Riviera Travel's boss, Phil Hullah, addresses guests onboard Jane Austen. Credit: Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel celebrates 40 years

Author: Kaye Holland

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Escorted tour and river cruise specialist, Riviera Travel, this week marked its 40th anniversary with a special event in Paris

Guests including travel agents, journalists and supplier partners celebrated the milestone birthday onboard the 140-passenger Jane Austen, as she made two short cruises over consecutive days on the Seine via the Eiffel Tower. Guests also experienced a shore excursion to the Atelier des Lumières digital art centre.

France was Riviera’s first destination when the operator launched in 1984, with founder Michael Wright taking guests on a coach and camping tour of southern France.

The Burton-based business now offers almost 1,000 departures each year for nearly 100,000 guests, covering 65 countries and all seven continents.

Phil Hullah, Riviera Travel’s CEO, said: “It’s been wonderful to celebrate 40 years with so many of the people who made our success possible.

“I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who has supported us over the years, which of course includes our fantastic travel agent partners, to help make us the largest UK-based escorted tour and river cruise operator in the UK and Ireland."

World of Cruising's Kaye Holland (left) and Lina Slater were invited to take part in the celebrations. Credit: RRM

He continued: "While we’re incredibly proud of everything we’ve achieved, we’re determined not to rest on our laurels, and have ambitious plans in place to continue growing."

Over the years, we've helped hundreds of thousands of guests explore the world, ticking off their bucket lists and ensuring they can enjoy everything Europe and destinations all over the world have to offer. We will continue to visit well-loved locations, as well as branching out to even more places across the globe."

The operator is set to add two ships, Riviera Radiance and Riviera Rose, to its fleet in 2025. They will sail on the Danube and Douro respectively.

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]