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AmaWaterways' Kristin Karst


AmaWaterways is a top pick of travel sellers and their clients. The company's ebullient co-founder, Kristin Karst, is the main reason why. Read about what's next for the river cruise innovator.   

River Cruising Around the World
Tourism Spotlight10

Temples of Angkor on Google Earth

Monday April 14, 2014

Angkor WatIf you sell travel, you sell imagery. You sell to clients the imaginary picture of themselves in faraway settings.

It's a skill that draws upon our own creativity, imagination and enthusiasm for a place.

Sometimes, pictures and words alone don't always do justice to a destination. That's why I applaud Google's efforts to capture the world's wonders with its Google Earth projects.

Last year we wrote about the amazing Rob Pacheco from Hawaii Forest & Trail. He strapped on a Google Street View Trekker Cam and led a team around Hawaii, the Big Island. Together, they captured the island's rugged beauty for all to see.

Google Earth's has now completed its Temples of Angkor project. The world's largest ancient city includes the iconic Angkor Wat. It's one of the most memorable places I've ever encountered.

Now everyone can share the experience and perhaps become inspired to go there.

Imagining oneself in a destination just became a little easier.

Photo Courtesy Cambodia Tourism Board


Tourism Numbers Up

Sunday April 13, 2014

Those of us who work with the travel industry know the benefits it delivers to the human spirit.

But we don't always look at it in terms of sheer economic numbers. That's why it's a good idea to keep tabs on the myriad resources the US Department of Commerce makes available. Their frequent reports on the impact of travel and tourism are eye-openers for even the most ardent industry supporters.

The most recent announcement from the National Travel and Tourism Office touts the continued increase in travel and tourism employment in the US. Employment grew in fact at a whole percentage point more than overall employment in the last quarter of 2013. More impressively, employment has grown for the last fifteen quarters.

Tourism spending increased as well.

Go to travel.trade.gov for more details about our industry's impact on the economy.

Let's all make more of an impact in the weeks to come!


Durnstein on the Danube

Saturday March 29, 2014

Durnstein, Austria from DanubeThe apricot trees are in bloom and bright purple wildflowers dot the vineyards. River cruise season on the Danube is starting out under warm sunshine and blue skies.

Here in Austria's famous Wachau Valley, the town of Durnstein is just waking up from winter. As always, the town's two landmarks give an unforgettaible first impression.

One, the graceful blue and white baroque church, towers over stone walls and steep cobbled streets.

The other is the crumbled hilltop castle where Richard the Lionheart lay imprisoned during the third Crusade. His countrymen paid a true king's ransom to get him back.

Today, it's a twenty minute walk up to the ruins. It's not for the faint of heart. But for those who can tear themselves away from apricot brandy tastings in the shops, it's worthwhile effort.

The Danube is majestic here, and vineyards line the hills as far as the eye can see.

The view you might say is priceless. Or at least worth a king's ransom.

Photo Courtesy Strategic Travel Media

Wine Cruising with AmaWaterways

Saturday March 29, 2014

Heuriger Austrian wine villageWe sang and danced all  night on the AmaCerto. Austrian heuriger wine taverns, lively music (plus free-flowing wine) turned passengers into friends.

...and Elvis, Billy Joel and Tina Turner once we got back on the ship and the karaoke took over.

I've covered cruise tourism for many years, and I've never had a livelier time on the rivers or the oceans.

This is after all, the Melodies of the Danube itinerary, so music was in the air.

But there's also something pretty special about the AmaWaterways philosophy. They pay close attention to even the smallest detail of passenger comfort.

You can't pre-plan comaraderie, enthusiasm and laughter, however. That either takes hold or not, depending on the crew, the ship, the itinerary and the guests.

On this the first AmaWaterways wine cruise of the season, all came together perfectly.

An ocean line has long used the Fun Ship moniker.

But, anyone about the AmaCerto this week will agree.

That labels belongs to us.

Photo Courtesy Strategic Travel Media




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