Arena Travel unveils online agent portal at MS Arena launch

A new online portal for UK and Irish travel agents was unveiled at the long-awaited launch of Arena River Cruises flagship MS Arena as the line announced it has set a target to source up to 30% of business through the trade.

The 192-passenger vessel – which was delayed for two years due to the pandemic – set sail on its inaugural voyage from Amsterdam this week.

Speaking onboard, Arena Travel sales and development manager Tim Fleming said agents were key to raising awareness about the product, and confirmed fam trips were being planned to showcase the ship.

“MS Arena brings an affordable four-star cruising option to people that may not be used to river cruising and may want to try a river cruise for the first time,” he said.

“There are lots of luxury cruise operators out there but it’s not always what people want to start with. It’s a very straightforward ship with three grades of cabins over two decks and the price is very reasonable.”

He added: “We are absolutely delighted to offer something a little bit unique in the UK market to our agents and it is a ship that isn’t complicated to market.

“It has a very relaxed atmosphere and amenities such as tea and coffee 24/7 and daily afternoon tea. It is essentially a four-star floating hotel.”

The new online portal, available through the website, enables agents to make, review and add information to bookings. For Irish agents fares are shown in Euros.

Fleming added: “As the season progresses we hope to offer fam trips as much as we can. For me the most important thing is for people to see our brand and our product for future sales.

“We offer training online and we offer visits, we attend shows and we will support agency business as much as we can. My wish is to get 25% to 30% of business on our river cruises through the trade, that would make me very happy.”

The fully refurbished vessel sails on the Dutch waterways, Rhine, Danube and Moselle on four- to 14-night itineraries leading in from £649 with coach, rail and air travel options.

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