Travel agents canvassed in CLIA’s latest Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report say that river cruises are currently one of the hottest trends in the cruise industry. In fact, nearly four out of five travel agents (79%) said that a river cruise is a great way to introduce “new to cruise” travellers to cruising.
And agents also said that river cruises are ideal for clients looking for new or different experiences, smaller ships, destination immersion and a relaxed way to see Europe.
As a result, Europe is seeing an uptick in popularity, with river cruises there seeing a 53% year-over-year growth to eastern waterways (Rhine, Moselle, Danube, Elbe) and a 30% growth to western channels (Soane, Seine, Loire), as well as a 24% growth to the south (Douro, Rhone, Dordogne, Garonne, Po).
Rob Huffman, vice-president sales, USA, Scenic Group, pointed out that, “The results of last quarter’s survey were no surprise. We’ve seen tremendous growth for both of our river cruise brands – Scenic and Emerald Waterways – on the traditional European routes like the Danube, as well as on newer routes like the Douro.”
Other findings in the Travel Agent Cruise Industry Report include: