’t personally experienced one until now.
TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (left to right) Beverley Burt, Michelle Collins, Emma Ross, Jeanette Dickson, Fiona Perry, Fiona Dalton Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Rosemary Kates showcasing she ship’s elegant entrance
“I now understand why my clients come back raving about their river cruise, the hype certainly lived up to my high expectations. A river cruise is such an easy way to see a number of destinations without the hassle of moving from hotel to hotel on a daily basis, sorting of plans for driving and self-touring in each village. There are expert guides daily for each port providing recommended sightseeing, dining options and local history information. The guide recommended to us in Lyon to walk over the bridge to the central mall and eat there, as the restaurants in the old town tend to be expensive. We discovered Bistro Regent that does a fabulous steak, chicken or salmon with salad and fries for around 13Euros and the servings are very generous. Its tips like these that really make a holiday.”
Docking at Tain L’Hermitage looking over to Tournon sur Rhone
Ross discovered a new appreciation for river cruising.
“River cruising provides the opportunity to see a destination from a different perspective and if your time is limited, is a great way to see so much. We were so fortunate to experience the product in its entirety, getting to know staff and the ship in such detail. It is often the little things that make a product unique and the highlight for me was definitely the staff. Their impeccable attention to detail and eagerness to assist made a good holiday, great.”
Kates proves firsthand experience makes all the difference, with a Uniworld Rhone River Cruise booking already secured since her return.
“My client was looking for a stress-free, all-inclusive small group holiday with personal experience on all levels. I knew a river cruise would suit perfectly. Being able to talk knowledgably about visiting St Vincent Cathedral in Viviers to enjoy a live organ concert, tasting truffles at a local truffle farm in Grignan where we learnt about the techniques used to collect the truffles and our biking adventure around Lyon was invaluable. Talking about the cruise with such passion and excitement with knowledge gained from my own experiences and sharing my own photos, without doubt closed the sale,” laughs Kates.
Palais du Pape in Avignon
River cruising more so than other forms of land based transport can be weather dependent, as the personal travel managers recently experienced.
“We travelled during an extremely wet week, and as a result, the rivers were extremely swollen. Our itinerary changed somewhat due to the weather conditions. We left a port early and didn’t dock at a particular town due to the river levels. At some points we were unable to pass under bridges so we were bused to our ports of call instead of docking as per the itinerary. It is important for clients to understand that whilst this doesn’t happen regularly, it can happen at some time in the season. The crew make it extremely seamless though and it by no way alters the enjoyment of the holiday, in fact it just adds to the adventure,” says Ross.
The group travelled on Qatar Airlines from Adelaide via Doha on the new Dreamliner aircraft.
“I know Qatar Airlines have won best Skytrax Business class for a few years and being lucky enough to travel business class from Adelaide to Doha I can concur what a pleasure it was flying with them. The seats were lush, with plenty of storage compartments. The food was of a very high standard and the cabin staff was both attentive and intuitive to passenger needs. The on-board entertainment had a huge number of choices and the size of the TV screen in business class was the largest I have experienced. Economy class was good in most instances and I highly recommend if passengers are flying economy class, to request the upper deck on the A380 as the cabin is cozy and the service impeccable,” says Perry.
A street scape (known as the Jewish Street) in Viviers, Rhone-Alpes
TravelManagers attribute the exceptional, strong and effective business relationships with key airline, cruise and wholesale suppliers with providing personal travel managers the ability to experience exclusive educationals, to a variety of worldwide destinations.
“Supplier relationships have been built over many years and support of our partner suppliers’ products is absolutely key to our business model. The ability for our personal travel managers to experience dedicated famils is a large part of this support, says Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal.
Gazal further adds that “TravelManagers prides itself on providing exceptional and personal customer service which comes from first-hand knowledge and experience. Educationals that allow immersion into a destination, such as our co-created dedicated supplier famils, are so important and why we proactively work to provide as many educational opportunities as possible.”
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.
TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (left to right) Fiona Dalton Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Fiona Perry, Emma Ross, Jeanette Dickson and Michelle Collins enjoying a glass of local Avignon wine at Hotel L’Europe one of the oldest hotels in France