AMAWATERWAYS, a luxury river cruise specialist, is gearing up to launch its international products in India through Gurgaon-based TRN Marketing, a division of Indian Travel Promotion Company (ITPL).
From September, a promotional price of US$1,999 per person for a seven-night cruise, inclusive of all meals and excursions, will be rolled out in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Package prices may see a further increase to US$2,999 when additional offerings are available.
ITPL’s marketing strategy includes collaborations with outbound tour operators selling Europe and South-east Asia, two regions where AmaWaterways has a strong presence in. The intention is to also develop a line of travel companies that specialise in river cruises and accompanying packages.
In Asia, AmaWaterways’ 14-day programme combines Vietnam and Cambodia, with cruises in Halong Bay and Mekong River and excursions to Angkor Wat.
Popular programmes in Europe include a cruise along the waterways of Belgium and Holland during the tulip season, as well as multi-country cruise itineraries along Danube River and Rhine River.
Acommodating between 100 and 180 guests, AmaWaterways’ vessels offer spacious staterooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, free-flow beer and wine during mealts, and cuisine approved by international gastronomic society Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
Amitava Mukherjee, ITPL’s general manager of business development, said: “Deep-sea cruising is very popular with Indian tourists, and the luxury market is growing. We expect high-end river cruising to become popular too.”
The Indian travel trade expressed optimism about the uptake of river cruises among their clients.
Said Veneeta Rawat, director of Amazing Vacations, Mumbai: “A lot can be expected of luxury river cruises, as their itineraries feature frequent ground excursions to many places of interest and scenic spots while cruising, unlike the boring high seas.”
Vineet Gopal, managing director of Engee Holidays, New Delhi, said: “Luxury river cruises with high-end cruise vessels like AmaWaterways are sure to be a hit with discerning Indian tourists. I think the corporate sector will also show interest in such cruises for their incentive groups.”