The number of British holidaymakers taking river cruises grew by almost 8,000 in 2014, taking the total number to 139,400, according to new figures released by Clia UK & Ireland.
Much of the 6 per cent growth was seen in Europe, which makes up 86 per cent of all UK passengers’ river cruises, with the Danube’s popularity growing 41 per cent.
The number of passengers on Russia’s rivers grew, too, climbing 15 per cent.
Further afield, the Mekong was up 55 per cent while, in India, the Ganges and Brahmaputra were up 24 per cent.
According to Clia, the reason for the this popularity is the recent transformation of the on board experience. It notes that a third of European river cruise ships have been built within the last ten years – a quarter within the last five – that offer multiple dining venues, spa facilities and range of cabins with balconies.
Andy Harmer, director of Clia UK & Ireland, said: “With the continued investment in new, more innovative ships and the ever-increasing choice and diversity of itineraries in Europe and further afield, it’s no surprise that more UK passengers than ever are opting for river cruises as their holiday choice.”
The figures arrive ahead of Clia’s first-ever River Cruise Weekend, running from March 26-30, which has been created to “raise the profile of river cruise holidays and the diversity of great destinations available”.
Cruise Adviser’s River guide was published in February and focuses on this growing sector of the industry. You can read it in full here. If you are a travel agent who hasn’t received a copy email: firstname.lastname@example.org