River cruise companies can be the big winners of the tourism industry after the pandemic. Cruise lines sailing in Europe have noticed some trends that have made their cruises for 2021 and 2022 even more popular than before the coronavirus.
These days travelers prefer safe and secure private trips to group travel and they are seeking for meaningful and authentic travel experiences that create true connections with their loved ones and the destination they are visiting. River cruise trips have all the advantages luxury travelers are looking for, that is why river cruises are expected to be among the first to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. North American holiday lovers are beginning to plan their next vacations and they prioritize river cruise vacations in smaller groups rather than huge ocean liners.
There are several trends spurring clients to book private river cruise trips: an interest in slower, more relaxed travel, family travel and focus on sustainablitiy and recovery. River cruise vacations take place on smaller ships with fewer guests, meanwhile you cruise within countries and conveniently dock in the center of lovely towns and hidden villages. Based on recent bookings we can see that celebration travel is one of the main trends.
Many families had to postpone celebrations in 2020 and now they cannot wait to take that big vacation in order to commemorate a birthday, graduation or a wedding or any other special occasion. Travel agents noticed a growth in multi-generational bookings and there is a great demand for 2021 Christmas Market cruises, showing that families would like to make up for lost time and will use this time to cruise to reconnect.
The second trend is twofold: longer stays and shorter booking windows. Due to the ever changing international travel regulations, passengers do not prefer advance bookings any more, they want to make bookings closer to when they can actually travel. It seems this year won’t be the year of first minute bookings as it was before. Clients often wish to extend their holidays with some extra days and they are also likely to combine back-to-back river cruises that means if you purchase two consecutive cruises, you can save 10% on your second sailing.
Another popular trend is slower travel. People are long for a more relaxed holiday tailored to the organic discovery of a destination and its culture. River cruising makes it possible to visit several less crowded destinations with longer stays, therefore you can explore each place at your own rythm or can take a small tour with up to 10 to 15 other people.
This year safety will be the top priority in traveling and you have to check the entry requirements of your destination carefully when preparing for a trip as entry conditions can change from hour to hour in the time of COVID-19. River cruise companies pay great attention to the health of its guests by organising guided fitness classes and hikes with a dedicated wellness host.
Regenerative travel is also becoming a big travel trend. Many tourist destinations breathed a sigh of relief as the crowd disappeared during the pandemic, and now travelers recognized that traveling sustainably is very important. For example, dolphins appeared again around the canals of Venice as soon as the tourist flood stopped.
Last but definitely not least, 2021 will be the year of travel advisors. They will be a vital part of the travel booking process due to the more complex policies and rules of each destinations. A professional travel advisor can help make the process of booking a trip much easier, saving your time and money.
While cruising the Danube on a 14-night river cruise you can step back in time to explore the history and mystery living in the hillsides. You will be impressed by the imposing capitals like Budapest and Prague and small towns lost in time. Sailing on the romantic Danube, you can immerse yourself in the colorful folktales and traditions of this region.