Ann Chamberlin, Vice President of Sales for Scenic USA.

Ann, you recently joined Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours and Emerald Waterways as the Vice President of Sales for the U.S. Can you please share a little about your professional background?
I joined Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours and Emerald Waterways in September at a very special time as the new Scenic Eclipse was being christened in New York by Dame Helen Mirren. Prior to joining Scenic I was with the American Society of Travel Advisors and worked at ASTA for eight years as SVP, Membership and Strategic Partnerships & President of ASTA’s small business network. I enjoyed my work there advocating for travel advisors and growing membership through our strategic relationships with consortia and host agencies. I started my career at Holland America Line in the group sales department in the late eighties answering calls from travel advisors and worked my way up through the company in various sales positions including field sales as a district sales manager in the greater Chicago area and national account sales. We launched nearly eight of their ships over my 12 years working for Holland America before joining Virtuoso. While at Virtuoso I negotiated the supplier partner agreements, hired their first field sales team and worked on helping to launch the sales program for Virgin Galactic which entailed selecting advisors to be accredited to sell space travel. Working for Virtuoso for nine years I enjoyed working with their members to integrate the Virtuoso programs and services.

The Scenic Group has a dedicated sales team for the travel advisors. How can the advisor best develop a mutually beneficial business partnership?
I am very proud of our hard-working sales team which includes seven Regional Sales Directors, a Senior Director of National Accounts and two Senior Sales Coordinators in our Boston office. Travel advisors can contact their dedicated local RSD to start the conversation about promoting and selling river cruises or our new discovery yacht the Scenic Eclipse. They are full of creative ideas on how to help travel advisors sell our ships and make money doing so. If the travel advisor is new to selling river cruises, we can provide helpful training sessions (in-office or by webinar) to introduce our brands and help position Scenic, Emerald Waterways and Scenic Eclipse with their clientele. They also help with consumer shows, events and marketing opportunities to help the travel advisors build new business and find new clients. They are an experienced and professional team ready to assist travel advisors locally. They are eager to connect with travel advisors interested in selling river cruises, and only a phone call or email away.

You offer an e-learning platform. What can agents expect with AGENT ACADEMY as well as the Agent Academy Incentive program?
This is a very powerful platform providing all the information travel advisors would need to know about selling Scenic, Emerald Waterways and Scenic Eclipse. Through this platform, travel advisors will learn about our core products, ships, rivers and regions of Europe and Asia. Advisors have access to the robust video library and most importantly will learn about the unique selling points of each brand. Our Agent Academy is not a one-time course, but a continuing education center as we regularly have new courses added and we update the courses based on the changes and upgrades of our products. For travel advisors new to our program, we gift 100,000 reward points into their Scenic or Emerald Waterway rewards account (~USD200) if they make their first booking within 60 days of course completion.

What three things do you want advisors to know about Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours and Emerald Waterways?
  • Scenic is committed to servicing and supporting the travel advisor community and we deeply value our partnerships with travel agencies. Their success is our success.
  • Scenic continues to develop the best all- inclusive onboard program across our fleet of river ships so travel advisors can recommend and sell our river cruises with confidence.
  • We represent three product lines with Scenic River, Scenic Eclipse and Emerald Waterways. We are building for the future so your clients have extensive choices and they will enjoy our innovations onboard. They will come away wanting to book their next river cruise with you!

What is new for 2020?
2019 has been a remarkable year for us. First with Emerald Waterways newest ship the Emerald Harmony which started sailing on the Mekong River in Asia this past August. With the September Christening of the Scenic Eclipse in New York, she continued to make her debut down the East Coast with a series of ship tours to showcase our sleek new discovery yacht. Travel Advisors that toured the ship in over eight ports came away enthralled with the ship and excited to recommend it to their discerning clients. We will be making exciting new announcements in early 2020, so there is more to come and it will be a fantastic new year for Scenic!

In 2020, we will be expanding our group, charter and incentive business with our travel partners and we would like the opportunity to present either Scenic Cruises or Emerald Waterways to your groups. It only takes 10 guests to form a group and with that size or more we have a rich group program to offer on all brands, plus our fantastic Group Value Program to enhance the business with a group amenity or extra savings.


What is included?
Scenic is Truly-All Inclusive. And we mean all-inclusive, not “some-inclusive”. From the fantastic e-bikes onboard, private butler service, fantastic dining experiences with a variety of dining venues & high end drink choices your clients will not be disappointed on a Scenic cruise. The Scenic Enrich program offers guests complimentary special exclusive events and VIP access further adding to the guest experience onboard and shore side. The Scenic FreeChoice offers different tour options for guests to choose from allowing guests to customize and tailor their cruise vacation. We also offer a river cruise guarantee program where guests are insured should the river levels be too low to cruise. Tip & gratuities are also included so your guests are taken care of every step of the way. When guests board a Scenic river cruise we don’t even register a credit card- now that’s all inclusive!

Emerald Waterways is our premium deluxe brand with contemporary design, spectacular innovations and provides exceptional Emerald VALUE! With an attractive price point and a little less inclusive compared to the big sister brand Scenic, Emerald Waterways includes all onboard meals; complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner and excursions every day! We also offer the river cruise guarantee program, and airport transfers, tips & gratuities.

Suggestions on demographics of clientele. What type of guest are you best suited for?
Scenic and Emerald Waterways do have a cruise for every type of traveler. From 5-start luxury all-inclusive river cruises and ocean adventures to intimate Europe river cruises. For the ultimate adventurer who wants ultra-luxury, there is the awe-inspiring, 6-star ocean discovery experience on board the sleek new Scenic Eclipse complete with two helicopters, a submarine, ten dining options and extensive art collection onboard. With a polar class six ice haul classification on the Scenic Eclipse, this discovery yacht will spend time in Antarctica and cruising the world. For those wanting a more relaxed and pampered experience with everything taken care of, a Scenic river cruise would be the ideal recommendation. Those clients that are more value driven, the contemporary and stylish Emerald Waterways cruises would be a great choice. With our three product brands, travel advisors can always find the right cruise experience for their clients.

Are your ships fully accessible to people with disabilities?
We have certain modified cabins on selected ships but unfortunately this is not fleet wide. As a river cruise experience has stops in many towns and villages with steep hills and cobble stone streets it is recommended that travel advisors thoroughly qualify and inform their clients with disabilities.

Do you have co-op marketing? If so what type of projects will you consider?
Absolutely! Our Regional Sales Directors welcome the discussion around promoting and marketing our river cruises. Print, digital, eNewsletters, social media, VIP events and consumer shows all fall into that category.

Do you embrace the solo traveler?
Yes, we certainly do, in fact we have had hosted groups of solo travelers and they have a marvelous time. We also offer on select departures a no single supplement charge to attract solo travelers.

Do you offer travel advisor rates to experience your ships?
Yes! And we encourage travel advisors to sail with us because the more you know about Scenic River and Emerald Waterways the more confident you will be in recommending and selling our ships and programs. Pricing starts from only $695, to qualify, please contact your Scenic Regional Sales Director to talk about options. We look forward to welcoming travel advisors interested in selling Scenic cruise and or Emerald Waterways onboard one of our ships to experience the Scenic difference.