A-Rosa will launch to the U.S. market in June. // © 2012 A-Rosa
Luxury line experts David Morris and Marilyn Conroy of David Morris International (DMI), both veterans of Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises and Silversea Cruises, have been retained by German-based A-Rosa River Cruises to polish the offerings on three of the line’s vessels for a North American market launch next year.
A-Rosa was set up in 2000 for the German market as a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises. The company was created to serve the German cruise market and, shortly after the 2003 merger between Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess, it was sold. There was a management buy-out in spring 2009, and A-ROSA was taken over by the two managing directors, CEO Lars M. Clasen and COO Markus Zoepke.
“It’s been amazing working with them,” said Conroy, executive vice president of DMI. “The hardware is great and everything we told them was needed for the North American market was answered with ‘Done.’ They are determined to offer a top luxury product geared to North American tastes.”
The company operates 10 vessels on European rivers and is offering Americans seven- to 14-night itineraries on the Rhone and Saone, the Rhine, the Danube. The line will also offer a special tour of Amsterdam, Vienna, and Heidelberg during Christmas and New Year’s, many with tours of the holiday markets.
The three ships marketed in North America are A-Rosa Silva, built in 2012 with staterooms ranging from 156 to 312 square feet, and A-Rosa Stella (2005) and A-Rosa Aqua (2009), both with 156-square-foot staterooms.
"We are honored to announce representation of A-Rosa River Cruises, which has earned a stellar reputation in Europe and continues to enhance the experience for their guests," said Morris.
In 2013, A-Rosa will be one of the most inclusive river boats in Europe by including complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the ship, open dining, gratuities, a selection of shore excursions, roundtrip air from the U.S. and Canada, ground transfers and taxes.
“This market is seeking an all-inclusive concept and A-Rosa will cater directly to their preferences,” said Morris.
The company said that agents will be commissioned on all aspects of he price except air, which is backed out at $1,700.
The cruises will include free shore excursions to explore castles, vineyards and museums as well as some of the continent’s most exciting, cities from Budapest to Provence.
“Our included shore excursions are completely different from other lines,” said Conroy. “There will be kayaking trips, a carriage tour, a jeep tour and barbecue — all designed for a younger, affluent market."
Conroy will direct the sales efforts along with vice president of business development at DMI Joe Proto, a cruise industry veteran who held previous positions at Silversea, Delta Queen Steamboat Company and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Overseeing marketing efforts is Judy Parker, senior vice president of marketing with DMI, formerly with Crystal Cruises, and Maggie Mantia, senior vice president, charters, groups, meetings and incentives.
Plans for North American agents include a dedicated website, seminars and webinars, along with face-to-face meetings. A-Rosa is also inviting agents to consumer events to make connections and share information on the complex product.