River Cruises Attracting Guests of All Ages
Category : Cruise
(Thanks to shows like “Downton Abbey” and the attraction of those PBS Viking cruise commercials, cruises on Europe’s rivers have never been more popular. Read more, courtesy of Jason Leppert @ Travel Pulse).
River cruising is booming, and its not all thanks to older generations, although that has been the traditional crowd for some time. Now, millennials, myself at 32 included, are becoming more and more attracted to international travel along historic and scenic banks, and there is plenty to hold our attention onboard and off.
Personally, I have yet only traveled with Viking River Cruises, a company not specifically interested in accommodating youth nor families with children, but that hasnt stopped me from becoming an unapologetic fan. Regardless of the line chosen, there is not a more relaxing way to travel Europe, for instance, unpacking once and sailing straight into the heart of some of the most iconic cities in the world. Many ocean cruises dont even come as conveniently close.
When travelers embark on a river cruise, they can experience the quaint villages and thriving cities that rest along the beautiful rivers that wind and bend through Europe, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, South America and Egypt, said Steve Born, VP of marketing for the Globus family of brands, including Avalon Waterways, but some cant escape for long durations. For them, he adds, shorter, more diverse and active itineraries are another way river cruise companies are luring younger travelers.
By virtue of the locks they traverse, riverboats are also by no means ocean-plowing mega cruise ships, but innovations still abound. One of the more modern players, Emerald Waterways, draws in the younger market by offering contemporary, stylish river ships with amenities not found on other river ships all of which appeal to the millennial generation, according to Lisa Norton, vice president Emerald Waterways Brand Management, North America.
She explains such Emerald amenities include the only indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool on the river with a current generator for swimming laps, a fitness center, a walking track, a putting green, and bicycles on board for guests to use at their leisure or to enjoy on guided biking excursions.
In fact, staying fit while also relaxing on the rivers is important to younger crowds, and AmaWaterways has recently renewed its commitment to biking and hiking tours ashore in 2016.
When you think of the millennial traveler, you may be picturing a young, unattached globetrotter out for that perfect selfie. But plenty of travelers that fit the millennial demographic are starting families of their own, and they’re more than happy to take the whole family along for the trip. Adventures by Disney has teamed up with AmaWaterways to offer successful family-friendly journeys. AmaViolas connecting cabins are particularly well suited to large parties as are some of its staterooms and suites that can accommodate up to three or four to a room.
We’ve had a fantastic response to our Adventures by Disney river cruise itineraries, says Heather Killingbeck, director program development and operations for Adventures by Disney. By combining the luxury experience that AmaWaterways offers with the types of active family experiences that Disney can provide, we have created something that many parents have told us they wanted to do for a long time.
Tauck is another cruise line eager to please families as it is, particularly well-suited to host millennials as they become parents, because [it] operates three Tauck Bridges river cruises on the Danube, Rhone and Rhine designed specifically for families with young children, says Katharine Bonner, Tauck’s Sr. VP for River and Small Ship Ocean Cruising.
As for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, its ships may not exhibit a modern decor in fact, they eschew it but its president, Guy Young, says, we were the first river cruise company to offer multi-generational itineraries, which have proven to be extremely successful we doubled these offerings for 2016 and they now have their own dedicated brochure. These family-friendly departures attract both parents and grandparents traveling with children, effectively introducing the newest generation to river cruising.
Thats the sweet spot: appealing to all generations and sharing the experience with larger family trees. Just as once perceived stodgy ocean cruise lines are broadening their horizons from an older clientele to a younger one, so too are river cruise lines offering youthful active groups, couples and solo travelers alike a growing list of enticing options.
Article Courtesy of Jason Leppert (02.04.16), Travel Pulse and Seven Sea Journeys/News
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.
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Featured photo credit: Viking Cruises