On lo­ca­tion aboard Crys­tal Bach

Managing director and vice pres­i­dent, Crys­tal River Cruises

Cruise Weekly - - NEWS -

To­day’s is­sue of CW is com­ing to you cour­tesy of Crys­tal Cruises, aboard the Crys­tal Bach cur­rently cruis­ing Ger­many’s Rhine River.

CRYS­TAL Bach ar­rives in Basel, Switzer­land to­day, as the south­ern­most point of its Rhine River itin­er­ary.

The ves­sel spends two nights here, al­low­ing for ex­tended shore ex­cur­sions as well as din­ing at some of the city’s top restau­rants.

After our Basel so­journ the cruise wraps up with a full day of cruis­ing back to Frank­furt, en­abling pas­sen­gers to view the Rhine in ul­ti­mate comfort.

Cruise Weekly caught up with cruise fa­natic Wal­ter Lit­tle­john in Europe this week and he gave us some fas­ci­nat­ing in­sights into his life and ca­reer.

1. What mo­ti­vates you in your ca­reer?

I have a huge pas­sion for cruise ships and the travel in­dus­try in gen­eral. At the age of 14 I de­cided I wanted to be an executive in the cruise business, and ev­ery­thing I have done has been work­ing to­wards that goal.

2. Most com­mon as­sump­tion peo­ple make about your job?

Like any­one in travel, peo­ple as­sume I lead a glam­orous life - there’s a cer­tain mys­tique about it. How­ever at the end of the day ex­ceed­ing guest ex­pec­ta­tions is not easy, with a lot of hard work be­hind it that peo­ple don’t usu­ally see.

3. What is the key to build­ing great re­la­tion­ships with travel agents?

I spent 14 years as a travel agent my­self with the aim of re­ally un­der­stand­ing what is in­volved in cruise dis­tri­bu­tion. Hav­ing been an agent and be­ing able to em­pathise is a huge ben­e­fit for me. The key needs of a travel agent are sim­ple - they need part­ners they can rely on and good prod­ucts to de­liver to their clients. If we can do those things well, the rest is easy.

4. Biggest chal­lenge fac­ing the in­dus­try?

I hate to use the term ‘Fake News’ but I be­lieve there is a dan­ger for the in­dus­try if our au­di­ence doesn’t get the right facts. If our mes­sage about ser­vices or des­ti­na­tions is mis­com­mu­ni­cated, cus­tomers are likely to have the wrong ex­pec­ta­tions.

5. What was your best fam trip?

The cruise I’m on ( Crys­tal Bach Jew­els of the Rhine) and the next one I’ll be tak­ing - I just love cruis­ing!

6. What is your favourite cruise des­ti­na­tion?

Ac­tu­ally I re­ally like be­ing on board. As a kid I used to take lots of “cruises to nowhere” out of New York just to ex­pe­ri­ence the ship. It re­ally is a utopian va­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence.

7. Name a celebrity you’d like to cruise with?

I’d love to cruise with Heidi Klum. Ac­tu­ally it might hap­pen one day - maybe she could be­come the god­mother to one of our ships? I have made some over­tures...

8. Favourite thing to do in port?

I like to eat some of the au­then­tic lo­cal cui­sine, ex­pe­ri­ence the des­ti­na­tion like those who live there.

9. When you’re not at work how do you spend your me?

Trav­el­ling!

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