Cruise down a river of dreams in 2018
River cruising is one of the fastest growing cruise sectors among Australian and Kiwi travellers and the leisurely form of travel is tipped to boom even more in 2018 with cruise operators offering irresistible deals from the Rhone to the Rhine as part of the world’s largest cruise promotion – Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) annual Plan a Cruise Month.
This October, cruise lines are offering a range of promotions to encourage holidaymakers to make their next holiday a river cruise, and it seems most Australians and New Zealanders are dreaming of a leisurely cruise along the Rhine and Danube from the Netherlands to Hungary.
A poll by the world’s largest cruise site, Cruise Critic, revealed that a cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest topped the river cruise hit list accounting for 42 per cent of respondents, while a further 30 per cent were keen to cruise along one of France’s rivers, followed by a cruise along the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia (20 per cent).
“The vast majority of Australians and New Zealanders choose a two-week river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest because we can take this much time off work. It’s hard to beat the historic views along the Rhine and Danube, then docking on the doorstep of lively cities like Vienna and the medieval villages of Germany,” Australia Editor Cruise Critic Louise Goldsbury said.
“France is the next hot spot, especially for the opportunity to cruise roundtrip from Paris, but we’re also seeing a lot of interest in Portugal, which is so beautiful and has an abundance of great food and wine. Closer to home in Asia, people are realising that using a river ship as your accommodation and transport is the easiest way to see destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, India and China.
“Many retirees like to tag on a river cruise to an extended European holiday, mixed in with a land tour, self-drive or train trip, while the 21-45 year olds are getting their own river cruise line next year. 2018 will be the biggest year ever for this relaxing type of travel.”
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia and Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said Australia’s and New Zealand’s love affair with river cruising showed no signs of abating.
“Our latest figures show that thousands of Australians and New Zealanders are making the pilgrimage to the world’s most famous rivers in search of a new, relaxing way to travel. There is something so blissful about exploring Europe via its medieval highways, each day disembarking in another picturesque riverside town to explore its cobblestoned streets or hilltop castles,” Mr Katz said.
“Like any other cruise, a river cruise enables guests to unpack once and all the arrangements are taken care of as guests relax and enjoy the ride. With so much included in the fare, from fine dining, wine, excursions and transport, a river cruise is a great value and comfortable way to see a region.
“There are river cruises to suit active, health-conscious travellers; holidaymakers with a love of cooking and fine food; trips geared at families and a younger demographic, even itineraries with voluntourism options. There really is a vessel and an itinerary to suit every traveller and a CLIA accredited agent is in the best position to match holidaymakers with the right river cruise holiday.”
River cruise promotions available during Plan a Cruise Month include:
- An exclusive deal only accessible to CLIA travel agents, Uniworld is offering a stateroom upgrade on any 2018 voyage in Europe, India, Vietnam & Cambodia booked between October 8-14, 2017
- Avalon is offering savings of $1000 per person plus 100 Euro onboard credit per person for any bookings made during October on 2018 Active Discovery trips on the Rhine and Danube
Plan a Cruise Month takes place each October with CLIA offices around the world working with CLIA accredited agents and CLIA member cruise lines to promote cruise holidays.
For more information about Cruise Month or to find a CLIA accredited agent please visit www.cruising.org.au