I’m a very picky travel advisor and remain extremely focused on offering only top luxury providers – ocean cruise, river cruise and land. In the ultra-luxury cruise world, I feel comfortable with Seabourn, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Paul Gauguin and Ama Waterways. And in the ‘premium’ cruise world I like Oceania and Disney. I am not listing Windstar due to mixed comments.
I base my classification on the way these providers partner with me (& therefore my clients) in addition to the onboard service. I’m guessing I’ll add Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to the above list, but it’s too soon to tell.
So that leaves Viking, now Viking Ocean Cruises and Viking River Cruises. Initially, Viking’s river product was fairly uneven. They were known as the mass market of the river cruise industry and with a rapid growth strategy and incessant advertising on Downton Abbey, pretty much owned the market. But I sold Ama Waterways almost exclusively to great reviews. And then when Crystal introduced Crystal River Cruises I added them, also to also great reviews.
WHEN VIKING went crazy with a plan for at least 7 ocean going vessels, I was skeptical.
But I’m happy to say they’ve stepped up their offer, and while their river cruise is not Crystal, my clients are enjoying the experience. And their ocean product is getting excellent reviews from my luxury clients as well.
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