Riviera Travel has launched ‘Cruise & Explore’ river sailings on three new European itineraries.
Cruise & Explore sailings offer a more flexible experience for guests joining a cruise and when in port.
Riviera’s guests previously booked a set package that included the sailing, trains or flights with transfers and pre-arranged visits and guided tours, as well as full board during the cruise.
Guests booking onto the new itineraries will:
- Journey to and from a cruise via their own pre-arranged flights and transfers. This allows them to stay for longer in pre- and post-sailing destinations of their choice, and pick their preferred mode of transport and departure point.
- Pre-book their own excursions, via an approved third-party or through their own research, in advance. This means guests will draw up their own independent tour programme rather than travelling on Riviera’s pre-arranged guides and visits.
- Stay on board their ship on a half-board basis. Guests can then have an à la carte lunch or dinner onboard, while heading for the shore to enjoy the local hospitality. Riviera is arranging for ships to stay longer in port, including having overnight moorings at select destinations, to allow later dining on shore.
The move comes in response to feedback that guests are looking for a more tailored approach to their river cruise. Cruise & Explore is designed to appeal to the next generation of cruisers, who have told Riviera they want more flexibility in how they travel.
Fares on the six Cruise & Explore itineraries will be based on a half board, cruise-only basis, with guests booking their flights, transfers and excursions. Prices start from £799 per person.
The options are available on new Danube, Rhône and Rhine eight-day itineraries next year. Two departures will take place on each itinerary, one at the end of March and one in early November.
Katja Hildebrandt, head of river & ocean cruise product at Riviera Travel, said: “We’re really excited to be offering Cruise & Explore cruises next year. It’s vital we continue to adapt to guest feedback, so these itineraries mark a real change in the river cruise experience, including ultimate flexibility for everyone who travels with us. Guests are now welcome to arrange more of their cruise to suit their personal preferences, safe in the knowledge we’re on hand to assist as required.
“We’re confident Cruise & Explore will prove a popular choice for people seeking a more flexible approach to their holiday, while wanting to travel in the luxury and comfort of a river cruise ship. This is the first time an option like this has ever been available for river cruise guests; we can’t wait to see what the response is from the trade.”
New itineraries include an eight-day Budapest, Vienna and more holiday on the Danube, departing March 25 and November 4, from Passau, Germany.
There’s also an eight-day Cologne to Amsterdam itinerary on the Rhine, departing from Cologne, Germany, departing March 25 and November 8, 2022.
The third itinerary is a Lyon to the south of France sailing on the Rhône, departing March 28 and November 7, 2022.