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Five Minutes With ... Daniel Beals

Five Minutes With ... Daniel Beals

Five Minutes With Daniel Beals, Marketing and Human Resources for St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.

Having worked in the small ship cruising industry since 1999, Daniel Beals has seen plenty of developments and changes over the years. He got his start as a deckhand aboard St. Lawrence Cruise Lines' 64-passenger riverboat, Canadian Empress. Since then, Beals has worked for the company in a variety of roles, including as supply officer, operations assistant, marketing coordinator, and most recently, human resources manager.

I'm certain that if I was in a different corner of the industry, I'd be talking about the automation of booking/reservations or the role of digital marketing to sell cruises. However, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is small, and the majority of our passengers are retirees, so we still do business in very old fashioned ways compared to other travel companies. We prefer to speak directly with our passengers during the reservation process and book directly over the phone. For marketing, we still use newspaper and magazine ads to reach our audience because our target audience is still using those outlets to get news and travel information.

The most impactful changes we've seen on the travel landscape are when there are changes to border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada—prior to 2001, there were barely any. This has become more onerous over time and the border was closed for the most part during the pandemic. Thankfully, there appears to be a fresh effort to make travel between the two countries easy and worry-free once again.

Perhaps I'm biased towards our core travel market, but I believe there are huge opportunities to serve the Baby Boomer generation as they continue to leave the workforce and have opportunities to travel and experience the world in new ways. This is a generation that has worked their whole lives and earned the opportunity to see the world. Additionally, many retirees were forced to stay home during the pandemic to safeguard their health, leading to a pent up desire to travel and sample new experiences (meaning fresh opportunities for tour operators and travel companies).

St. Lawrence Cruise Lines offers a small ship river cruising experience that's relaxed, intimate and unique. Now in our 43rd year of cruising, we have an unmatched familiarity and comfort with sharing Canada's rivers with our passengers.

The Canadian Empress is a one-of-a-kind vessel originally built as a replica Victorian steamboat, but has since been modernized to showcase the sights and sounds of the St. Lawrence River. It's a warm, comfortable ship that's small enough to stop at many of the small river communities along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. These ports are normally not visited by larger vessels, so it's rare for travelers to experience firsthand the history and culture of the region. The size of the ship also gives our hospitality staff a chance to provide one-on-one service to our passengers, and even contributes to greater opportunities for travelers to get to know one another and form new friendships.

Now booking for 2024, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines has added more cruises to their schedule and are working to develop new and unique itineraries. Visit

Edited by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.

This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec '23 issue of Groups Today.

Photo Courtesy of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines. 


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