Kiwi Demand for River Cruises Up
Posted by Mark Devlin
River cruises are the fastest growing cruise experience for Kiwis according to new industry figures*.
Last year 3500 New Zealanders chose to see countries this way, up 32% on the previous year.
House of Travel’s Cruise Division General Manager Linda Halliday says her company has noticed an increase in travellers wanting to embark on a river cruise, with her firm offering the experience in Europe and Russia as well as Asia.
“The beauty of a river cruise is that the vessel is like a floating hotel and you get to experience cities like Venice the way it was designed to be seen from the water.”
Halliday says river cruises also allow passengers numerous opportunities to go inland and take pictures of the scenery as well as enjoy special historical sites.
“Most of the river boats feature similar facilities to the larger resort style ships, but on a smaller scale, so travellers will have ready access to pools or whirlpools, bars, gyms, and great food and wine to enjoy as they take in their surroundings.”
Halliday says more than half of cruise passengers preferred cruises between eight to fourteen days.
The growing river cruise sale have helped boost overall cruise numbers to more than 48,000, a figure which has almost doubled since records began in 2006.
Nearly a quarter of New Zealanders embarking on cruises are choosing to travel to the South Pacific while just over a fifth are selecting Europe as their desired location, up 23% on the previous year.
Halliday says the changes in cruise offerings are attracting a younger demographic with more than two thirds of the New Zealand cruise customers aged under 60.