CALABASAS, Calif., June 3, 2016 — On Thursday, June 2nd, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) inducted Rudi Schreiner, co-founder of AmaWaterways, into its Hall of Fame, presenting him with the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award.” A proven leader and pioneer, Schreiner has spent decades helping elevate river cruising to its current position as one of the most popular segments of the global tourism industry. Schreiner was joined during the CLIA Hall of Fame Gala in Vancouver by his friends, family and members of the AmaWaterways team.
“It’s a true honor to be selected as a member of this prestigious group and I thank CLIA for considering me for this award,” said Schreiner, during his acceptance speech. “I have dedicated my career to expanding the river cruising segment and am still just as passionate about the field as when I started. I am also inspired by the opportunity that exists ahead, with so much untapped potential. On behalf of my extraordinary team at AmaWaterways, I can say that we are proud to have created a wonderful experience for our guests over the years, and that we are all grateful to continue being part of something so very special.”
Informally dubbed the “Godfather of River Cruising” by many within the industry, Schreiner’s extensive experience dates back to his early 20’s, when he and a group of friends constructed a raft and spent seven months sailing the Amazon, researching the legendary region. Since that time, he has been at the helm of most major international river cruise companies helping launch their U.S. operations. Today, Schreiner directly oversees AmaWaterways’ overall operations, ship design and itinerary development.
In recognizing Schreiner, CLIA cited numerous achievements and milestones, including programs, services and amenities created by he and his wife and co-owner, Kristin Karst. First and foremost, CLIA acknowledged the way AmaWaterways has embraced the travel agent community, introducing a unique online travel agent education and marketing portal, as well as building powerful personal relationships with travel professionals.
CLIA also acknowledged the way Schreiner continues innovating the industry – from ship hardware to brand partnerships and the implementation of new services, tours and amenities. An example of this is the way he pioneered the concept of the “Twin Balcony” – constituting a French balcony and an outside balcony – designed to maximize the enjoyment of river views and natural light. Additionally, all new ships are now equipped with connecting cabins – which Schreiner, and AmaWaterways, were first to introduce – making river cruising more convenient for groups and families.
“I know that I speak on behalf of the entire AmaWaterways family in saying how proud we are of Rudi for all that he has achieved through his hard work, passion and energy,” Karst commented. “Rudi’s innovative spirit and dedication to his business partners, the travel agent community and the AmaWaterways team and crew have helped create the long-lasting relationships that have made our company what it is today.”
The CLIA Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year during the Cruise360 Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards dinner. The award honors an individual who has been a staunch and loyal advocate for the cruise travel industry, advocating on behalf of the industry and has made significant contributions to growing and promoting overall cruise travel to the public. Winners were nominated by CLIA members earlier in the year.