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The recent release of the Cruise Holidays International Cruise Trends Report for the upcoming year has shown that European River Cruise popularity has soared.
The data from the report also showed that Caribbean ocean cruises look set to dominate the market in 2015, as well as predicted continued healthy growth in the European and Chinese cruise sectors.
Kevin Weisner is the Senior Vice President of Sales for vacation.com and noted the encouraging growth of cruising within Europe, where he started deep water ocean cruising and river cruising appear to have ‘emerged as complementary forces’.
Weisner also states that he thinks a maturation is happening within the river cruise marketplace, where enough cruise passengers are repeating and going beyond what he calls ‘The Big Two – the Rhine and the Danube’: “I think what is happening to some extent for destinations like Lyon is people who have done the two primary rivers are starting to cycle into the lesser-known or lesser-travelled rivers like the Rhone and Saone.”European river cruising ranked fourth in the top 10 cruise destinations, just following behind European ocean cruises and Alaska.
“The overriding trend is that river cruising just continues to grow,” stated Weisner, “obviously that’s a function of more inventory to some degree, but the inventory wouldn’t be there if the consumer demand wasn’t there.”
It makes sense that once cruise passengers have experienced these idyllic rivers, they would venture further afield to more exotic destinations such as Asia, which is also seeing a modest rise in demand for river cruises. This year is the second consecutive year that Vietnam, Beijing and Shanghai have claimed the top three destination spots outside of the European river cruising zone. 2014 has also seen Myanmar’s Mandalay River and Pyay Rivers end up in the top four and five spots as the country begins to welcome in more tourists.