A-Rosa and Cosmos hosted a fam for 30 agents on A-Rosa Flora from Amsterdam to Cologne. Harry Kemble reports from Antwerp

A-Rosa aims to attract more families on its cruises by hosting a fam trip next summer for travel agents and their loved ones.

The German river cruise line attracted more than 2,000 children in 2016 after allowing them to sail for free.

Now, after partnering with Cosmos earlier this year, A-Rosa wants to further strengthen its foothold in the family river cruise market.

Speaking during a fam trip on board the line’s A-Rosa Flora, Lucia Rowe (pictured), head of A-Rosa UK, said: “A-Rosa is committed to the trade 100%. When we opened our whole itinerary portfolio, we discovered Cosmos was a very good partner. They particularly liked what we offered.

“Our aim is to develop the family market more. We are going to do a family fam trip over the summer holidays [in 2018]. We [already] give cabins away to agents but this will be a little bit different.

“It is crucial travel agents can differentiate one brand from another.”

The fam trip for agents and their loved ones will take place between the end of July and end of August to coincide with the school holidays. Full details of the trip will be revealed in the coming months.

A-Rosa’s sales rose significantly after it offered free cabins to children in 2016 to encourage families to sail.

The line was expecting to have achieved a further increase in 2017.

Rowe added: “A-Rosa has never gone for the same sort of customer as other cruise brands.

“Even when we designed the A-Rosa concept 16 years ago, we designed it away from the traditional river cruise customer to address as many market segments as possible.

“We see it as the main reason for our existence; finding a niche within a niche.

“On average our passengers are much younger than any other river cruise customer.”

Janet Parton, Cosmos sales director for the UK and Ireland, added: “Fam trips can hugely change a travel agent’s perception of a product.

“It is about enhancing the knowledge that they are gaining. The family market is massively untouched.”

Agents on Flora

Elaine Sammarco, GoCruise


“I like Flora’s unusual decor; it’s brightly coloured and fun. I like the relaxed atmosphere, which will appeal to families and also people in their 50s looking for something less formal and stuffy. I would certainly try to sell A-Rosa cruises.

I like the tie-up with Cosmos; it is really useful because it is such a trusted brand.”

Martin Hay, GoCruise
“It is bright, colourful and spacious. I am loath to recommend anything to clients I have not seen. If I do not think it is right for my people I am not going to sell it. I do like A-Rosa Flora. I’ve never seen a nicer spa.”

Denise Hodgson, Travel The World 2

denise“They have got family cabins and there are a lot of pluses. For couples, there are some risky things. The evening buffet won’t appeal to all clients. The good thing is there is a lot of choice with the buffet, but on the negative side, clients don’t want to be getting up and down all evening.”