Transcending the Traditional Charter for Your Groups

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TranscendTranscend, a charter-only fleet of ships custom built for meetings and incentives at sea, is fast-tracking operations for 2023.

Transcend Cruises is preparing its own fleet of purpose-built vessels, originally expected to launch in 2025, but interest has been such that the company decided to begin operations this month onboard one of Riverside Luxury Cruises’ Rhine Class ships, contracted and branded as Advance by Transcend. The vessel will operate on the Rhine and Moselle in 2023, with wider deployments through December 2024 on customized group itineraries.

With a model that serves private groups rather than retail passengers, Transcend can move its ships to the location of your choosing. The company is currently designing and building its own fleet dedicated to the group market, including corporate and incentive planners, tour operators, private family groups, lifestyle brands and more.

With an eventual fleet of 12 identical river vessels setting sail over the next 4+ years, Transcend Cruises was developed specifically for group business, billing itself as a cruise line that only serves B2B, with no individual sales. One hundred percent of the fleet will be sold as charters.

Here’s how they are uniquely targeted for incentive groups:

Customized itineraries. The ships will operate in about 70 percent of the navigable, western European waterways including the Rhine and Danube rivers. There are no pre-set itineraries, giving groups the option to avoid super busy port days and to choose charming, lesser-known destinations in countries such as Holland and Belgium as well as iconic European ports.

Customized program length. Planners choose program length as well as ports of call.

Identical cabins.  Transcend ships will have 60 identical oversized cabins, that can be converted to 30 luxury suites. While the typical river ship accommodates 150 to 200 guests, Transcend has dropped that number down to 120. Or, for luxury programs, 60 guests with a nearly one-to-one staff ratio.

Enhanced fitness. Transcend vessels will have expansive fitness facilities: 2,600 square feet of indoor/outdoor spa, wellness and exercise space said to be the largest and most comprehensive of any river cruising ship.

•Group meeting and dining space. Five separate venues will accommodate all attendees for dining, events and meetings.

Flat pricing model. Transcend’s clearly defined pricing model has no blackout dates or surge-pricing risks. In addition, they pulled back items such as shore excursions, which groups would typically pay for but might not use. Instead, planners can customize, with no up-charges if they buy a tour.

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