What Does 2016 Have In Store For River Cruising?
The start of a new year is a great time to look forward as well as reflecting back on the last twelve months. It’s exciting to anticipate what will happen in the world of river cruising over the next year and so we have made a few predictions of our own.
More Interest In India
This year’s hottest river cruise destination is tipped to be India and it would be no surprise to us if this was the case. Uniworld, Pandaw and APT have all added sailings along the Ganges or Brahmaputra rivers in 2016, with most of the departures taking place towards the end of the year. As demand to explore this culturally rich country grows, operators are ensuring they have increased options available.
An Increase In Cruise And Land Stays
There is always the option to add a few nights in a hotel to the start or end of your river cruise, but 2016 could see higher numbers of travellers opting for a more balanced mix between time spent on land and on the water. We already saw more cruise and land stays becoming available in 2015 and this is set to continue this year. By combining time spent on the ship with land-based tours, you can see more of the country you are visiting and cover a lot more ground in a shorter period of time.
More Personalised Excursions
Operators such as Tauck are realising that travellers like to take a step off the beaten track as well as crossing off the things that everybody does in each destination. This means crafting shore excursions that are more personal and don’t just include a quick walking tour before heading off to the next town or city. Expect to see more cruise directors planning personalised and intimate activities for those who wish to go deeper into the heart of a destination.
Ocean Cruisers Crossing Over
There is a clear difference between ocean and river cruising, with each specialism offering its own draw to the guest. Before now, many people will have stuck to what they prefer the most or what they are familiar with, but 2016 could be the year all that changes. Expect to see more ocean cruisers choosing to experience river cruises for the first time as operators improve facilities, service and all-inclusiveness to better mimic life on an ocean vessel.
Reams Of Themes
Special interest river cruises have always been very popular, but the interests on which they focus have been somewhat limited in the past. A few years ago you had the choice to embark on a wine or beer itinerary and that was almost it, but now there are far more opportunities. 2015 saw the rise of itineraries themed upon history, religion and art but 2016 will bring even more interests to the fore. Avalon Waterways are offering both golf and wellness river cruises, whilst the American Queen Steamboat Company has two itineraries focussing on the US Civil War.
Will you be following any of these trends in 2016? We have a wide range of European river cruises available, as well as those in Asia, Africa and America. Call our friendly team for more details or contact us online.