AmaWaterways today announced Advantage Travel Partnership Chief Executive Officer Julia Lo Bue-Said as its first-ever British Godmother. As Godmother of the highly anticipated 102-passenger AmaDouro, Bue-Said will bless the ship during a ceremony in Porto, Portugal, on April 12, 2019.
“We are so pleased that Julia has accepted our invitation to be Godmother to AmaDouro,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways. “A huge part of our success is due to our very important trade partners, and Advantage has been incredibly supportive of us as we continue to grow our brand in the UK. For that reason and others, Julia is a welcome addition to our family of Godmothers.”
As CEO of Advantage, the UK’s largest independent travel agent partnership, Bue-Said is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, as well as overseeing the strategic efforts and overall vision for the company. A seasoned industry veteran, Bue-Said started her career overseas and held various positions at Thomas Cook, Balkan Holidays and The Best Travel Group before joining Advantage, where she has worked for more than 20 years. In 2012, she was inducted into the Women’s 1st Top 100 Club for Travel and Hospitality.
“I am very excited to take on this role and truly humbled to be AmaWaterways’ first UK Godmother,” said Bue-Said. “This honor comes during a milestone year as Advantage celebrates our 40th anniversary. AmaWaterways commitment to the UK trade is testament of the opportunities developing partnerships create, and we fully support their commitment to drive more business through our members.”
Stuart Perl, managing director of AmaWaterways UK added, “Our UK office opened only two years ago, but in that time, we have built close relationships with the UK travel trade, increasing our brand awareness and leadership in the market. We have seen a 30 percent increase in revenue from last year and nearly 40 percent increase in forward bookings year-to-year. These achievements would not be possible without the incredible support we have received from our travel industry partners, and we are proud to have Julia as our first UK Godmother.”
AmaDouro offers 51 spacious, elegantly designed staterooms, most with outside balconies to enjoy beautiful views of hills and vineyards along the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley. Additional amenities include a Panoramic Lounge for nightly entertainment, a heated Sun Deck swimming pool, fitness room, massage room and the company’s renowned cuisine at the Main Restaurant, serving regionally-inspired dishes and hand-selected wines.
Joining sister ship AmaVida on the Douro river, AmaDouro will be based in Porto and offer seven-night roundtrip Enticing Douro cruises through one of Europe’s most unspoiled areas. AmaDouro is the first of three new ships that will be added to AmaWaterways’ innovative fleet this year. Other new ships making their debut include AmaMora, sister ship to AmaLea and AmaKristina, sailing on the Rhine, and the revolutionary AmaMagna on the Danube.