Overcoming Objections To Big Water Cruising

by Anne Fairlie
Anne Fairlie

Have you ever had clients say : “I would never take a cruise - I get seasick “ or “ I would never take a cruise - I need to be more active" or "It takes forever to get off and on a ship."

Never fear! There are now responsible truthful answers to these annoying comments enabling you to convert these nay-sayers to cruisers. For the SEAsick clients, you can offer river cruises. Due to the width of the rivers, there is never a worry about rocky days or nights. Often you have to look out the window to see that the boat is actually moving. They are becoming more and more popular in Europe with some of the big players being Uniworld, AMA Waterways , Avalon and Viking.

Because you can now offer cruises to people who get SEA sick, do not limit your suggestions to Europe. There are now a wide range of ships plying the Irawaddy River in Myanmar and the Mekong River in South East Asia incorporating Laos, Cambodia and/or Vietnam. South East Asia is celebrated for the different traditional communities and the ease with which you can submerge yourself into these cultures.

Avalon cruise through Europe's Moselle River

The Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon tributaries offer a wide range of boats that allow clients to explore and experience the “real jungle" closeness. Some companies offer options of stopovers at lodges in the jungle for a few days before getting back on the boat again. A great alternative.

Africa is a viable choice now as well. The main rivers are in the south – the Zambezi River is the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and the Okavango River runs along the border between Angola and Namibia as well as forming a delta in the deserts of the Kalahari in Botswana. The fantastic selling feature for these areas is the wildlife of course. Seeing the animals roaming free in their own environment is an experience like no other.

As for inactivity, I am sure you have all seen the TV ads with people wall-climbing and zip lining… well, river cruises are not yet at that stage. Clients can always just disembark and be as active as they wish – with a little research ahead of time.

Even the USA is getting into the river cruise option with trips operating on the Columbia and Mississippi rivers.

Uniworld's River Orchid travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong

On the other hand, one of the super selling propositions for river cruises is that guided excursions are free. Many companies carry bicycles that can be borrowed at any port. Clients can cycle along the river's edge or make their way inland pursuing their own interests. Some companies will offer onboard exercise rooms and even dance classes … Guests are encouraged to participate in trying the local rumba or cha-cha for some good-natured fun.

Another appealing aspect of the free excursions is the hiking options at many ports of call. These are guided by locals who know the area and the terrain better than most. Cruise companies are quite aware that this new need for “regular" activity is quite important to people of all ages and are constantly looking to offer new active choices.

AMA Waterways African Safari

Like many ocean cruises, ships travel at night and dock in port during the day. Because size matters, on river ships the number of guests is small. So any hesitation your clients have about wasting time waiting to disembark or the paperwork hassles of trying to embark can be dismissed. Most ships will dock right in town and clients can get off and on as they wish. Often the important sites are within walking distance – again addressing both the need for activity as well as time management. Departure times are posted for gangway-up and people can manage their time accordingly.

Another bonus of the included walking tours in port is the more relaxed atmosphere of a walking tour rather than the more formal 40 people on a bus tour. A walking tour is much more conducive to asking questions - keen clients can walk with the guide and ask questions enriching their experience and knowledge of the location.

Do not shy away from the cruise option. Hopefully these notes will aid you in creating some new cruisers . Good luck.

(will not be published)