The Rise of the River Cruise

Just ten years ago, river cruises were a niche holiday activity reserved for those with a particular interest in a destination. Today, however, they’re replacing many ocean cruises as the holiday of choice for hundreds of thousands of guests every year.

Rivers like the Danube attract millions of visitors every year
Rivers like the Danube attract millions of visitors every year

We looked at the unique benefits of river cruises, as well as the habits of today’s top travellers, to learn more about what’s driven the success of river cruises in the last five years.

In just five years, river cruises have boomed in popularity. Passengers have flocked to ships travelling through some of Europe and Asia’s rivers in such great numbers that the industry has recorded a 10% annual passenger growth rate – a figure that exceeds that industry’s 7% annual average.

According to MarketWatch, passengers are flocking to European river cruises. Tours of the Continent’s rivers were some of 2013’s most popular trips, beating cruises of the Mediterranean and Baltic for the first time in recent history.

Popular European cruise destinations include the Danube, which offers passengers a unique look at Central Europe’s culture and wildlife, and the Rhine, which passes by some of Germany’s most well-known castles and historical destinations.

The destinations are remarkable and the experienced unbeatable. Why is it, though, that river cruises have only recently caught on in popularity? We believe it’s a mix of changing traveller tastes and a renewed interest in Europe’s cultural destinations.

Unlike ocean cruises, river cruises aren’t about exclusive performances and onboard entertainment, although these are occasionally offered. Instead, they’re about seeing the best that a destination has to offer, often from a close-up seat that let passengers see wonderful destinations from a new perspective.

After all, there’s far more to see on a river than on the ocean. Ocean cruises market their flashy cabins and amazing facilities, while river cruises are all about visiting a stunning new part of the world.

Of course, that’s not to say that today’s river cruisers aren’t technologically modern or comfortable. With wireless Internet access and a wide variety of cabins for guests to choose from, today’s river cruises are just as comfortable – and as convenient – as their ocean counterparts.

What’s out the window, however, is a little different. Instead of the endless expanse of ocean that visitors can enjoy on traditional oceangoing cruise ships, today’s best European river cruises by Shearings Holidays showcase the Continent’s best cultural hotspots, historical destinations, and breathtakingly beautiful scenery.

Sources: Image

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