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If a picture is worth a thousand words, than what is the value of a video? Quite a lot, according to an increasing number of travel agents who are emailing their clients short videos that highlight particular ships and itineraries — a strategy they feel may spur bookings. In some cases, the agent films the video onboard a fam, but there are huge video resources available from the river cruise lines themselves. Links to video resources are included below.
AmaWaterways Exhibits Europe and the MekongAmaWaterways distributes videos to travel agents, and they are also accessible online to send as links. They not only show the ships, but also detail the special advantages of river cruising, particularly the exceptional ability to access local culture.
The video about AmaLotus on the Mekong River gives viewers a good idea of the rhythm of activity as well as the physical features of the ship. And there are literally dozens of separate videos that showcase shore excursions on the line's various itineraries.
AmaWaterways’ YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/amawaterwayspr
American Queen Showcases ShipsAmerican Queen Steamboat Company offers two brand-new videos giving travelers an advance look at the American Queen and the American Empress as well as offering a taste of onboard life. The videos underline the differences of its product in relation to European river cruising, with greater size and additional spaces such as a full, dedicated theater.
In addition to touring the accommodations, public rooms and dining, the videos familiarize viewers to staff from the region and the matching coaches in port.
American Queen: www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/American-QueenAmerican Empress: www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/American-Empress
Amras Introduces FleetWith the need to make its product as well known in North America as Amadeus Cruises is in Europe, Amras Cruises offers a video illustrating the Amras experience. Travelers see the spa treatments, golfing, the pool, dining and the comfortable pace on the river. Videos about specific ships give travelers a clear picture of accommodations and public spaces.
Amras’ fleet: www.amrascruises.com/our-fleetAmadeus Brilliant: www.amrascruises.com/ms-amadeus-brilliantAmadeus Diamond: www.amrascruises.com/ms-amadeus-diamond
Avalon Focuses on Ships and DestinationsAvalon Waterways offers videos on its signature Suite Ships, stressing the differences between the Avalon product and other river cruise lines’ ships. Avalon also provides a real feel for different rivers with separate videos on the Mekong, Seine, Rhone, Rhine, Danube and Moselle rivers. And there’s also a video about onboard dining that’s likely to send viewers straight to the refrigerator.
Avalon’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/GlobusFamily
Tauck Distinguishes the BrandTauck has 11 different videos highlighting river cruising, including a mouthwatering video about Tauck's food and drink and an animated one about the gods of the rivers. The videos stress the exclusive experiences, friendly onboard culture and ship design. Luxury and special access to cultural experience come through strongly.
Tauck’s video center: www.tauck.com/river-cruising-videos
Uniworld Previews Rivers WorldwideIn addition to an introduction to the Uniworld product, there are videos on specific waterways, itineraries and special experiences, such as Christmas Markets. There are videos on everything from dining and the TreadRight Foundation to a guest testimonial.
Uniworld’s video center: www.uniworld.com/video-center
Viking Covers All BasesViking River Cruises provides videos of special interest cruises, such as the Beaches of Normandy itinerary, both as description and through the eyes of a veteran. Videos show how cruisers participate in local activities from a French farmers’ market to a Russian banya (traditional steam bath). Viewers can also virtually tour the Viking Longships.
Michele Saegesser, vice president of sales for the Americas at Viking River Cruises, says that although travel agents typically direct clients to Viking’s YouTube channel to view the videos, Viking also provides DVDs that agents can mail out “in a fabulous self-mailer.”
Viking’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/vikingrivercruises