In this issue

Promotion: Saga
Welcome

Editor’s letter; plus, how to get in touch

Welcome

Editor’s letter; plus, how to get in touch

Welcome

Editor’s letter; plus, how to get in touch

Welcome

Editor’s letter; plus, how to get in touch

A chance to learn and become stronger

Katerina Setunska of CzechTourism explains why the current situation gives us an opportunity to learn and then rebuild after the lockdown

Touring: The Great Migration

Saga is taking guests on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Tanzania and Kenya, where spectacular vistas and an abundance of wildlife awaits

Video: The Epic Collection

These once-in-a-lifetime Epic Tours are designed to leave guests with memories to treasure, and a real sense of accomplishment.

Welcome

Editor’s letter; plus, how to get in touch

Editor’s letter

As well as the hi-tech, ultra-modern and urban, we can also find rural tranquillity, natural beauty, stunning coasts and ancient tradition, all in the same city.

ABTA: News

Copy here

ABTA: News

“Illogical” government grants criticised and ABTA announces Travel Conventions and new board appointments

ABTA: Meet the team

Rachel Jordan, director of financial protection; plus ask the experts

ABTA: Ask the expert / Meet the team

How to respond to criticism on social media, plus Hugh Felton, senior sustainable tourism executive

Welcome

Editor’s letter; more on the new-look digital edition; plus, how to get in touch

Map and area guide

A brief introduction to Central and Western Tokyo

Area guides continued

From Northern Tokyo to the tranquil Izu Islands

Introduction to Tokyo

Welcome to a city of contrasts that defies the stereotypes

River cruise: Waltz on the Danube

Spirit of the Danube will join its Rhine-based sister ship in offering Saga guests luxury and adventure on Europe’s most majestic waterways

Video: Gateway to the regions

When we want a taste of freedom, we grab a friend, a backpack and a tent and go for a hike.

Saga ad

Editor’s letter

Headline here

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Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
Editor’s letter

Headline here

xxxxxx

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
Editor’s letter

Moving in the right direction

Last month, a raft of cruise lines announced their plans to embark on a short mini-season from the UK – the result of the continuing success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the easing of lockdown restrictions.

In this issue, we consider the options available to those keen to get back on the waves – something that seemed totally unthinkable just a few months ago. Cruise’s partial resumption is proof that the travel industry’s recovery will neither be predictable, nor equal.

Different sectors will return more slowly than others – and some will change for good. With Covid-19 leading to offices closing and meetings and conferences moving online, one severely disrupted area has been business travel. In this issue, Sam Ballard considers what the future holds for the sector.

The introduction of a traffic light system offers further hope for the industry in general: we now know travel will be possible this summer, although things may change quickly. Mark Tanzer says “the goal must be to have unrestricted travel to ‘green’ destinations”, but things are moving in the right direction – and that’s reason to celebrate.

We hope you enjoy reading.

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships
Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
07532 709 734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
Editor’s letter

Welcome

Dear colleagues and readers of ABTA Magazine.

We are delighted to be collaborating with ABTA Magazine on this Welcome Back guide to Spain.

We know it’s been a very challenging year for our sector but we hope that this guide helps to remind you of what awaits in Spain and the wonderful diversity that our country offers from its cities and beaches to its spas and gastronomy.

We look forward to warmly welcoming you and your clients back to Spain as soon as it is possible.

– Javier Piñanes, director of the Spanish Tourist Office (UK)

Contact

Get in touch with the team

The ABTA Magazine Guide to Spain is produced in association with the Spanish Tourist Office. Click here for more information about Spanish tourism

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
Promotion

A chance to learn and become stronger

Katerina Setunska of CzechTourism explains why the current situation gives us an opportunity to learn and then rebuild after the lockdown


From the cobbled streets of Prague Old Town to the dense forests of Šumava National Park, the spas of Karlovy Vary and, of course, the world’s best beer, the Czech Republic offers wonders in abundance. With its beguiling capital just a two-hour flight from the UK, it makes perfect sense as a first post-lockdown destination for Britons to visit.

We spoke to Katerina Setunska, trade manager at CzechTourism UK & Ireland, about how the tourist board is working with travel agents during these troubling times – and what Czech attractions she’s most looking forward to returning to.

How are you reassuring the trade during this time?
The most important thing for us is the safety of the tourists and visitors coming back to the Czech Republic – that is above all. When the time is right we will be more than happy to welcome everyone again. To lighten the atmosphere we have teamed up with Czech partners and focused on a promotion aimed at armchair travellers to experience “a taste of the Czech Republic” from the comfort of their own homes amid the current quarantine. For that, we have launched a B2C campaign called  Virtual Czech, with the hashtags #VirtualCzech and #CheersFromCzech. On May 7, we are also aiming to bring the biggest ever Mic Czech event the travel industry has ever experienced. See our Facebook page for more info at facebook.com/czechrepublic.

What was your favourite moment with the trade in 2019?
In 2019, we launched our second course on Online Travel Training (OTT) targeted at the LGBT segment, mainly promoting the three biggest cities – Prague, Brno and Ostrava – as destinations open to all while partnering with Prague Pride, one of the largest cultural events in Prague since 2011. We have also launched our first virtual fam trip, VFam, taking absolutely everyone who is interested on an exciting six-day journey through regions of the Czech Republic.

Non-digital favourite moments include a spa and golf fam trip taking place in the west of Bohemia and a Travel Trade Roadshow that introduced 12 Czech trade partners to the trade in London, Manchester and Dublin.

