Tuesday,  June 18, 2019  1:33 pm

"An historic year:" river cruises a key factor to Globus' growth

"An historic year:" river cruises a key factor to Globus' growth
Of Globus (from left): Stephanie Bishop, managing director; Patrice Geske, director of marketing; Kim Clarke, director of sales.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

The continued growth of river cruising will be a key focus in 2019 for Globus, as the tour operator celebrates what Managing Director Stephanie Bishop described as “an historic year” of growth.

Globus reps welcomed their travel industry partners – including airlines and travel agencies – to an appreciation lunch last Friday (Jan. 18). Held at Capra’s Kitchen in Mississauga, the event featured a guest appearance by celebrity Chef Massimo Capra himself.

READ MORE: Avalon launches new shore experiences & app for 2019

“From our perspective, it was an historic year in terms of growth – and that doesn’t happen on its own,” Bishop told guests. “It happens because of all of you, our very important partners. We appreciate everything you’ve done and will hopefully keep doing…. Every one of you contributes to our success.”

Looking back, looking ahead

Bishop told PAX that strong growth exhibited in 2018 across the entire Globus Family of Brands – namely Globus, Monograms, Cosmos and Avalon Waterways – is expected to continue throughout this year, with a focus on new river cruise itineraries.

Launched for 2019, Avalon will offer a new Avalon Choice program, offering travellers three styles of cruise to choose from, including Classic, featuring local experts guiding travellers through the history and heritage of local destinations; Discovery, which engages travellers through interactive activities such as cooking classes and painting workshops; and Active, where guests can embark on energetic excursions, including jogging, biking, paddling and hiking their way through each destination.

In 2019, 10 Active Discovery cruises will sail the Rhine, Rhone and Danube rivers.

“River cruising will continue to grow and there’s a lot of growth around Active Discovery,” Bishop said. “Our touring continues to be strong year over year and I think it’s because simply, more Canadians are travelling. It’s the best time to be in the business that we’re in!”

Also on the horizon is the 2020 Oberammergau passion play in Oberammergau, Germany, with the Globus Family of Brands offering a number of Oberammergau-themed packages. With the play taking place once a decade, the event is typically booked out very far in advance, but agents with clients interested in attending still have time.

“We’re way into bookings and there’s still a bit of space available but not that much,” Bishop advises. “Oberammergau is one of those things that books so far out, so if I look at the trend and what’s left of the inventory, it will be an outstanding success.”

Chef Massimo Capra and Stephanie Bishop, managing director, Globus