What’s the outlook for river cruise in 2022?

What’s the outlook for river cruise in 2022?

Jamie Loizou, managing director at AmaWaterways, outlines the key trends he expects to see in the sector this year

River cruise is perfectly poised to have a very strong 2022.

At AmaWaterways, we have seen high demand and much of this business is new to river cruise as guests look for a different type of holiday focused on personalisation, slowing down and savouring the experiences. Addressing these trends within your product portfolio is key to maximising revenue for 2022 and beyond.

Image courtesy of Amawaterways

Personalisation

Luxury travellers are expecting a higher level of personalised service. Smaller ships, with a high crew to guest ratio and a variety of choice related to dining and experiences ashore, are best positioned to deliver the level of service that recognises and fulfills each individual’s holiday needs.

Connection with friends and family

After missing many celebrations with family and friends over the past two years, there is a greater appreciation for doing things now and catching up on the important ‘to do travel list’. This desire to slow down and take the time to reconnect with the world by sharing an intimate river cruise experience with those you care about most is driving demand for special experiences like the Christmas markets and longer cruises.

Experiencing the destinations

There is no other holiday type quite like a river cruise where you can experience as much, over such a short period of time, in such a relaxed way. Sailing right through the heart of a destination and docking within walking distance of the many attractions to be experienced, river cruise is able to offer the richest cultural immersion.

Wellness

There is a growing awareness of health and wellbeing, and people want to combine their holiday with looking after body and soul. AmaWaterways has dedicated Wellness Hosts on board its ships, leading a variety of daily classes including stretching, core strengthening and yoga, plus escorting guided hikes and biking excursions through some of Europe’s most scenic regions.

Health and safety

River cruise lines have been operating in Europe with success during 2020 and 2021. We will continue to adapt our offering to meet international and local enhanced health and safety regulations to protect the wellbeing of our guests, crew and the communities we visit while delivering a wonderful holiday experience.

Far-flung destinations

There is a huge pent-up demand for certain exotic destinations that have not been easily accessible over the past two years. We have seen a rebound in bookings for the Mekong, while Egypt continues to sell incredibly well – now is the time to promote these bucket-list destinations to ensure your clients can secure the date, itinerary and state room of their choice.

The value of the agent

With the ever-evolving travel rules and regulations, your expertise is more valuable now than ever and there is a strong trend towards using a travel agent. There is no better way to showcase your value than by capitalising on these travel trends and focusing on river cruising with AmaWaterways.

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