While they can’t visit, how can the trade find out more about the Czech Republic?
We’re focusing on digital marketing at the moment as the situation changes every minute. We’re polishing our e-learning tools and making sure they stay fresh, updated and informative for anyone who wants to keep up.

Webinars are another way of effectively communicating with the trade; today we’ve had one with AITO, introducing Czech regions and some of its hidden secrets, such as efficient public transport, local regional gastronomy, wine and beer trails and mountain biking (single-tracks), plus our marketing themes for 2021 and beyond. These include a continuation of the trend of sustainable tourism marketing, working with regional partners and promoting the local authentic experiences and the unique traditions of the destination.

How is the Czech tourism board preparing for the post-lockdown world?
We’re preparing for the new business environment to come as much as we can. That means we have to be ready to face new challenges and able to adapt quickly. We have to take into account the uncertainty and new safety precautions.

As much as the current situation is extremely devastating, it gives us a chance to learn and become stronger. Speaking of the situation in the Czech Republic, domestic tourism is now expected to pop up over the coming weeks. Working with our PR agency AM+A Marketing & Media Relations has also helped boost our brand message and online engagement. By utilising their creativity we’ve done some brilliant online marketing activities with third-party partners.

Which Czech attractions are you most looking forward to visiting?
Hiking in Šumava National Park, having a glass of local white wine in one of the South Moravian wine cellars or an evening stroll through the Old Town in Prague are some of my most favourite things to do in the Czech Republic.

Why should the Czech Republic be the first place Britons visit?
The main reasons are its great accessibility and position as a short-distance destination; its high-quality, low-cost services; its  extremely efficient public transport systems and great accommodation; the wealth of regional attractions with options for both summer and winter; and, of course, we still have the best beer in the world.

E-learning
czechrepublictraining.co.uk
czechrepubliclgbt.co.uk
vfam.spinningglobe.com

More information
visitczechrepublic.com
Facebook: @czechrepublic.eu
Instagram: @visitcz
Twitter: @czechtourism_uk

© CzechTourism – Image Bank, Photo: UPVISION

Promotion

Touring: The Great Migration

Saga is taking guests on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Tanzania and Kenya, where spectacular vistas and an abundance of wildlife awaits


Every year millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle travel through Tanzania and Kenya seeking fresh grazing, facing crocodile-infested rivers and big cat predators along the way. This annual event, the Great Migration, is one of nature’s finest spectacles – and now Saga guests have the chance to experience it up close.

Tracing the migratory path north through the remote Serengeti, an area rarely visited by tour groups, guests cross into Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve in search of the elusive black rhino.

From the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, guests follow the migration path from the wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater through the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara. Staying in lodges and at tented camps, this tour offers unrivalled access to the nature reserves and wildlife, including great opportunities to see the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and Cape buffalo.

Guests visit an elephant orphanage, giraffe sanctuary and the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, Olduvai Gorge, which holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. Here, paleoanthropologists found hundreds of fossilised bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years – suggesting the origins of mankind.

The Best of Kenya & Tanzania: Great Migration & Big Game Safari
Kenya and Tanzania
From £3,999 per person
Two passengers, 12 nights

The tour includes:
VIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland
Included travel insurance
11 nights in hotels and lodges, one in flight
31 meals: 11 breakfasts; 11 lunches; and nine dinners
Saga tour manager

Plus:
Return flights and transfers
Tourist visa
Porterage at all hotels and lodges
Excursions and visits
Four game drives in the Amboseli National Park
Full day game drive in Ngorongoro Crater Visit to Olduvai Gorge
Four game drives in the Serengeti National Park
Two game drives in the Maasai Mara National Reserve
Visit to Giraffe Centre
Visit to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage

See more here.

The adventure captures different stages of the migration throughout the year, depending on when guests travel, and each as fascinating as the next. January and February is calving season for hooved animals; June and July promises perfect weather, as animals prepare for the hardest part of the migration; September, which is peak tourist season, coincides with the migration through the Mara; October sees the migration move into the Serengeti; while November and December are a birder’s dream, with many species visiting from Eurasia.

The once-in-a-lifetime adventure is packed with activities, including four game drives in the Amboseli National Park; four more game drives in the Serengeti National Park; two in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, as well as a visit to the Giraffe Centre.

The tour includes a visit to volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, a rich fertile landscape often called Africa’s Eden, given that it is home to a remarkable concentration of wildlife, thanks to the enclosed nature of the 300-square-kilometre crater. It’s impossible to pick a highlight, but the grassland plains of the Serengeti, which stretch as far as the eye can see, ranks highly, providing an abundance of riches for wildlife lovers. Home to more than two million wildebeest and zebra, the reserve is also known for its predators, including big cats, while herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe, eland, topi, kongoni, impala and gazelle are year-round residents.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to predators including cheetahs, leopards and hyena – and boasts the highest lion density in the world. From June to October, the millions of migrating wildebeest, zebra and antelopes pour into the reserve, making it Kenya’s flagship park.

Before departing for home, guests will travel to Nairobi National Park to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s orphanage. The charity rescues elephants and rhinos orphaned as a result of habitat loss, poaching and human–wildlife conflict, and provides specialist care to rehabilitate the animals, eventually returning them to the wild.

Video: The Epic Collection

Read More

A selection of the world’s truly great journeys, these once-in-a-lifetime escorted tours are designed to leave guests with memories to treasure, and a real sense of accomplishment. Click on the play button to watch the video in full and see more here: travel.saga.co.uk

Editor’s letter

Rebuilding for a sustainable future

As Mark Tanzer writes in the introduction to ABTA’s Tourism for Good report, the world’s unexpected standstill has given us a unique chance to reflect on the type of industry we want to rebuild. “Future prosperity depends on putting sustainability at the heart of tourism’s recovery,” he writes. “This can only be achieved by operators, governments, destination managers, partners and communities working together.”

