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Do you have a client looking to explore mainland Europe, Scotland or Egypt in a unique way? Besides its well-known touring product and even its expedition and cultural ocean cruises, Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) offers a selection of immersive river and barge voyages to the heart of such iconic destinations.
Of course, it’s A&K’s exclusives that make all the difference once there.
“It’s kind of like a closed-floor experience in a hotel,” said Jean Fawcett, the brand’s media relations manager. For its European River Cruise Journeys, the company partners with Amadeus River Cruises, but the A&K guest experience goes beyond a simple charter operation.
In fact, no more than 18 participants can reserve the riverboats’ top two cabin categories. This select few get many additional perks, including a dedicated Resident Tour Director, priority embarkation and disembarkation, water upon walking onboard, exclusive dinners in a private room and, most notably, A&K-exclusive shore excursions. Going a step beyond, two tour bus seats are allocated to every guest for added elbow room.
“All of our shore excursions are A&K-designed,” Fawcett said. “We really try to bring in the local elements, such as taking people to places they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to see on the Amadeus ship.”
Fawcett says that when the company chose to collaborate with this river cruise line, it first came down to hardware (as it did when A&K selected Ponant for its ocean offerings). Also considered admirable was the family-owned nature of Amadeus.
“They weren’t doing much direct outreach to U.S. consumers,” she said. “It was a little bit of an opportunity that we were able to come in and sell this beautiful ship, a beautiful riverboat, and add on our level of service and A&K extras.”
Among the bonuses is the availability to dine onshore.
“This is a big thing, and it’s getting more popular with our guests,” Fawcett said. “They don’t want to eat every meal on the ship. What we do is arrange these local not-touristy type places, and with a group of 18, we can do that.”
Then there are A&K’s European Canal Barge Cruises, which are doing well in 2018, according to Fawcett.
Compared to regular river sailings, some A&K barge overlays are a full charter for even greater immersion. The brand works with several different lines, depending on the region.
What’s new from the company is also quite exciting for a range of travelers. Already a favorite, Egypt hosts a new family option on the Nile River onboard Sanctuary Sun Boat IV. Since Sanctuary Retreats is owned under the umbrella of A&K, the operation is in-house, extending to coveted private docks.
Next year will bring new river and barge itineraries such as Switzerland & the Rhine, traveling from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland. The 11-day journey is scheduled on Amadeus Silver II or Amadeus Silver III, heading to the likes of Edam, the Netherlands; Cologne and Rudesheim in Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Zurich. Guests will have the opportunity to see the world’s largest flower auction in the Netherlands and better understand painting restoration at the Douwes Fine Art gallery, among other exclusive experiences.
As for barging, Grand Cru will take passengers on Canal du Rhone au Rhin & Canal du Centre for a weeklong voyage encompassing wine and chocolate tastings and dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Meanwhile, Spirit of Scotland will transport guests to Caledonian Canal & Loch Ness. The legendary itinerary will feature the Scottish Highlands and the Great Glen. Historic castles and battlefields will be part of the focus onshore, and Scottish food and whiskies will be a highlight onboard. The vessel also features a heated spa pool, a salon and a sun deck.
In 2020, A&K will offering guaranteed 2019 prices for the following year’s reservations made and deposited by May 31, 2019.
The DetailsAbercrombie & Kentwww.abercrombiekent.com