Explore Europe's river regions on AmaWaterways' new seven-week river cruise. Credit: AmaWaterways

What's hot on the river

Author: Gary Peters

Published on:

Updated on:

Times are changing on the world's waterways – and here are three reasons why...

1. Longer, more exotic sailings

Post pandemic, there has been a general trend for more immersive, in-depth holidays.

After so long stuck at home, travellers are eager to broaden their horizons again, and river lines are sensing a unique opportunity to tap into this demand.

Take AmaWaterways, for example. Co-founder Kristin Karst recently revealed the thinking behind the line’s Seven River Journeys collection – epic cruises of up to seven weeks that could take you from Paris to Romania via the Rhône and the Rhine.

"Guests are making up for lost time," she says. "World cruises are very successful for ocean cruise lines and so we launched our Seven River Journeys."

A-Rosa Sena is designed for multi-generational travel. Credit: A-Rosa

2. Everyone everywhere all at once

It may surprise you, but today’s river cruises can be perfect for a multi-generational getaway, with lines such as A-Rosa introducing kids’ clubs and family cabins.

The line’s UK & Ireland MD, Lucia Rowe, says: "There is a desire to travel with family, and river cruising is so well placed to take advantage of this trend."

Kristin Karst of AmaWaterways agrees, adding: "Time together as a family can encourage children to fall in love with the experience of travelling."

Cruise lines like TUI Cruises are becoming more appealing to younger travellers. Credit: TUI River Cruises

3. New cruisers start here...

All the big river lines are reporting a rush of first-time customers.

River cruising has always been popular for the number of port stops — at least one per day — it offers in some of the world’s most exciting cities.

But the expansion in more active and discovery-themed shore excursions may be attracting a new and younger fanbase.

Lucia Rowe says: "People are booking holidays for adventure — they are explorers."

TUI River Cruises UK MD Chris Hackney also reports a younger sales demographic.

In fact, such is the demand that TUI recently increased capacity for its winter 2023 cruise programme.

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About Gary Peters

Gary is an experienced cruise journalist and editor who has been at the helm of Cruise Trade News since 2019. In that time, the brand has focused on investigative journalism and long-form feature content. Gary has also overseen the launch of new digital publications. Prior to joining Cruise Trade News – initially as deputy editor in 2018 – Gary worked in music and sport journalism, and as a senior editor for B2B magazines in the transport and environment sectors.