In this special edition of ABTA Magazine, we’re taking this chance – while the short-term return of travel is yet to be fully planned out – to explore the topic of sustainability in more depth, considering the obstacles the industry must overcome, the successes it has already achieved and the opportunities it has to effect change.

As Kasia Morgan, head of sustainability and community at Exodus Travels, tells us: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for all of us as to the vulnerability of our society and systems to global crises, and the huge impact they can have on our health, communities, economies and ecosystems.” Although the challenges posed by Covid-19 and climate breakdown differ greatly, the global disruption the former has caused has made many of us focus our minds on the even greater challenges of the latter.

Even after the vaccination process helps us to return to some semblance of normality, governments will have to remember the lessons from the pandemic, while we as individuals and organisations must continue to consider what impact our choices have on the wider world. Like the Tourism for Good report, in this issue, we’re considering different areas of the question around sustainability: community tourism and destination management, decarbonisation and waste reduction – speaking to a range of operators, experts and tourist boards. As Tanzer says: “This is an opportunity to purposefully build back better for a responsible and resilient tourism industry, fit for the challenges we face and a contributor to the global good.”

We hope you enjoy reading.

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editors
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has an in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser, which is aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
Editor’s letter

Tokyo at its most tranquil

 

Tokyo is Japan’s fascinating capital city and its central location makes it perfect for accessing the whole country.

Whether or not you have visited Japan, perhaps you have a picture of Tokyo in your mind.

Well, what kind of images do you have?

When we mention Tokyo, it often conjures up words such as ‘modern’, ‘hi-tech’, ‘busy’ and ‘crowded’.

But, Tokyo has a very different side too.

As well as the hi-tech, ultra-modern and urban, we can also find rural tranquillity, natural beauty, stunning coasts and ancient tradition, all in the same city.

This dual nature of contrasting aspects is one of Tokyo’s biggest charms.

We can find plenty of comparisons between the old and the new, as well as calm and energetic, wild and immaculate.

In this publication, the ABTA Magazine Guide to Tokyo, you will come to understand the dynamic contrasts that can be found in Tokyo. We hope you enjoy reading.

— Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

About

Find out more

The ABTA Magazine Guide to Toyko is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau. ABTA Magazine is the official title of ABTA, The Travel Association.

For the latest Covid-19 updates and prevention measures, visit gotokyo.org/en/plan/coronavirus-information


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, Tiziana Lardieri, The Studio

Sub-editor
Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

With thanks to: Rob Goss

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has two in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser and Solus, both aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
News

Headline here

Standfirst here


Copy here

News

Headline here

Standfirst here


Copy here

News

“Illogical” government grants criticised

ABTA highlights the industry’s growing frustration and anger in a new letter to BEIS


ABTA has written to officials at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to protest at levels of grant support being made available to the retail travel industry in England, which seem at odds with those provided to other business sectors.

Restart Grants, recently announced by the Chancellor, are to be allocated to businesses based on the category they are deemed to fall into, such as non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and personal care.

Retail travel agents fall into the first category, meaning that they are eligible for grants up to £6,000 depending on their rateable values.  However, as ABTA has pointed out to BEIS, while travel agents can open from Monday, April 12, they will not receive any new income for many weeks at least. Not only is it currently illegal to travel overseas, recent government guidance stated that customers should not book overseas holidays for the time being.

Other businesses are eligible to receive grants of up to £18,000, despite being able to welcome customers and generate new income from April 12. ABTA has made clear to the BEIS that this is a growing source of frustration and anger among its members and the wider travel industry, and has asked for an explanation of the rationale behind the decision.

Luke Petherbridge, ABTA’s Director of Public Affairs, said: “It seems illogical that financial support is being funnelled towards businesses that will not only be open from April 12, but, in the case of hairdressers for example, are likely to be in very high demand from the off, while travel businesses that will continue to have significant constraints on their trade are offered lower levels of support.

“Unlike in Scotland or Northern Ireland, travel businesses in England have not received any sector-specific support in recognition of the unique circumstances our sector is in. Meanwhile, the level of business support offered by the Welsh Government has been based on revenue-loss, which has meant better comparative outcomes for many businesses. ABTA is continuing to strongly press for tailored assistance for all businesses in the travel industry in England, not least in the light of further ‘don’t book a holiday’ messages from government. In addition, we are in contact with the devolved administrations around the need to keep financial support under review, and the importance of a four-nations approach to restart.”

News

ABTA announces 2021 and 2022 Travel Conventions

This year’s event will be the same online format as last year, but in 2022 it will be held in Marrakech


ABTA has announced its plans for its 2021 Travel Convention and confirmed that Marrakech will host the event in 2022.

Recognising that the travel and tourism sector will be continuing to deal with the impact of coronavirus, this year’s Convention will repeat the successful online format of last year}s, taking place in the week beginning October 11.

The 2022 Travel Convention will take place in Morocco next Spring, allowing the travel industry to experience the wonders of Marrakech, at a time when the recovery from the pandemic should be more advanced.

ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said: “The pandemic, and its impact on travel, have both continued for longer than most people originally thought. We are eager to return to our usual Convention format overseas, but we have to recognise the economic environment the industry continues to work in. Making the decision now allows delegates and sponsors to plan accordingly.

