ALL ABOUT THE KING
The RiverCruiseKing.com Story
Meet The Guy They Call River Cruise King
Do you believe in serendipity? Fairy tales? Fate? I do! At least when it comes to travel.
My name is Dave, and not to sound clichè, but my life has been one great big adventure of amazing moments, world travel, and experiences that have not only molded me into one of Germany’s top tour guides but a world-class travel agent and specialist for river cruises.
I have spent the last decade bringing people together on unforgettable river cruises and helping others to plan their own life-changing vacations, and I want to do the same for you.
Does that sound far-fetched and boastful? Marketing talk?
Well, don’t listen to me. Listen to my clients who have been booking with me and sailing in my groups or on their own romantic adventures for over a decade.
I asked them why they book with me repeatedly? Why do they come on my escorted trips year after year? Why do they trust me to create vacations that create long-lasting memories for them?
These are the top 10 answers that came back:
• "Dave knows everybody..." Tis true! I don't just know them, either. They are mentors and friends as well: from cruise line owners to the heads of departments on board an amazing array of ships as well as off, from sales to operations to all the Cruise managers: and even loads of individual tour guides along the way. There isn't a question or topic I can't help you with, and if I don't know the answer, I know who does. Even better for you, they're all on my speed dial.
• "We always get the very best pricing possible at the time of booking... and even get adjusted if rates drop or special offers affect our sailing". My in-house teams of VIP handlers at the best lines and I watch the weekly promos and prices like hawks, and I will go to the mat to protect my already booked customers. It is not about being the cheapest; it's about making sure my guests get the best travel opportunities that are out there so they can use their travel budget in the best way possible. I also use a special program thru the Signature Travel Network that alerts me to price drops!
• "Dave's been on more river cruises than anyone except the crew." I am constantly on river cruises (52 in just the past 10 years and 21 more currently booked. I am also a top individual seller at your favourite lines and on many international "best" lists. Kristin Karst, owner of AmaWaterways herself dubbed me "The River Cruise King" and the knowledge gained from so many trips is the backbone of my advice in helping you plan your dream vacation.
• "Dave's been on even more ocean cruises than rivers!!" With over 75 sea voyages in addition to extensive river cruising I am familiar with the stark contrasts between the two styles of cruising so who better to help with yours!?
• "Dave knows what he is talking about from personal experience." I am not only an American living in Europe for over 22 years, but intimately know every single embarkation and port stop, as well as all the cities and towns, airports, train stations, and points of interest that could possibly affect your trip: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, Munich, and Basel are almost like second homes to me so you benefit from my "first-name basis" friendships with all the people around the world who make Ama cruises happen and that helps me make your trip unforgettable. I lived in the Rhine/Main region itself for a decade so the personal touch is genuine!
• "Dave gets what he asks for... " I choose the cruise managers on my group sailings. This makes for the smooth running of my groups with Cruise Managers with whom I have great relationships and our teamwork translates into a magical atmosphere for everyone, not only for my guests but all guests onboard. I also request particular guides in specific locations for my guests, having done their tours, and also organize special busses for my groups to be together on select tours.
• "Dave knows when to ask for it..." I pre-select the special dining nights for my groups when I know they won't conflict with other onboard speciality dining menus in the main restaurant like the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs or French Night dinners. I also let you know when is the best time to organize any of your own special requests.
• "We've met so many incredible people in Dave's groups." My groups encourage new, life-long friendships. My talent for bringing people together creates a fantastic, warm, and friendly atmosphere where strangers become friends and friends create lasting memories that don't stop when the cruise is over. There are even "Friends of Dave and RCK" nights in guests' home countries, as they often gather to see each other, relive fond memories, and share the fellowship of travelling as part of my River Cruise King "Royal Court."
• "I never feel alone, but I also never feel forced to join." Solo travellers are never alone when participating in my groups. Sure, you have your own cabin and can do your own thing, but there is always a happy smile and welcome to the group, people to sit with at meals and to chat with on the tours if you choose to go in my "Dave Group."
• "ALL the PERKS!" I organize extra activities and special events before, during, and even after your trip. Not only do my special activities complement your river cruise programs in the pre and post-cruise cities, but during the cruise itself, there is always some special event, party, or activity just for my guests to make them even more exciting.
• Lastly, the Number 1 most given reason to book with me or travel in one of my river cruise groups is FUN!!! The most common word people use about travelling in my groups, booking with me, or having me consult on their vacation is the absolute FUN they all have, starting with the first phone call or mail.
Still curious? A little unsure? Well, my story is a fun one. I was born in Philadelphia, PA, and moved to Orlando, FL, when I was ten years old. I spent my teenage years working at Disney World, my college years working at various Hilton Hotels, and after college, I began working for Cruises Only where I learned all about the cruise industry. I did a brief stint as a regional sales manager for Costa Cruise Lines but found romance on the Costa Victoria, which led me to move to Germany.
That was 22 years ago and I've spent much of it traveling extensively.
In my first decade here, I ran my own English training consultancy in Frankfurt. I had the pleasure and privilege of working with top executives at Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank, IKEA, the European Central Bank, and many other interesting German firms. It not only gave me professional purpose but an intimate look and connection with life in Germany, its culture, and the people.
When the financial crisis hit in 2008, I made a complete U-turn and returned to tourism, founding Friends of Dave Tours in Warnemünde, where I started providing English-speaking tour alternatives to cruise guests who didn't want to make the long trek to Berlin. It didn't take long for guests to spread the word about my fun, quirky, and very well-organized tours. I soon found myself listed in Rick Steves' Cruising Northern Europe guide books and have dominated TripAdvisor and Cruise Critic as Warnemünde's Number 1 tour and tour company for the past 12 years.
How did I become the River Cruise King? Simple. By listening to my guests.
During my tours I was asked repeatedly what I knew about river cruising since I had already been on 75 sea cruises. The truth was I didn't know much. Still, I DID know the Rhine, Mosel, and Danube very well, so I searched for the best river cruise company and began a decade long working relationship with the AmaWaterways.
55 Ama cruises later, I am their worldwide number 1 passenger, one of their top sellers internationally, and was a frequent guest on Ama's Webinar Wednesdays during Covid, as well as guest speaker on their travel agent education cruises. Post Covid I have now added Uniworld, Scenic & others to my roster and expanded my offerings!
What I love most is helping people just like you plan the most extraordinary getaway. So whether you want to go off on your own for a unique "majestic tour" or whether you would like to come on one of my escorted journeys, I think fate brought you here to my website today… and I never fight fate. I give in to it and let it take me on a wondrous journey, just like the one I have in store for you.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
- Dr. Maya Angelou
So what are you waiting for? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me to get started on your own magical adventure on an AmaWaterways river cruise. Not sure where you want to go yet? No problem, a short chat with me and I’ll give you my honest opinion of what river, ship, cabin category, and land package combination I think is best for you.