Friday, 6 February 2015

River cruising’s staying power

River cruising’s staying power


For those of us steeped in the world of river cruising, the fact that river cruising is a hot trend is old news. 

But last week Virtuoso released the results of its annual survey of travel advisors, who for the first time picked river cruising as the top trend for the coming year, beating out heavyweights such as multigenerational travel, adventure travel and celebration trips.

Clearly, there are still plenty of travelers and travel sellers who are only just now discovering and fully embracing river cruising as a travel style, which indicates that it likely has a long journey of growth ahead of it, despite the rapid rate at which Viking Cruises and others have been churning out new river cruise vessels in Europe and farther afield in recent years.
Michelle Baran
Michelle Baran
While it may seem like there is only so much that the river cruising segment can grow, the Virtuoso survey results are a reminder that in many ways the segment is arguably still in its infancy.
With demand and hype still strong, we can only expect to see more new ship announcements in Europe as well as further development of exotic river destinations such as Myanmar’s Irrawaddy and India’s Ganges. We can anticipate that some more new players will try to enter the market and that the competition will become even fiercer. I see greater design innovation and even more amenities on the horizon. 

Perhaps there will come a time when we all realize that river cruising isn’t just a hot, new trend, but that it is here to stay;  dynamic and permanent fixture of the travel industry. What has been a booming trend over the last several years, will eventually just be a travel reality.