“Feedback on last year’s extended reality Convention was overwhelmingly positive, and I am confident that this year’s event will be equally engaging and stimulating. At the same time, we look forward to the industry being able to gather in the beautiful and vibrant city of Marrakech in Spring 2022, hosted by our friends, the Moroccan National Tourist Office.”

Further details of both events will be revealed in due course.

Three new names added to the ABTA board of directors

ABTA has announced that it has appointed three new directors to the ABTA board. The new directors are:

  • Ruth Marshall – managing director, RCL Cruises Ltd
  • Garry Wilson – chief executive officer, easyJet holidays
  • Andrew Flintham – managing director – TUI Northern Region

 

ABTA chairman, Alistair Rowland, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ruth and Garry onto the ABTA board for the first time, and to welcome Andrew on his return to the board. All three individuals have outstanding backgrounds in travel. RCL, TUI and easyJet holidays demonstrate the wide range of businesses within ABTA membership, and are essential suppliers to many other ABTA members. There has never been a more important time for different parts of the travel industry to work together behind a single organisation to carry our case to government, and to shape the future of the industry as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Stuart Leven (RCL) and Richard Sofer (TUI) are stepping down from the ABTA board.

Alistair Rowland added: “I would like to thank Stuart and Richard for their invaluable contributions to our board discussions over the recent years, as we have worked to steer ABTA members, and ABTA itself, through the biggest crisis the industry has faced.”

Ruth Marshall, managing director, RCL Cruises Ltd said: “I am delighted to join the ABTA board at such a critical time for the industry to offer my advice and leadership as we navigate the reopening of travel ahead of us. With 14 years’ experience in cruise and 20 years in travel, I look forward to sharing my broad experience and knowledge with the board.”

Garry Wilson, CEO, easyJet holidays, said: “I’m really pleased to be joining the ABTA board, an organisation which carries out consistently brilliant work representing our industry and protecting our customers, which has been particularly recognised and appreciated over the past year.

“easyJet holidays has been an ABTA member since we launched our brand-new business, and despite the challenging circumstances the whole industry has faced, we’ve grown to be one of its biggest members. So I’m really looking forward to taking on the position and working even more closely with industry colleagues. It’s a really important time as we sharpen our focus on the future of travel, building confidence and starting to take people away on their well-earned holidays once again.”

Andrew Flintham, managing director for TUI Northern Region said: “I’m delighted to be re-joining the ABTA board of directors to continue the great work the team have delivered in recent months.

“ABTA has always played an important role within our industry and is highly valued by our customers. As we continue to navigate through the Covid-19 crisis for our industry, and start on our road to recovery, I’m looking forward to playing a vital role alongside Mark and other industry leaders.”

ABTA

Ask the experts

Have a burning question you can’t find the answer to? Be it travel trends, a regulatory riddle or destination dilemmas, send us your query for an expert response


With the ‘roadmap’ announcement by the prime minister and the rollout of the vaccination scheme, I am getting an increasing number of enquiries from customers looking to book later in the year, but some are asking what their holiday will be like when they arrive overseas? Are you able to tell me what kind of restrictions will be in place once we start to travel again? Anon

Firstly, it is great news that you are getting customers wanting to book travel arrangements and holidays; there is clearly massive pent-up demand and let’s hope travel recommences as soon as is possible, although clearly public health considerations must come first.

It is fair to say, some of the holiday experiences may be a little different, as we saw in the short window of travel last summer. But, rest assured, as part of the Covid-19 recovery process, destination governments in association with their public health authorities have been putting together their own specific recovery plans and health and hygiene initiatives. To help members navigate this, we have created a dedicated section on the Member Zone of the ABTA website called Country recovery plans, where we are hosting any information received from the country authorities.

In addition, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides comprehensive information on its country travel advice pages, which includes details of any restrictions, entry requirements, coronavirus measures, local laws and customs, and much more. It is essential that customers are signposted to this information before they book so that they can make an informed choice having read the information provided. They should revisit the travel advice on a regular basis.

It is likely that airports, accommodation, local bars and restaurants will continue to have Covid-safe measures in place, but not in a way that would prohibit customers from having an enjoyable holiday.

For example, in accommodations, face masks may be required to be worn in public spaces such as corridors and lobbies, and there may be modifications to meal services, such as waiter service instead of a buffet, and reservations may need to be made for using public facilities. These details are best checked with the tour operator or the accommodation provider directly.

Many local councils may allow bars and restaurants to place more tables outside to enable al fresco dining and socialising, which I think for many people is part of the pleasure of foreign holidays anyway.

At the airport, social distancing measures are likely to be in place as well as the requirement to wear face masks at all times, except when seated at a bar or restaurant.

Check with the airlines that you work with, as many of them have a host of information on their websites. They will be able to provide you with details of any specific requirements, such as the wearing of face masks on board the aircraft when seated and whether queuing for toilets is discouraged. They will also be able to provide you with reassurance of the measures in place regarding aircraft cleaning and disinfection protocols between flights and how the ventilation systems work on board the plane.

Once we start travelling again it will be very important that you help your customers to understand whatever restrictions may be in place. ABTA, the FCDO travel advice pages and tour operators will all be very useful sources of advice to help keep your customers informed.

Angie Hills, head of destinations

ABTA

Meet the team

Each issue we speak to a different ABTA employee about their work. This time: Rachel Jordan, director of financial protection


Since joining ABTA as director of financial protection in late 2020, I’ve had a phenomenally busy first few months. Prior to working at ABTA, I had a financial services background working in risk and regulatory roles at KPMG, EY and the Financial Ombudsman Service – so I am new to the travel industry and have plenty to learn.

