People Making Waves spotlights Barbara Davis, Manager, Training & Sales Support, American Queen Steamboat Company
What’s new and exciting at American Queen Steamboat Company?
So much is happening at AQSC right now that the excitement is at an all-time high. We are most excited about our fleet expansion for both the AQSC brand and our acquisition of Victory Cruise Lines. The American Countess will be our fourth authentic paddlewheeler offering cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers beginning in 2020. Victory Cruise Lines is an amazing product that we are excited to have added to our portfolio of brands. With amazing itineraries such as the Great Lakes Grand Discovery which sails from Chicago to Toronto (or reverse), guests experience amazing destinations such as Mackinac Island, Little Current and Niagara Falls. Plus the cruises are all-inclusive with all meals, all alcohol all the time and shore excursions included in each port of call.
What is unique about your product and why should agents sell it confidently?
Guests nowadays want authentic experiences and our cruises are as authentic as it gets on America’s rivers. Everything we do centres around immersive experiences where guests are wrapped in the history and culture of the destinations in which we sail. There is nothing like being on a voyage where you visit historic sites such as Vicksburg Battlefield and listen to a Civil War reenactor, or get to explore the caves made famous by Tom Sawyer with a visit to Hannibal MO, where the boyhood home of Mark Twain is, all while visiting the sites from your beautiful authentic paddlewheel boat – a throwback to the steamboating era of the late 1800s, but with modern amenities.
How is AQSC supporting the agent community and what tools are available to them?
We love our travel agent partners and are always looking for ways to support them and provide them with the resources needed to have the confidence to sell our cruises and put more commission in their pocket. Our Steamboat Academy certification program consists of on-demand webinars that are fun and engaging. Our marketing collateral is available in customizable versions so that they can add their call to action and drive the business back to them. Agents should register on agents.aqsc.com
What’s one quirk travel agents don’t know about you?
Most travel agents only know me from their interaction through the Steamboat Academy and by my leading FAM trips, so I’d say a quirk they would have no idea about is that I am an avid Harry Potter fan. And I collect gnomes.
What is one of your pet peeves?
Invasion of personal space