River cruise operator A-ROSA has partnered with flight consolidator Aviate to offer ATOL-protected packages to the trade for the first time.
The deal means agents will be able to sell bespoke packages on the lines’ entire collection of European river cruises without their own ATOL.
A-ROSA said it ‘remains 100% dedicated to its trade-only business strategy in the UK’, adding that it is looking to ‘exponentially expand its reach’ as part of its growth strategy.
Aviate will act as A-ROSA’s trade reservations department in the UK, with a dedicated number for agents.
Packages will be bonded under Aviate’s ATOL licence. These can include flights, transfers and pre or post hotels as required. A-ROSA is also planning to add rail options in the future.
“This is a big step forward for us and a milestone moment in our UK expansion plans. For several years, agents have been asking us to find a way for them book fully ATOL protected packages through us, for our entire river cruise portfolio. We have listened and I am delighted we now have a solution through Aviate, who are a trusted and well-respected name in the industry.”– A-ROSA MD Lucia Rowe
Until now, A-ROSA has worked mainly with tour operators, offering group allocations on selected departures. Agents who wanted to dynamically package individual departures had to either book cruise-only or use their own ATOL.
Lucia added: “This is the obvious next step for us and it really is all about choice. Many agents have a preferred supplier they book our cruises through and this will continue to be an important channel for us. But for those agents who want the flexibility of being able to book packages through us across our entire portfolio of dates and itineraries, all with full ATOL protection, this is the perfect, easy to sell solution.”
A-ROSA will launch its new next-generation ship, A-ROSA SENA, in May, and it is upgrading its Premium All-Inclusive offering across its entire fleet for 2023.