My role is to lead the financial protection team of finance and business managers and analysts who manage members’ financial returns, ABTA bonding, and bond and financial failure insurance (FFI) renewals. I also support the membership team with the financial protection aspects of new membership applications.

I work closely with John de Vial, director of membership and financial services, on ABTA Insurance PCC Limited, which provides ABTA’s reserve fund insurance policy as a BEIS Approved Body under the Package Travel Regulations.

A typical day for me is comprised of meetings with external ABTA members, partners or peer organisations; technical case discussions with the financial protection team; managing team operations; and performing ongoing risk-management activity concerning all aspects of financial protection. Occasionally, I co-present or speak at ABTA events such as the recent Refund Credit Note (RCN) Webinar and the Travel Finance Conference.

Bringing expertise and a fresh perspective from outside the travel industry, I have focused my attention thus far on understanding how the industry works, the relevant regulations, building relationships with colleagues, peer organisations, members and partners, and identifying ways in which the financial protection team can improve the experience of members. This has included reviewing and revising bond and FFI renewal communications and documentation, identifying trends in queries from members and developing a financial protection FAQ factsheet to address those (available now on the Member Zone of ABTA’s website), and establishing ways in which to manage new and evolving risks from a financial protection perspective.

Most recently, I have been collaborating with colleagues in ABTA’s public affairs and partnerships teams to understand some of the financial services issues affecting members and to bring these matters to the attention of appropriate external parties in the hope that this will effect positive change.

The Covid-19 crisis has presented a number of new challenges for everyone. My team continue to work remotely, under extended hours, to support members with their financial returns and financial protection renewals, and to respond to the significant increase in queries we are receiving from members who are understandably concerned about their cashflow and what the future will look like for their businesses. We are here to help and I welcome feedback on what more we can do to support members through this difficult time.

Looking to the remainder of 2021, I hope to meet many more ABTA members and partners in the months ahead (albeit virtually) and, like so many of us, I’m desperate to get away. With some much more positive messages coming from the government recently, I’m really looking forward to planning my next holiday, which will of course be with an ABTA member!

ABTA

Ask the expert

Have a burning question you can’t find the answer to? Be it travel trends, a regulatory riddle or destination dilemmas, send us your query for an expert response


I am very aware of the damage that can be done so quickly on social media to my company’s reputation by disgruntled customers. Bearing in mind that I am a small tour operator with a limited number of staff, are there any tools we can use to keep an eye on what is being said about us, how best to deal with online criticism and, also, is there any help ABTA can give us? Anon

Normally customer complaints centre on unsatisfactory service or problems encountered on holiday, But the pandemic created an extremely difficult and largely uncharted range of problems for ABTA Members. Having to deal with customer repatriation, cancellations and refunds and promoting holiday bookings, while working against a background of lockdowns and changes to travel advice, has been incredibly challenging.

Lockdown has also left customers with much more time on their hands, and many have turned to social media to connect with other unhappy customers or complain, so it would be a mistake to not respond to your customers and develop a relationship with them. Having a social media response strategy is therefore a good step forward, so here are my suggestions.

There are many social media listening tools which are freely available or cost a relatively small sum. They will give you an insight into what people think of you and how your brand is viewed. If you are getting a lot of negative attention, it would be worthwhile investing in a social media monitoring platform or brand listening tool so you can analyse some of the key things being said about your business. This will help you make decisions on how you should respond to individuals and whether you should publish more detailed information elsewhere on your website, for example, as you can’t always explain things fully on social, this will also give you a steer on your more generic content you should be publishing.

We used Brand Mentions for a few months, before we invested in Hootsuite which helps us to better monitor all of our social channels and allows other departments to respond directly. For example, our customer support team can jump on and answer questions from customers. This has really helped us to work together better across the ABTA departments while we’ve been working from home.

Listening to customers on social media can also help you take an improved, customer first approach within your organisation. For example, if you see the words ‘delayed refund’ you can work on improving your processes, so they become more efficient in repaying customers. Or if you see negative keywords such as ‘never booking again’ you could offer some incentives to your customers and schedule social media posts advertising the promotions. Customers may also want reassurance about the support you can offer them. ABTA has a marketing toolkit with suggested social media content you can use to promote your company as an ABTA member and how customers can book with confidence. Find the resources here: abta.com/marketingtoolkit

It is a good idea to respond to negative customer feedback on social media in an apologetic way, so it shows you are human and understand your customer’s frustration. After all, they may be genuinely going through financial difficulty. One suggestion is to consider how you would like to be politely spoken to and use that language in your response. It’s also important to make your language consistent across all your customer communication channels, so they do not have another angle to complain about. Get organised and plan an FAQ word document so you can effectively and efficiently respond to customers. That way you’re not having to deal with each and every complaint in a new or different way.

Lastly, if I see that one of our members is getting a particularly hard time online, which they don’t seem to be responding to, I will often let them know in case they are not aware of what is being said about them.

Lizzie Andrews, Senior Digital Marketing Executive

ABTA

Meet the team

Each issue we speak to a different ABTA employee about their work. This time: Hugh Felton, senior sustainable tourism executive


I joined ABTA in 2011, since then I have been busy supporting members’ sustainability approaches.

I have been working in the travel industry since 2000 after completing an MSc in tourism, conservation and sustainable development. You could say my roles have been varied, but every day I use my studies, my overseas roles and the commercial experience I gained selling holidays to support our members on their sustainability ambitions alongside the commercial realities.

