HomeCruise NewsRiviera Travel Celebrates 40 Years In The City of Love

Riviera Travel Celebrates 40 Years In The City of Love

This week, ITTN’s Carrie Day was joined by Clare Dunne (ITAA), Carol Anne O’Neill (Worldchoice), Bernie Burke (Travel Centres), Dawn Conway (Cassidy Travel), Jacinta McGlynn (Travel Biz), Eoghan Corry (Travel Extra), Linda Maher (Irish Daily Mail) and Conor Power (Freelance Journalist) for 2 nights onboard the MS Jane Austen, in Paris to celebrate 40 years of Riviera.

Why Paris, I hear you ask? We have to go back to 1981 when Michael Wright (founder of Riviera Travel) created a company offering camping holidays in canvas tents, however he quickly realised that a 3-month season is not enough to sustain a business and the tents had to go.

Fast forward to 1984, when Michael took 46 guests from Riviera’s home in Burton Upon Trent, by bus, to England’s south coast where they boarded a ferry to spend 3 nights in… you guessed it – Paris!

MS Jane Austen was docked close to the Eiffel Tower and during both dinner sittings, she sailed down the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower, treating us to incredible views of the banks of the river and the stunning light show that takes place each evening.

On Monday night, while the weather behaved, guests onboard were treated to an up-close view of the light show while a rapturous rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ filled the still air.

Members of the Irish and UK travel trade were treated to exquisite food, delicious cocktails that packed a punch and wines paired with the food served, as well as lively entertainment across the two nights to ensure guests onboard continued the birthday celebrations into the small hours!

Joining us for the 2-night celebration were members of the UK travel trade as well as members of the Riviera Travel team including Vicky Billing, Head of Trade and Partnerships UK & Ireland, Phil Hullah (CEO) and Robin Shaw (COO).

The Riviera Travel team continuously thanked members of the trade and media for their support over the last forty years, acknowledging the huge part the trade has played in their continuous growth. Riviera has now set its sights on growing their presence in emerging markets, such as Ireland and the US, having solidified their presence in the UK market.

L-R: Carrie Day, Jacinta McGlynn, Linda Maher, Phil Hullah (Riviera Travel CEO), Dawn Conway, Carol Anne O’Neill, Bernie Burke

The much-loved Riviera Travel brand offers customers river cruises as well as an extensive touring programme, across Europe, catering for the over 60’s and members of the Irish travel trade commented on their delight to have Riviera trading in the Irish market once again.

Phil Hullah offered his personal gratitude for their enthusiasm and support and promises to continue to build on existing relationships as well as forging new partnerships within the Irish industry. Vicky Billing was eager to reiterate Riviera’s commitment to the Irish trade, with a newly appointed trade sales manager for Ireland and Scotland, Chris McCloskey. While Chris is based in Glasgow, he intends to have regular contact and visits with Irish trade partners and is always on hand to help agents with enquiries or training.

Riviera Travel are now offering guests up to €250pp savings on select 2024 departures on the Burgundy, River Rhone and Provence cruise. Click here to learn more.

Sincere thanks to all at Riviera for a wonderful 2 nights onboard the beautiful MS Jane Austen and for their generous hospitality. For more on Riviera Travel’s River Cruises and Touring programmes, visit https://www.rivieratravel.ie/agents.   

Carrie Day
Carrie Day
Carrie started her career in the travel industry in 2014 and has worked in various roles such as Travel Consultant in Canada & Ireland, Business Development Manager and later Industry Sales Manager EMEA at an international tour company. She is also a trustee for the ITAA Benevolent Fund since 2021 and proud member of the AWTE Ireland. Conversations around sustainable travel are welcomed and encouraged!

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