A North Yorkshire travel agent said he felt “elated” as he secured a £62,000 booking for a 46-night river cruise with AmaWaterways.

Ian Bates, branch manager at Kyle Travel Services in Yarm, made the booking for a couple who will embark on the Seven-River Journey Through Europe cruise on June 1, 2023.

They will start onboard AmaLyra in Paris and will stay on four ships during their holiday, which will take them to 14 countries across Europe.

Bates first heard about the cruise from Joanne Smithies, AmaWaterways’ business development manager for northern England, Scotland and Ireland.

He said he had been in regular contact with the couple throughout lockdown, ringing them for chats every couple of weeks.

“When I read about the cruise, I thought they would be interested and they thought it was fantastic. They were hooked,” he said.

“I was elated by the booking, we don’t do that every day. It is a fabulous booking and it is a unique cruise.”

The deposit for the cruise was £7,400 and Bates managed to increase the value of the booking when he secured a better cabin for the couple.


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Bates has been in travel for 28 years and has worked at the Yarm branch of Kyle Travel since 2012.

He sells a range of leisure travel, especially long-haul, tailor-made holidays.

Bates highlighted how important customer service is for the agency, and praised the support from The Travel Network Group during the pandemic.

He added: “I am now getting a lot of enquiries for holidays for the summer and taking bookings for the end of summer, September andOctober – and 2022 is starting to book up.

“I have nothing but praise for AmaWaterways too; we have had wonderful customer feedback about them.”