Riverside Luxury Cruises mulls Australian sales mission

LATTE chats with Andrea Kunse, Director S&M, Europe, Australia, South Africa

Riverside Luxury Cruises is looking to generate more noise in the Australian market, with two senior executives from the line plotting a visit to Australian shores in the coming months, LATTE can exclusively reveal.

Speaking with LATTE at Serandipians’ recent Essence of Luxury Travel conference in Marbella, Andrea Kunze, Director of Sales & Marketing, Europe with Riverside Luxury Cruises foreshadowed a visit Down Under was in the pipeline. Beyond Europe, Kunse’s remit includes Australia and South Africa.

While the US and European markets are the major source markets for Riverside, the brand is taking the Australian market seriously and sees the potential.

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“Most of our guests in our first season were English, German, American and Spanish,” Kunse said. “But the Australian market is coming. We want to be prepared.”

She said a handful of agencies in Australia were actively promoting Riverside Luxury Cruises’ offering in the market, including Savenio and Luxury Escapes.

Kunse, who had previously worked at TUI Cruises for over 8 years, the bulk of which as Head of Sales, Travel Agencies, told LATTE she was intent on visiting Australia on a sales mission in the “coming weeks”, likely alongside US-based counterpart, Jennifer Halboth, CEO Riverside Collection, Americas. A potential sales mission would encompass Australian east coast capitals.

Riverside’s parent company, the Spanish hospitality group Seaside Collection, acquired the vessels of Crystal River Cruises in 2022 and 2023 – the 160-passenger Crystal Mozart, 110-passenger Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler, 106-passenger Crystal Debussy and 84-passenger Crystal Ravel.

The start-up river cruise line launched operation last spring initially with Riverside Mozart and Riverside Ravel on the Danube and Rhone. Last month, Riverside Debussy was christened by Emmy Award-winning host, producer and travel expert, Alle Pierce, before her inaugural sailing with Riverside Luxury Cruises on 23 March.

Riverside Luxury Cruises offers a selection of 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 10-, 11-, 14- and 21-night itineraries. Munze says the shorter three- and four-night sailings have been popular with the German markets seeking a long weekend sailing.

The two other vessels in Riverside Luxury Cruises’ fleet have been chartered by Uniworld, via Seaside Collection. Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler will operate as Uniworld’s two new Super Ships in Europe, S.S. Victoria and S.S. Elisabeth, respectively, in Europe for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Riverside Luxury Cruises is a member of the global luxury travel community, Serandipians.

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