European river cruises have been one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry this year and the competition amongst the top five river cruise lines is heating up. A greater emphasis is now placed on shipboard cuisine than ever before. That’s good news for foodies who enjoy regional specialties prepared fresh in the onboard kitchens.
Viking River Cruises is no exception. Watch and listen as two of Viking’s executive chefs discuss the joys of shopping for the freshest ingredients, preparing local specialties and seeing guests’ eyes light up as they take their first bite.
As a travel agent who concentrates on River Cruise Vacations I follow the news and trends of this niche faithfully. “River cruising is on the rise, as clients continue to thirst for new travel experiences. In fact, river cruising grew more than 50% last year over the previous year, according to the United States Tour Operators Association.”
Is a river cruise right for you? Well, I can tell you the clients most enthusiastic about that vacation style tend to be well traveled and enjoy comfortable surroundings. They appreciate the unique combination of cruising and touring, and going to places not reachable by ocean-going vessels. They are often traditional cruise passengers looking for a “deeper” experience. If you see yourself in this profile, give river cruising a try.
Even though the vessels typically carry less than 200 passengers, they offer remarkable onboard amenities such as fitness centers, saunas, pools, hair salons, and internet access.
Shore excursions with complimentary headphones in every port, English speaking staff and announcements, wine with dinner, travel lectures, and entertainment and local performances. And, like an ocean cruise you see many ports-of-call but only unpack once (a favorite benefit of my women clients!) but, with so few passengers there are never long lines to stand in (guys love this.)
Are you planning a group travel event this year, perhaps with your gourmet or wine club, or your local symphony? You may want to consider one of the River Cruise Theme Vacations this year as prices are forecasted to increase when the economy heats up.