If your group is tired of dry land and the tedious turning of tyres, have you considered taking your group by water instead? Turn the travel into the focal point of the trip, with one of these cruising companies who take care of all the details and make life easier for GTOs

Fred Olsen braemar_flam000Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines caters for exceptional group travel abroad to a wide range of destinations ranging from the sublime sands of the Caribbean to the frosty face of the Arctic. They operate four unique, modern vessels: the ‘Balmoral’ (its 710 cabins can house up to 1,300 guests), the ‘Braemar’, the ‘Boudicca’ (aptly named after the Celtic warrior queen) and the ‘Black Watch’ (voted ‘Best for Entertainment’ by Cruisers Choice UK in 2012). All cruises are inclusive of en-suite accommodation and are packed with a number of daytime activities well suited for group travellers who want to enjoy the comfort and functionality of a good quality cruise holiday. Certain packages also offer groups the chance to indulge in, for example, guided tours in France of the city of La Rochelle’s artsy walkways and ancient wooden houses, or a visit to the renowned Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, or perhaps immersion into the unique history of St Peter’s Port in Guernsey. With future plans to increase trips to 246 destinations within 85 countries, sailing from local ports such as Southampton, Liverpool and Belfast, extended overnight stops will allow for more exploration time. Group organisers specifically can enjoy invaluable perks on-board, including free travel with parties of 10 to 20+ passengers, free parking and assistance with certain group events. There are no limits to the amount of free places available.

Info: 01473 746 169   group.sales@fredolsen.co.uk   www.fredolsencruises.com

SCVIAU_002HRiviera Travel has boasted an enviable collection of comprehensive river cruises over the past 30 years, from the comfort of its own ‘floating hotel’ which is a wonderful way to explore Europe. Stops include classic sights and more intimate places, and groups are welcome to participate in the substantial range of informative tours in destinations such as Salzburg, Prague and Switzerland. All Riviera staff undergo intensive resort-based training annually, ensuring the unique experience provided is both high quality and value for money. Dining onboard is also of the highest quality, prepared and served by a dedicated and highly professional brigade of chefs. As all cruises are chartered exclusively by Riviera Travel, catering for groups is refreshingly straight forward. They personally select every single element of their holidays, from hotels and suppliers to local guides and visits, in order to match the expectations of their clientele – they also offer 24 hour, UK-based emergency telephone help should it ever be required. In June 2013, Which? members voted Riviera Travel as one of the top holiday companies in the UK and awarded them the coveted ‘Recommended Provider’ status.

Info: 01283 742 300   info@rivieratravel.co.uk   www.rivieratravel.co.uk

River Cruise Line SerenityRiver Cruise Line takes passengers along Europe’s waterways on carefully planned routes, with something to suit groups on a wide variety of budgets. Groups looking into a river cruise for the first time are likely to be impressed by prices that start from £329 per person. The charming three star and four star vessels include a spacious sun deck for passengers to freely absorb the glorious views on the banks as they float past. River Cruise Line trips take place along famous European waterways and rivers including the Danube, Rhine and Moselle, covering key destinations for sightseeing such as Vienna, Paris and Amsterdam. Other trips take certain themes as their cue, such as a four day history cruise that includes a full day excursion to the battlefields of WWI or the Rhine Valley Christmas Markets break. The fleet of ships all offer en-suite accommodation, cosy, attentive service and great food. River Cruise Line has more than a decade of experience in the travel industry and has been awarded accolades including ‘Best Group Tour Operator’ thanks to the service they offer; the team can tailor-make packages to suit specific requirements and can even charter other ships. Their group travel coordinator Janet Fielding also won an award this year for her outstanding service to group travel organisers.

Info: 0844 544 6587   enquiries@rivercruiseline.co.uk   www.rivercruiseline.co.uk

Cruise and Maritime Voyages sail directly from the UK throughout the year, offering country-house style and ambience with excellent facilities on-board their three ships Astor, Marco Polo and Discovery. Most cruises offer their passengers a choice of special guest speaker and arts and crafts programmes in addition to a range of on-board activities and land visits and tours. Group benefits with Cruise and Maritime kick in on bookings of just 12 passengers or more and include a 10% group discount, a free place for every 20 passengers booked, and exclusive welcoming cocktail parties for groups of 30 or more. The group benefits begin even before Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo 1booking however; a dedicated group sales team offers great customer service, a simple quotation and can deal with any specific requirements that a group may have. Cruises begin from a range of British ports, including London, Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, Greenock and Leith. As the ships are relatively small in scale, they are capable of travelling to smaller, out-of-the-way ports that larger cruise ships are unable to visit and they also have a unique home-from-home atmosphere. Staff on-board quickly learn the names of passengers and their favourite drinks.

Info: 0844 414 6199   groups@cruiseandmaritime.com   www.cruiseandmaritime.com