My travel career started when I set up a gap year company for the American Institute for Foreign Study and I also volunteered for Raleigh International as a programme manager, leading young people on treks through Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I then lived and worked in Madagascar where I was the country coordinator for Frontier, a conservation expedition organisation.

Before joining ABTA, I gained valuable experience working in TUI Group’s education division. Most of the tours we organised went to Europe, but I remember selling one school trip that went to the Galápagos Islands, which, for those students, must have been a trip of a lifetime.

I am part of the sustainable tourism team at ABTA and work closely with Clare Jenkinson, head of sustainability. My role as senior sustainability executive is primarily to support our members with their sustainability ambitions. This means answering questions from members on issues such as how to manage carbon emissions, animal welfare queries and human rights. I draft guidance and develop other resources, as well as representing ABTA at conferences and events. I helped review the ABTA animal welfare guidelines in 2019 and, more recently, worked with members to develop amazing case studies for the ABTA Tourism for Good report, published in 2020.

I help to organise the sustainable tourism committee and the animal welfare working group. I also coordinate our internal sustainability work at ABTA in order to ‘walk the walk’, as they say, and to demonstrate to our staff that ABTA is a leading employer in sustainability. For example, we have an active local volunteering scheme for staff and we host fun and engaging charity activities to support causes that link to travel industry, the local community or destination communities.

Over the years, I have gained perspective and have a first-hand account of how sustainability has risen from a topic that was often seen as something abstract, or on the periphery, to a key pillar of corporate strategies. I enjoy the challenges the role brings and keeping abreast of the latest scientific findings which determine policy and trends further down the line. There are some big issues to contend with – for example, understanding the impacts of climate change and equipping ABTA and our members on how best to deal with these changes. Although I have been working in the industry for the best part of 20 years, its protean and dynamic nature never ceases to impress me.

My other role is in crisis management, where I am part of a team that supports members and their customers through these trickier times. Despite all the flooding and earthquakes, nothing has been quite like the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This role gives me a different perspective and allows me to work with a brilliant team and helps me feel close to members during difficult and challenging times.

The Covid-19 crisis has presented challenges for everyone and I continue to work remotely to support members to equip them with the tools to take on the brave new world when travel takes off again. It is incredibly difficult time for everybody in the industry and members are understandably concerned about what the future will look like for their businesses. Despite the uncertainty, many of the members I speak to tell me how sustainability is essential for the survival of their businesses.

Editor’s letter

This too shall pass

To say that it’s a strange time for the travel industry is the understatement of the century. A dystopian poster that states that it is now illegal to go on holiday has been doing the rounds on social media, prompting a mix of disbelief and wry amusement from those in the travel industry. As Derek Jones, the boss of Kuoni, quipped on Twitter: “In 50 years time people will have ironic framed copies of this FCDO poster on their kitchen walls in much the same way that we have Keep Calm and Carry On ones today.” It’s true that it looks more like something from Children of Men than the real world – it’s often hard to come to terms with the fact that this is the current reality. 

Although we have to contend with the residual impact that this and the various, overlapping restrictions are having on consumer confidence, it’s important during these dark months to remember that a world in which we can travel freely will return soon. “The whole experience of lockdown has reminded people of how important travel is,” Mark Tanzer, CEO of ABTA tells us in this issue. “Their desire is still very strong – to go to places they might not have gone to before, or return to places that they’re familiar with. What gives me confidence is there is a lot of demand for when things are eased and the industry is able to move again.”

In this issue, we have all the latest industry news, plus a look at one destination that is finally turning a corner in its battle to control Covid: the United States. As well as asking when British tourists might return there, we look at some of our favourite places in the country – from the dusty wilderness of Arizona to the theme parks of Florida.

Better times are around the corner. We hope you enjoy reading.

Digital first

The February issue is the third in a new interactive digital format. Since (the first) lockdown began and offices shut, we dropped our print edition, leaving us with a digital version that didn’t quite bring our editorial to life. So, we went back to the drawing board. This new technology allows us to create something that combines the best of print with the best of online – that is, a sleek and minimalist design with interactivity and functionality. We are now able to utilise copy, images, video, audio and animations within the frame of individual issues, allowing us to present information in an easy-to-read, enjoyable and quite unique way. Take a look around – we’d love to hear your thoughts. You can get in touch with us at info@abtamag.com.

Contact

Get in touch with the team

ABTA Magazine is produced by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA, The Travel Association.


Contacts

Editorial
Anthony Pearce, director
anthony@waterfront-publishing.com

info@abtamag.com
020 3865 9360

Design
DJMWeb, The Studio

Sub-editor
Nathaniel Cramp

Sales and partnerships

Sam Ballard, director
sam@waterfront-publishing.com

Bryan Johnson, senior sales manager
bryan@waterfront-publishing.com
0203 865 9338
075 3270 9734


About ABTA

Waterfront Publishing is an independent publisher based in central London. It has two in-house magazines, Cruise Adviser and Solus, both aimed at the travel trade. It has also produced magazines on behalf of ABTATravelzoo; and Emerald Waterways. Its design agency The Studio by Waterfront offers copywriting, proofreading and design for print, digital, advertising and branding.

