Ten personal travel managers recently enjoyed a dedicated TravelManagers’ European famil experiencing a seven night APT River Cruise on the River Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg in Germany aboard MS AmaReina.
Jointly hosted by Debbie Hanley, APT’s Business Development Manager South Australia and Northern Territory and TravelManagers’ Finance & Commercial Manager Tanyu Cilek, the personal travel managers attending the famil were New South Wales based Karen Whitehead representative for Thurgoona, Pamela Baas representative for Wallsend, Carolyn Burgmann representative for Bowen Mountain, Maria Miller representative for Parkes, Lana Kanchik representative for Moore Park, Mamita Mishra representative for Erskine Park; Victoria based Chris Cogan representative for Hoppers Crossing, Allen Suss representative for Caulfield and Carli Hester representative for Mount Duneed with Queensland based Simon Tinkler representative for South Brisbane.
Baas has sold a number of European river cruises but hadn’t personally experienced one until now.
“The ability to experience for myself a river cruise was invaluable to see how everything works, the service offered on board and just what an easy and enjoyable way this is to see some of the highlights of Europe. It was evident to see how much all the guests loved their experience and how easily the guests make friends with each other. I now understand why my clients come back with nothing but great things to say about their river cruise, the hype certainly lived up to my high expectations.”
For Baas the departure from Budapest along the Danube at night was a spectacular way to start the cruise.
“Our first night’s cruise along the river with the lights of Budapest capturing the views across the city, including the Parliament building which is a true masterpiece of architecture, was such a lovely way to begin our adventure. It really set the tone for a wonderful week of experiences ahead.”
On leaving Budapest, Vienna was the first stop and for Cilek this grand old city provided some memorable highlights.
“On our guided city we visited St Stephen’s Cathedral which is simply spectacular. It’s located along the shopping strip Karntnerstrasse and a great place to enjoy a Viennese coffee and indulge in one of their infamous strudels and sacher tortes – I can highly recommend the apple strudel. That evening we attended one of APT’s Royal Experience’s, an exclusive private orchestral concert at the beautiful City Palais Liechtenstein. This was truly an amazing experience and a real highlight for me.”
The personal approach and genuine commitment to service from the staff is clearly evident especially in a smaller cruise vessel.
“The service was fabulous and all staff worked tirelessly all week. I was deeply impressed by how caring and friendly all the staff were. They greet you by name and 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,” says Tinkler.
For Hester, winter is the perfect time to visit Europe.
“Europe in winter is beyond beautiful. Mid November is such a great time to visit as you get to experience all the Christmas markets, which are set up in most cities across Europe. The markets provide such a special experience with local produce, decorations and entertainment to get you into the Christmas spirit.”
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 firsthand knowledge and experience. Educationals that allow immersion into a destination, such as our co-created dedicated partner supplier famils, are so important and why we proactively work to provide as many educational opportunities as possible.”