CLIA UK & Ireland has launched the UK River Cruise review 2017 which reveals another year of record growth in 2017 for the river cruise sector. Passenger numbers rose by 21% and total bed nights were up by 24%, against 2016.
In 2017, the UK river cruise market reached 210,400 passengers, against 174,400 in 2016, demonstrating that the market continues to outperform many other sectors of the travel industry.
Andy Harmer, senior vice-president membership and CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “European river cruises, which account for almost 90% of bookings, were the driving force behind this exceptional growth, specifically cruises on the Douro, Russian waterways, Rhine and Danube.
“Cruises in central and western Europe, accounted for almost two-thirds (62%) of all river cruise bookings, with the Rhine and Danube leading the way. However, it was eastern and southern European which saw the most growth last year, predominantly on Russian waterways and on the Douro.
“New events and initiatives to engage the travel agent community”
“Looking outside Europe, three rivers accounted for the bulk of passengers in 2017 last year; the Mekong, Nile and Irrawaddy, with the Ganges and Brahmaputra also performing well.
Harmer went on to add: “With continued investment and innovation in this sector, and with new events and initiatives to engage the travel agent community, the growth in river cruising continues to be an important part of the overall cruise industry.”
CLIA UK & Ireland is a member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) , the global cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.
The launch of the review comes a week after the parent organisation announced its global promotion, #ChooseCruise aimed at agents, consumers and the press. #ChooseCruise replaces the long running ‘Plan a Cruise Month’, and will kick off this month in the UK and then globally during October 2018.