June 24th 2020

Global travel – What now?

MCI-Livetalk with Rudi Schreiner, President & Co-Founder of the renowned river cruise company AmaWaterways, Los Angeles


Rudi Schreiner (re.) im Gespräch mit MCI-Rektor Andreas Altmann. Foto:MCI
Rudi Schreiner (re.) im Gespräch mit MCI-Rektor Andreas Altmann. Foto:MCI

Rudi Schreiner, born in Vienna, is president and co-founder of AmaWaterways, one of the most reputable European river cruise companies. In the latest MCI-Livetalk he talks about exciting voyages in his youth which shaped his entire life and eventually led to the foundation of AmaWaterways in 2002. The river cruise company is dedicated to offering its guests unique luxury holiday experiences. Especially Americans travel on the expansive river network of "Good Old Europe".

Money has never been a motivation, says Rudi Schreiner. "Nice to have," he adds, and describes his first trip to Asia, where he had a total budget of 500 dollars and was even able to buy a car for the duration of the  trip.

Today, AmaWaterways is in a good position. They are practically debt-free which allows the company to survive - even in a worst-case scenario. However, they prepared for a different situation as AmaWaterways is very concerned about nature and climate change. Climate change causes glaciers to melt which means the groundwater level is sinking. AmaWaterways therefore imagined low water levels as their worst-case scenario, causing a standstill for their ships for a long time. Unexpectedly the feared standstill occurred due to the Corona virus.  Although the river cruise company was prepared for such a situation, the first two weeks of the Corona crisis were the most difficult time in the history of AmaWaterways as far-reaching decisions had to be made. They did not experience this one moment where one big decision had to be made, but they observed the situation and decisions resulted from it.

The travel industry as well as the economy in general will recover, even if it takes some time. People need security and a vaccination would help. Other factors are political decisions such as opening borders. However, the Corona crisis has implicated incredible shifts in the economy. Developments which would normally need five or six years are now taking place in a very short time.

Rudi Schreiner stands out not only in his agility as an entrepreneur, but also in his positive view on life: "It is important to enjoy life and try to make the best out of it”. And about the future of AmaWaterways he states: "I see our future absolutely positively. We will survive this crisis. Our guests can experience unforgettable holidays in a safe, luxurious environment. There are so many interesting places to explore."

Mag. Bettina Stichauner | Head Alumni Center Alumni & Friends
Mag. Bettina Stichauner Head Alumni Center +43 512 2070 - 1700
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