Don’t shy away from Millennials when selling river cruising, a new AAA survey reveals. According to the AAA survey, although “the perception is that river cruising appeals primarily to older generations, Millennials respond more strongly to several key attributes of river cruising than members of Gen X and Baby Boomers. The younger generation is less likely to have taken a river cruise (11 percent), but they are more likely to consider one for an upcoming vacation (42 percent internationally; 45 percent domestically) than either Gen X or Baby Boomers.”
Perhaps you can introduce Millennials to river cruising by recommending Adventures by Disney’s new adult-exclusive, food- and wine-themed river cruise sailing along the Rhine River. The Oct. 21, 2017 sailing on board the all-new, custom-built AmaKristina includes vineyard tours, onboard seminars, gourmet workshops, local beer pairings, and a tour of the Heineken Factory, among other highlights. Also along the Rhine River, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has announced its inaugural Jewish heritage-themed cruises for 2017 on all departures of the company’s new 10-day Rhine-Main Discovery & Munich itinerary. Passengers travel from Munich to Cologne, passing through Dachau, Nuremburg, Frankfurt and Wertheim, with visits to Jewish synagogues, cemeteries, Holocaust memorials, WWII sites, museums and historic Jewish enclaves. Come 2018, two new Crystal river yachts, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, will embark on their maiden voyages on April 9, and May 10, respectively. Notable among the itineraries are new 7-day voyages, at least two overnight stays on most sailings and visits to some of the region’s oldest riverside villages. Crystal Debussy will sail the Rhine and Moselle rivers, while the Crystal Ravel will offer a selection of itineraries along the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube rivers.
Looking beyond Europe’s picturesque riverways, AmaWaterways recently debuted its 2017/18 Africa brochure, which features a new 12-night Wildlife & the Falls itinerary with visits to Johannesburg and Victoria Falls, a Chobe River safari in Botswana, and game drives in Greater Kruger National Park. The 4-night cruise portion takes place on board the all-suite, 28-passenger Zambezi Queen. In Asia, Pandaw has relaunched its Saigon-Siem Reap Classic Mekong river expedition that penetrates even farther up the Mekong River than, they say, any other operator. The 7-night itinerary on board the RV Mekong Pandaw, which was designed specifically for the Mekong, goes as far as the French colonial river port of Kratie, from where passengers can travel by local transport into the habitat of the Mekong River dolphin. There’s also the opportunity to visit local villages, markets, churches, temples, the vast Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh, and the Tonle River.
Closer to home, French America Line, which sails U.S. rivers, has opened its 2017 itineraries (from March 4, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018) for bookings aboard its flagship 150-guest Louisiane. New in 2017 are itineraries that sail along the rarely visited Illinois and Arkansas rivers; and new ports include Chattanooga, TN, Louisville, KY, and Pittsburgh, PA. In all, the river cruise line will offer 48 4- to 14-day cruise tours. American Queen Steamboat Company, meanwhile, has opened reservations for its new all-suite, 166-guest American Duchess. The first Mighty Mississippi sailing will take place July 3; new itineraries include overnight stays in the heart of Nashville, as well as shorter roundtrip itineraries from the Music City and New Orleans. Additionally, the line will begin offering departures from Chicago (Ottawa, IL).
Adventures by Disney: adventuresbydisney.com
American Queen Steamboat Company: americanqueensteamboatcompany.com
Crystal Cruises: crystalcruises.com
French America Line: frechamericaline.com
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection: uniworld.com
Viking Cruises has announced its Your Ship Has Come In: Viking Million Dollar Voyage promotion exclusively for travel agents. Qualified travel agents who sell Viking’s river or ocean cruises will have the opportunity to win $1 million. For the 4-1-1, visit recommend.com.