Wednesday,  September 18, 2019  2:18 pm

Three popular river cruise trends to offer your clients


Three popular river cruise trends to offer your clients
Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin, a cruise expert and industry veteran based in Vancouver, is the owner of Your Cruise Coach Consulting.

With the launch of new ships and a broadening of available guest experiences, river cruising has been off to a good start for 2019.

READ MORE: AmaWaterways launches third ship, AmaMora

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Europe continues to be the hottest river destination. In CLIA’s Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook released in December 2018, 53 per cent of travel agents surveyed reported growth in river cruise bookings on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, and Elbe.

Furthermore, 79 per cent of travel agents surveyed also said that a river cruise is a perfect way to introduce cruising to their clients. River cruising does offer excellent value with included beverages and excursions; direct access to iconic cities; and, perhaps the most significant assurance for nervous first-timers, no risk of seasickness.

Trends for 2019

Europe continues to be the hottest destination. Here are a few trends we've been seeing this year.

Capturing the next generation: River cruising has traditionally attracted a senior clientele with an average age of 60-plus, but in the last few years, river lines have been targeting a younger audience by promoting to multi-generational travellers.

A focus on health and wellness: River cruises now offer more options for those seeking an active vacation. Many river lines carry a fleet of bicycles that are available for guests to take ashore free of charge and most new ships are now built with dedicated fitness and spa spaces.

The rise of canal barging: For clients seeking an intimate and relaxing river vacation, consider offering them a voyage aboard a canal barge. Barging is a completely laid-back experience while cruising through some of Europe’s most iconic scenery, such as the wine regions of France, the Scottish Highlands, and the canals of Holland.

However, it isn’t as rustic as you might think. Barges offer elegant accommodations, gourmet meals, regional wines, and guided excursions. The size of canal barges – accommodating as little as four to just over 20 – makes them perfect for private charters by families or small groups of friends.

New river ships

This year has been an exciting one, with many cruise lines introducing new river ships. Some have arrived, and some are on their way! 

Check out this chart below, and use it to get a better idea of what kinds of experiences await your clients.

Cruise Line
Ship
Capacity
Cruising Area
AmaWaterways
AmaMagna
196
Danube
AmaWaterways
AmaDouro
102
Douro
AmaWaterways
AmaMora
156
Rhine
A-Rosa
A-Rosa Alva
126
Douro
Amadeus River Cruises
Amadeus Star
164
Netherlands/Danube
American Cruise Lines
American Harmony
190
Mississippi
Avalon Waterways
Avalon Envision
166
Rhine/Main/Danube
CroisiEurope
Amalia Rodrigues
132
Douro
Emerald Waterways
Emerald Harmony
84
Mekong
Riviera Cruises
William Wordsworth
169
Rhine/Main/Danube
Riviera Cruises
George Eliot
132
Rhine/Main/Danube
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
S.S. Bon Voyage
124
Garonne/Dordogne/Gironde
Viking River Cruises
TBA (6 Longships)
190
Rhine/Main/Danube
Viking River Cruises
TBA
TBA
Douro


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