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INTERVIEW: A-Rosa Aust/NZ director Birgit Eisbrenner


There’s a new name about to come sailing over the horizon and into the Australian cruise market. Back in March, we spoke to Birgit Eisbrenner, the newly appointed Regional Director Australia and New Zealand, to find out more about A-Rosa.

 

For those unfamiliar with A-ROSA, what’s the background of the company?

A-ROSA is a European river cruise company that was established in 2001 as a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises. With growth in demand for river cruising, A-ROSA expanded and became the premium-quality market leader in Germany and beyond. 

A-ROSA is very popular in Europe, the UK and increasingly in long-haul markets like Australasia, to name a few.

 

How big is your fleet and where do you sail?

A-ROSA currently operates 12 ships across the Danube, Rhine (including Main and Moselle), Seine, Rhône/Saône and Douro, offering city and nature tours as well as curated themed itineraries.

A-ROSA’s 13th, and yet to be named vessel, dubbed the ‘E-Motion’ ship, is scheduled for delivery in 2021. Sailing on the Rhine, the ship is equipped with an innovative battery storage system and air-bubble technology, which drastically lowers emissions.

 

 

You’ve decided to target the Australasian market, but why now?

In recent years, A-ROSA has experienced an increase in bookings and enquiries from Australia and New Zealand, even without a locally based team. Opening an office in Sydney was the logical next step to provide more support to our current and new agency partners.

 

River cruising is quite a competitive market. What's the A-ROSA difference?

Our Premium-All-Inclusive concept is unique and designed to offer our guests the highest degree of choice and flexibility. Some of the key inclusions are:

#Gourmet buffet meals, with live cooking stations and no set mealtimes or assigned tables

#High-quality drinks throughout the day (including speciality coffees and alcoholic beverages)

#Kids travel for free (up to the age of 15 and if accompanied by a full fare paying adult. Except Douro, where a 25 per cent child discount applies.)

We are also the only river cruise line that offers a huge range of short itineraries starting at three-nights and long departures, up to 16-nights. This makes A-ROSA the perfect choice for guests looking for short breaks, as an add-on to any European holiday and for river cruising enthusiasts interested in comprehensive itineraries.

Another point-of-difference is that A-ROSA does not include shore excursions in the cruise tariff. Guests may choose to partake in guided excursions but are also invited to explore destinations by themselves. It’s entirely their choice. 

 

Balcony Suite

 

Is your product range suitable for all travellers?

A-ROSA is an ideal fit for active minded people of all ages. Independent travellers, who enjoy an informal environment where they can do as much or as little as they please, feel right at home on board our ships. 

Our ‘kids travel for free’ (see above) policy also makes A-ROSA a perfect choice for multi-generational travellers. 

This is a great proposition for Australians seeking to explore Europe and to connect with friends and family. I recently received a request from a British couple living in Australia keen to organise a family reunion on  board one of our ships.

 

Will travel agents be an integral part of your development plans?

Most definitively. We are thrilled and encouraged by the strong interest we have received from the trade in Australia and New Zealand so far. As a new member of CLIA Australasia, we have the perfect platform to engage with the very best cruise agents this region has to offer, allowing us to showcase our superb product offering and establish further Preferred Partner agreements.

 

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Published: 28 April 2020


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