Hi, it’s Deb. As professional travel advisors, we are always looking for ways to serve you better and help you have the best travel experiences possible. One of the ways we do this is by attending industry conferences, and I recently attended the American Society of Travel Advisors River Cruise Conference on the banks of the Danube River in Budapest.

I went a few days early before the conference started to spend some time in Budapest. There are so many amazing things about this city. Budapest is such a walkable city and easy to explore. The views of St. Stephen’s Basilica never get old, and I also loved exploring the Castle District and taking in the stunning views of the Danube River from the Fisherman’s Bastion. I ate at two of my favorite restaurants and found a few new favorites. I also visited four of the preferred hotels I work with, so I know which hotel fits the personality of each client that visits Budapest. And let me say, they are all stunning!


During the conference, I had the amazing opportunity to visit seven different river cruise ships, stay on board one of them, and experience the different amenities and offerings firsthand. I also had the chance to sample meals on board multiple ships, giving me a better sense of the dining options available to my clients. 


One of the highlights of the conference was the post-conference sailing on the Scenic Jasper. This was an incredible opportunity to see firsthand the level of luxury and service that clients can expect when sailing with Scenic. I was able to experience everything from top-notch cuisine to onboard entertainment and enrichment activities.

After the cruise, I spent an extra day in Vienna – and again, I was blown away by the beauty and history of this city. We had stopped in Vienna on the cruise, so I had already done a tour of the city and had a lay of the land. While in Vienna, I went to the Sisi Museum, which was great because I read a couple of books about her. We also went to the Naschmarkt, a huge food market. I don’t think a visit to Vienna is complete without going to at least one of the more than 100 museums. We went to the Belvedere to see the Gustav Klimt exhibit

The stunning Belvedere Museum (above) and the Naschmarkt in Vienna (right)

Attending this conference has made me better prepared to help you select the right brand, ship, and itinerary for your next river cruise. With firsthand knowledge of the different options out there, I can offer you personalized recommendations that take into account your specific interests and preferences.

When you work with a travel agent who attends industry conferences like this one, you can rest assured that you are getting expert guidance and advice. So if you are considering a river cruise, be sure to reach out to me to help you plan an unforgettable journey.