Get in touch

Waterfront Publishing
Hop Exchange,
Southwark Street,
London, SE1 1TY
info@waterfront-publishing.com
020 3865 9360
Map

Getting around

Area guide

Central and Western Tokyo

Bustling Ginza (Copyright: TCVB)

Central Tokyo
Historic and modern, central Tokyo is home to the upscale restaurants, department stores and boutiques of the Ginza district, but also slices of traditional Japan such as the Hama-rikyu Gardens and the vast grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Up the road from Ginza, Nihonbashi epitomises that blend of old and new, with generations-old restaurants and shops alongside the venerable Nihonbashi Takashimaya Shopping Centre and Ginza Mitsukoshi department stores and sleek complexes such as COREDO Nihonbashi. Adding an extra dimension, there’s also the lively subculture hub of Akihabara, high-rise business centres of Marunouchi and Otemachi, and historic shrines such as Hie Jinja and Kanda Myojin.

Where to stay

For those looking to push the boat out, Tokyo has an incredible range of luxury accommodation.

Among the iconic hotels available is the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, which has 200 spacious and elegantly furnished guest rooms. It offers an incredible view of the city and is right next to Tokyo Station. 

Imperial Hotel, Tokyo was created in the late 1880s at the request of the Japanese aristocracy to cater to the increasing number of Western visitors to Japan, and remains as elegant as ever. 

The luxurious Capitol Hotel Tokyu, located in Akasaka, boasts three restaurants, including Japanese and Chinese eateries, as well as an elegant lounge and bar.

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, a luxury five-star hotel with traditional and breathtakingly beautiful Japanese garden, is located in the Bunkyo ward. 

New Otani Tokyo, which includes the Executive House Zen, is nestled within a verdant ten-acre, 400-year-old Japanese Garden. It was a filming location for the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

The 33-storey high Prince Park Tower Tokyo is a stone’s throw from the iconic Tokyo Tower. One key selling point is its natural hot spring. 

“A fairytale retreat that mixes 1930s glamour with contemporary cool”, according to Small Hotels of the World, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, in Meguro, retains its Golden Age elegance today. 

Directly connected to the Tokyo Station, The Tokyo Station Hotel is a grand redbrick building in the Marunouchi business district, dating back to 1915.

Meiji Jingu Shrine (Copyright: TCVB)

Western Tokyo
Like so much of Tokyo, Western Tokyo doesn’t fit a single definition. Take Shinjuku, where on one side of the station are gleaming skyscrapers, yet on another are bars and restaurants in the atmospheric alleyways of the Omoide Yokocho and Golden Gai areas, and not to forget the calm expanse of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. A few stations away, Shibuya is known for its youthful station area and hectic street crossing. A day spent exploring this part of the city could take in the tranquil Meiji Jingu Shrine, the colourful teen fashions found along Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori Street, and the luxury fashion brands, boutiques and cutting-edge architecture on Omotesando Avenue.

Area guide

Southern and Northern Tokyo

The iconic Tokyo Tower (Copyright: TCVB)

Southern Tokyo
Move a little southward from the very heart of the city and you find the iconic Tokyo Tower, with its Eiffel-like latticing and signature white and international orange coat. Towering over the nearby Roppongi district are two of the capital’s most striking urban complexes – Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown – both of which mix fashionable retail outlets, galleries, restaurants and other attractions. For a night out, Roppongi also has high-end dining, clubs, and craft beer and cocktail bars. But there’s a very different vibe further south on the artificial Odaiba island in Tokyo Bay, a lively entertainment hub packed with family-friendly attractions.

Ueno Park (Copyright: TCVB)

Northern Tokyo
Where the southern, western and central parts of Tokyo’s core tend to feel more modern and cosmopolitan, the northern and eastern areas retain more traditional character. The winding streets of the Yanaka district are lovely for a stroll, discovering small temples and old shopping streets, but also cool cafes and galleries. Nearby, in Ueno, is the bustling Ameyoko street market, half a dozen top museums and, with Ueno Park, one of Tokyo’s best cherry blossom spots in spring. A fun detour from there is Kappabashi Dougu Street, aka kitchen street, where you’ll find stores that supply Tokyo’s catering industry with chopsticks, pots, pans and even the food replicas seen in many restaurant windows.

Area guide

Eastern Tokyo, Tama and the islands

TOKYO SKYTREE (Copyright: TCVB)

Eastern Tokyo
Like northern Tokyo, the east side is full of old character. In Asakusa, there’s the magnificent Senso-ji Temple, lively backstreet restaurants and plenty of traditional snack stalls and shops to explore. Across the Sumida River you see the 634m TOKYO SKYTREE, which as well as delivering great views over Tokyo has plenty of attractions and shops in its malls. A little south is Ryogoku, the centre of the sumo world, but also a must-visit for its Edo-Tokyo Museum, the Sumida Hokusai Museum and the Japanese Sword Museum, all of which give superb insights into the Japan of old. 

The sparsely populated Tama region (Copyright: TCVB)

Tama
Spread out over almost twice the area of Tokyo’s core 23 special wards – yet with less than half the population – the western side of the capital breaks from the heavily urbanised image of Tokyo, offering visitors leafy suburbs and mountain ranges, outdoor museums and sprawling parks, as well as outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking and glamping.

Escape to Tokyo’s islands (Copyright: TCVB)

The islands
Stretching into the Pacific, south of mainland Tokyo, the volcanic Izu Islands have everything from trekking and diving to simply lazing about and enjoying the views. The closest and largest of the islands, Oshima, is less than two hours by jetfoil from central Tokyo, making it a popular day trip. Other islands require a longer ferry haul, which helps keep them wonderfully uncrowded and peaceful. Further south, the Ogasawara Islands are an archipelago of more than 30 subtropical and tropical islands.

