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In the last few years, river cruising has started to catch the attention of travellers all over the world. According to Telegraph, CLIA UK and Ireland reported that there were 8,000 more people who went river cruising in 2014, making it a total of 139,400 vacationers. Another indication of the industry’s growing popularity is the demand for slots. River cruises are usually sold out a few months or even a year away from the actual trip. The real question though, is this: what are the factors behind the growing popularity of river cruising? Here are a few reasons why:
Value for money. One of the reasons why more and more people are choosing to book river cruises is because of all-inclusive deals. Most river cruises come in all-inclusive packages which let the vacationers enjoy their holiday without worrying about the budget. These deals are good ones, too. A package usually includes shore excursions, meals and drinks, and Wi-Fi.
Luxurious ships. These days more luxurious ships catered to river cruising are being built. One advantage of ocean cruising at the moment is that it provides its guests with the option to choose from a wide price range. It won’t be long, though, before this advantage is shared with river cruising because of the upcoming ships and cruise lines that bring the promise of a more luxurious lifestyle.
The ease. The appeal of river cruising also comes from the ease of the travel experience. The ships are smaller and can only carry a few hundred people. As soon as you arrive at the airport, you will be guided to the boat. Shore travel is also more convenient since you don’t have to wait in line for the rest of the guests to disembark or go back to the ship.
Exotic destinations. As mentioned earlier, river cruising mostly comes in all-inclusive packages. This allows the guests to enjoy the excursions more while they’re off the boat since it is already included in what they paid for. In terms of destinations, there is a lot to choose from, especially for travellers who have already done the mainstream. For example, the Brahmaputra and Ganges in India.
The overall experience. River cruising is low-key, compared to ocean cruising. If you’ll use hotels as a comparison, river cruises are actually your luxury boutique hotels. This is what encourages more people to book river cruises all over the world—the slow pace lets you really take a deep dive into the culture of your destination. Did you know that you can sometimes stroll a town on your own during some of your shore trips? The package even includes bike rental fees to help you enjoy your shore trip further!
Just like you, I'm excited to see what else is in store for river cruising. For starters, we have bigger and better ships to look forward to. If you haven’t tried river cruising yet, then this is a good time to book a trip. Book yours now!
Bliss Travel Service - a travel agency specializing in cruises, all-inclusive vacations, honeymoons, weddings, group travel
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Dominique Barba, CTIE, ECC, TAE