Considered one of the hottest trends within the cruising industry to come along for a while, the river cruise sector is rapidly increasing. Welcomed by many as an alternative to ocean cruising, the rise of this concept provides a great way to feed your adventurous spirit.
Ocean cruising and river cruising present very different characteristics. The ship designs themselves are inevitably different due to the itineraries in which they undertake with river cruise ships designed on much smaller scale. Here at Bolsover Cruise Club we have seen a huge rise in the demand for this style of vacation and it leads us to ask why? Well here’s my opinion on it. The itineraries available are becoming incredibly good, you can take in some amazing sights all over the world with the ability to set foot from the ship and straight into the heart of a fantastic city. The intimacy of a river cruise ship has also seen a very welcome array of positive feedback. The fact that these ship designs are set up for limited guests to place paramount focus on service is proving extremely successful, developing a reputation for a wonderful holiday. Many clients I have spoken to love the experience of walking into a bar onboard with your drink already waiting for you and having the bar tender immediately know who you are. This has been a fantastic feature of cruising since the day this sensational form of travel arrived on the scene yet certain clients believe it to be lost in translation due to the rise of the modern day superliner. Whilst I disagree with this having experienced such dramatically sized ships myself and had a great time, I do appreciate that each cruise is different for the individual. I think that the intimacy of the beautifully created river ships is a catalyst behind the increase in demand for river cruising.
River cruising lines such as Viking and Swan Hellenic are beginning to be an ever present when looking at our day to day enquiries from our clients, something that a few years ago was un-imaginable. Now though it is very much a reality and you can certainly see why. The product is very very good, not only are the ships beautifully set out but the level of comfort in cabins is exceptional. Despite the much smaller sized ships they are still incredibly spacious and charming giving that feel within the stateroom of an ocean liner whilst gliding down a river such as the Danube, it’s an intriguingly brilliant concept. I also believe a big contributing factor is that people are looking for something different, their looking to try something new. I love ocean cruising and have done it many times but I do think that at times unless you’re willing to fly further afield there can be at times a level of repetition with certain itineraries each calendar year. I guess many ocean cruise line companies may say if it’s not broke don’t fix it and I would understand that logic but I can see why our clients might lean towards a river cruise to maybe break it up a little bit.
We recently had a representative of Viking River Cruises visit our office to give a presentation of the way in which they intend to move forward, push the sector and also about the product itself. Our close relationship with cruise operators is one of the reasons we have been so successful as an agent. It gives us a detailed insight into everything they do and the way in which they work, allowing us the first hand opportunity to ensure our clients’ needs can be tailor made to their desires. It makes my job easier within the marketing department to be able to put a full spectrum of detail in front of clients for them to make an informed decision, which is great. Viking are a great example of how accessible river cruising gets you to the heart of some of the world’s finest cities. Viking have their own private berth at each and every port of call featured within their itineraries. This allows passengers just to stroll straight into the destination without a single bit of hassle. There are river cruise lines out there that line up meaning you have to pass through each ship to reach the shore as they are connected together to dock but this can be extremely frustrating and often time consuming. This is why we carefully the river cruise line companies we wanted to deal with and this has proven to be extremely successful with the industry sector continuing to boom.
The enhanced fleet of river cruise ships continues to grow for 2013 with Viking River Cruises due to pioneer the brand new long boat design. Incredibly environmentally friendly and offering outstanding comfort, this revolutionary river boat design will raise the bar once again for river cruising.