Introduction

Discover a different side to Tokyo

Tokyo is a city of incredible contrasts that defies all the stereotypes as much as it blows your mind, writes Rob Goss. (Main image: Copyright: TCVB)


Think of Tokyo and you conjure up images of a busy and ultra-modern city, where neon-lit futuristic skylines seem copied and pasted straight out of Blade Runner. It is all of these things, but there’s so much more to Japan’s capital. In the 23 special wards that make up the city’s urban core – that among them are home to nine million Tokyoites (there are 14 million including the wider area) – visitors also find traditional gardens and quiet temples. For every busy main street, there’s a warren of becalmed side streets waiting to be explored. For every skyscraper, there’s a low-rise and low-key residential area, where even elementary schoolers can safely walk to school without their parents.

Tokyo is known for its incredible food scene (Copyright: TCVB)

 

Go beyond the city centre into the Tama region and you’ll find more differences between real Tokyo and the capital’s stereotypes – it is nothing like the world of Lost In Translation. There are mountain ranges for a start, with trails for all levels of hiker. There are ancient temples deep in nature. There are sprawling parks and laidback suburbs. Farmland as well. Look south and Tokyo has an island chain, too, stretching hundreds of kilometres into the Pacific and offering travellers the chance to dive, surf and even trek around active volcanoes. In Tokyo.

One thing often said about Tokyo that is true: the trains do tend to run on time. And they are clean. Another that holds up is that the food is on a different level. It’s not just that Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world – 212 at the latest count, including 12 with three stars – it’s the dedication chefs from every culinary walk of life seem to give their craft, whether they are perfecting a ramen stock or crafting kaiseki-ryori, the artistically arranged haute cuisine of Japan with its focus on seasonal produce and techniques that enhance natural flavours. And just as there’s far more to Tokyo than concrete and crowds, there’s also an incredible depth and breadth of flavours on menus to discover – not only sushi, noodles, tempura and wagyu.

Hama-rikyu Gardens (Copyright: TCVB)

It’s become a cliché to say that old meets new, but that’s true at times, too. Sometimes its striking – such as the skyscrapers of Shiodome rising above the traditional garden of Hama-rikyu Gardens. Sometimes its subtle – such as the traditional approach to hospitality even in the most contemporary of galleries, bars or restaurants. The takeaway is that, with Tokyo, there’s always something new to learn, something that will surprise and go beyond expectations. First visit or fifteenth, it’s a city that keeps on blowing minds.

Promotion

River cruise: Waltz on the Danube

Spirit of the Danube will join its Rhine-based sister ship in offering Saga guests luxury and adventure on Europe’s most majestic waterways


Saga will launch its second purpose-built river ship, Spirit of the Danube, in 2022. Promising the same levels of comfort, service and value as its sister ship, Spirit of the Rhine, Saga will also use the latest engine technology to significantly reduce emissions, ensuring the ship is one of the greenest on the rivers.

Spirit of the Danube will have capacity for 190 guests when it departs on its inaugural cruise from Amsterdam on March 22, 2022. Future destinations guests will be able to explore include Budapest, Vienna, Rousse in Bulgaria and Tulcea in Romania.

Chris Simmonds, Saga Holidays CEO, says: “Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on redefining our river cruise range to provide a Saga-designed experience for our guests. Spirit of the Danube joining the fleet marks an exciting milestone in this journey and we cannot wait until she joins her sister ship, Spirit of the Rhine, next year. Guests will be able to enjoy a range of first-class facilities and we cannot wait to show everything our latest ship has to offer.”

The addition of the new ship comes as Saga announced that it would be mandatory for all guests to be fully vaccinated before travelling with the company.

Just like Spirit of the Rhine, Spirit of the Danube will have a signature dish designed by a celebrity chef for its intimate restaurant. Among other yet-to-be-announced names, Saga will welcome Mark Sargeant, who has previously worked with the operator to design a gastronomy tour out of the Juan de la Cosa hotel in Spain; Miranda Krestovnikoff, a radio and TV presenter specialising in natural history and archaeology; Eric Knowles, a TV antiques expert; and John Suchet, a Classic FM presenter.

Although not as blue as Johann Strauss would have us believe, the Danube is one of the most attractive rivers in Europe, flowing past five capital cities and through the beautiful Wachau Valley in Austria and the Iron Gate gorge separating Serbia and Romania. 

Vienna is the jewel in the crown, with monumental architecture and grandiose palaces – the Hofburg in the centre of the city, from where the Habsburgs ruled Austria for 700 years, and Schönbrunn, their summer residence, as well as many ornate private residences. Budapest is memorable for its waterfront, beautiful by day but spectacular after dark, while Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, has quirky statues and a pretty old town perfect for wandering around. With up to five included excursions on every cruise, Saga guests will be able to see, learn or do something new every day.

Meanwhile, Spirit of the Rhine includes a panoramic lounge and bar, an inviting library, fitness area and an expansive, shaded sun deck with a hot tub and al fresco barbecue, all with levels of service that are second to none.

All cabins are beautifully spacious and, with an average floor plan of 17 square metres, they’re some of the most generously sized on the Rhine. Cabins on the Main and Upper decks all have French balconies with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, offering personal, private views of every destination.

In 2021 and 2022, the ship will continue to traverse the Rhine – Europe’s most popular river, and with good reason. The draw for many is the Rhine Gorge, a scenic stretch of river that passes beneath more than 40 medieval castles and fortresses, but itineraries also include a night in Amsterdam, where a canal cruise and the Rijksmuseum are top attractions, and Cologne, with its magnificent cathedral, chocolate museum and many excellent types of beer.

See more Rhine itineraries here and more about the Spirit of the Danube here.

Video: Gateway to the regions

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