Avalon Waterways has seen 2014 as a record year with 2015 expected to beat the numbers again as capacity is added.
Cruises on the Rhine and Danube continue to be the most popular moving into next year, which has also seen more interest in the Moselle River through France, Luxembourg and Germany and the Mekong in South East Asia. In 2015 one of its Rhine ships is already seeing occupancy levels at 80%.
New themed cruises are attracting more customers that have a keen interest in areas such as opera, golf or beer.
“These have really resonated with our customers,” Avalon’s managing director Patrick Clark told Travel Daily. “We’ve added two ships in Europe and two in Asia recently and seen demand for the higher graded staterooms, so passengers are recognising the inclusive element to our product and the value.”
The UK has been “performing well” for the cruise line, helped by stronger relationships with travel agents, whether it’s visiting them on the road or attending in-store consumer events.
“We are working more closely with travel agents now and working to make sure they are educated, can visit our ships or feel comfortable with requests including group bookings,” Clark said.
Rail connections from the UK have also been introduced for 2015, allowing passengers to travel by Eurostar, TGV Lyria and Alleo to join a cruise in Germany, France or Austria. There are options to package with a hotel night in London or within a city such as Paris or Frankfurt before heading onto the ship.