River cruises flowing stronger

//River cruises flowing stronger

While the number of Brits taking ocean cruises was virtually at a standstill in 2012, the popularity of river cruises continues to grow.
There was a 12 per cent increase in the number of holidaymakers on European rivers alone, the 90,000 UK passengers travelling on the Rhine and Danube representing 60 per cent of the worldwide destinations.
Even the Nile grew in popularity last year, with a 12 per cent increase from 25,200 to 28,300, although the numbers are less than half those in 2010.
The overall increase in demand for river holidays was fed by new capacity on European rivers. Investment in new tonnage in 2012 was strong with an additional 12 river vessels;2013 will witness over 30 new itineraries and more new ships including two each for Avalon Waterways and AmaWaterways together with new vessels for CroisiEurope, Lüftner Cruises and Scenic Tours.
According to PSA data, the value of the UK river cruise market in 2012 was £175m. River cruisers are less likely to take multiple trips in a year than their ocean counterparts, although – reflecting the fact this is largely a market for those who have retired – 13 per cent of them take six or more holidays a year.
The figures come from the Passenger Shipping Association’s last annual Cruise Review. Next year’s version will be issued by Cruise Lines International UK, into which the PSA morphs in a few weeks’ time.
The report also showed that ocean cruises are a bigger bargain than ever before. For reasons too familiar to repeat (but rearrange the words “Euro”, “Concordia,” “Costa” and “crisis” for a couple of clues), fares were driven down and down.
The average daily rate paid per passenger was £128 – lower than at any time in the past eight years, with the exception of 2009. The average fare in 2011 was £132, and it reached £137 in 2007.
Understandably, the average cost per cruise was down as well – £1,388 compared with £1,434 in 2011. Supply and demand mean that it’s cheaper to cruise in the summer – £1,313 per cruise – than in winter – £1,573. Almost half of all cruises sold cost less than £1,000 per passenger.
Value for money was by far the most popular reason given by holidaymakers asked why they had chosen a cruise, with a quarter of them giving “special offer” as a reason for their choice.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:37+00:00 7 March 2013|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

Leave A Comment