Calabasas, Ca - (Aug. 24, 2018) -

(Photo left): Kathy Bigel, director, business development ASTA; Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways; Diane Horan, regional director, key accounts AmaWaterways; Bob Duglin, vice president business development ASTA; and Samantha Brown, television host

(Photo right): Beth Butzlaff, Virtuoso vice president, Cruise Sales; Gary Murphy, vice president of sales and co-owner of AmaWaterways; and David Kolner, Virtuoso senior vice president, Global Member Partnerships

AmaWaterways today proudly announced it was named the American Society of Travel Advisors’ (ASTA) 2018 Supplier of the Year and River Cruise Line of the Year at the Global Convention in Washington, D.C. In addition, the leading river cruise line was recognized as the 2018 River Cruise Line of the Year by the global luxury travel network Virtuoso® during a gala dinner in Las Vegas, NV, last week. The awards were accepted on behalf of AmaWaterways by Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner, and Gary Murphy, vice president of sales and co-owner, respectively.

“Being awarded top River Cruise Line by members of two prestigious travel agent organizations like ASTA and Virtuoso is an incredible honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of every single member of AmaWaterways’ team,” said Karst. “We are humbled and very proud also to have been named ASTA’s best overall Supplier of the Year. This has been a tremendous year for our company, and we couldn’t do what we do without the incredible support we receive from travel professionals.”

Each year, the ASTA Global Convention Awards recognize industry suppliers who demonstrate a willingness and desire to partner with agencies and reward the travel agent sales force. The Supplier of the Year award is a very special honor voted on by members -- representing 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States -- and recognizing one supplier company who stands out from all the others in their outstanding support and commitment to ASTA and the travel advisor community.

“It is my distinct honor to recognize AmaWaterways as the 2018 Supplier of the Year and River Cruise Line Partner of the Year,” said Bob Duglin, vice president, business development ASTA. “I have personally known Kristin, Rudi, Gary and the team at AmaWaterways since the company’s inception in 2002, and it’s with great pleasure that I announce that our members have chosen them to receive not one, but two major awards this year.”

The Virtuoso® awards are voted on by travel agency members and considered a distinct honor, as only a fraction of the network’s 1,700 partners were recognized during the 30th annual Virtuoso Travel Week. In addition to being voted River Cruise Line of Year, AmaWaterways’ Vice President of Sales and Co-owner, Gary Murphy, was honored by being named Virtuoso’s® Cruise Ambassador of the Year. This award is voted on by Virtuoso® member agents and recognizes Murphy’s outstanding contributions to the luxury cruise industry and unfailing support to their professional travel advisor network.

“AmaWaterways is extremely honored to be recognized for the seventh consecutive year as Virtuoso’s River Cruise Line of the Year,” said Murphy. “I was also very surprised and deeply touched to have been named Virtuoso’s Cruise Ambassador of the Year. Working with Virtuoso’s travel advisors is such a pleasure for me and so rewarding as they share so many of the same beliefs and goals as our AmaWaterways family, including the commitment to deliver an exceptional, personalized luxury cruise experience that exceeds the guests’ expectations.”

For more information or to book an AmaWaterways river cruise, contact your travel professional, visit or call (800) 626-0126. Follow AmaWaterways at, Instagram @AmaWaterways and Twitter @AmaWaterways.

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