Canada

United States

United Kingdom

Continental Europe

Asia

Caribbean and Latin America

Africa

Middle East

Special Interest

Cruises

Contests

All Categories

Picture This

News

Useful Links

 
     

« Previous page

Cruises

Bookmark and Share Subscribe

Amsterdam and Budapest Emerging as the Epicenter of European River Cruising

By Maggie Blehert

Southeast Asia has the most popular river cruise destinations outside of Europe; Bangkok, Thailand, is the top "emerging" river cruise destination.

 

With Europe's 2014 river cruising season underway, and a record number of river cruise ships traversing the historic waterways, Cruise Holidays International has released new data indicating Amsterdam and Budapest are now the most popular river cruise destinations its agencies have booked across Europe this year. In addition, Southeast Asia has the most booked river cruise destinations outside of Europe. The information shared by Cruise Holidays is based on actual bookings by its network of cruise travel agencies for river cruises departing in 2014, as of April 8th, 2014.

"Amsterdam is Cruise Holidays' top river cruise destination for 2014, thanks to its role as the hub for most 'Tulip Time' cruises, along with many Rhine river cruises," stated Kevin Weisner, Senior Vice President, Cruise Holidays International. "In culling the data on our river cruise bookings for 2014, Budapest, Hungary, follows closely behind. Its prime position straddling the Danube makes it a top choice for travelers who want to visit treasured European destinations throughout Germany, Austria and Hungary."

Here are the Top 10 destinations for 2014 river cruises, according to Cruise Holidays International, along with the itineraries and rivers most commonly associated with these cities:

1)  Amsterdam, Netherlands "Windmills & Tulips"

Rhine (7-day), Dutch waterways (if roundtrip), some Mosel, Rhine/Main/Danube (14-day)

2) Budapest, Hungary "Grand Tour"*

Danube (7-day), Rhine/Main/Danube (14-day)

3) Paris, France

Seine (7-day), Rhone (8-10 day), Seine/Rhone (14-day)

4) Basel, Switzerland "Rhine River Valley"

Rhine

5) Nuremberg, Germany

Main/Danube

6) Prague, Czech Republic

Main/Danube, some Elbe

7) Avignon, France "Provence"

Rhone (7-day), Seine/Rhone (14-day)

8) Vienna, Austria

Danube (7-day or 14-day)

9) Chalon sur Saone, France

Saone/Rhone

10) Bucharest, Romania

Danube (10-day or 14-day, including Black Sea)

*A "Grand Tour" is typically a 14-day cruise of the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers.

"The growth in popularity of European river cruising is astounding and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it should be noted that availability for 2014 European river cruises is extremely limited and September is virtually sold out, especially in the more desirable suite categories," added Weisner. "We strongly advise travelers who intend to go to Europe this year, and have yet to book their river cruise, to be as flexible as possible. But we also advise consulting with one of our Cruise Holidays agents, who can closely monitor if a cancellation arises on a particular itinerary and act quickly to secure a reservation. On the other hand, availability for non-European destinations in 2014 is still fairly abundant."

Destinations Outside of Europe

While the vast majority of river cruisers choose European destinations, river cruise lines are increasingly adding itineraries around the globe. "This will become even more important as travelers who get a taste of river cruising in Europe find the lifestyle so appealing that they decide to visit more exotic destinations, also via a river cruise. Our Cruise Holidays river cruise experts are shoring up their knowledge of ports around the world, including in Southeast Asia, by experiencing them firsthand so they can counsel their clients on the river cruise lines that are best suited to explore these fascinating destinations," said Weisner.

Here are the Top Five river cruise destinations in Southeast Asia, according to Cruise Holidays International:

1) Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

2) Beijing, China

3) Shanghai, China

4) Hanoi, Vietnam

5) Siem Reap, Cambodia

Top Emerging River Cruise Destination

Cruise Holidays International also reviewed its booking patterns to determine the most elite, emerging river cruise destination that is being sought by their most adventurous river cruisers. Bangkok, Thailand, leads the way. It serves as a jumping off point for some Mekong river cruises as well as a way to reach captivating Burma (Myanmar).

"Burma or Myanmar is being heavily promoted by river cruise lines as one of the most alluring destinations on their radar. Until very recently, the country was virtually off-limits to tourists. Intrepid travelers want to be among the first to explore this Asian gem and experience important palaces and monasteries in cities along the Irrawaddy River, including Mandalay," said Weisner. "Whether travelers choose a river cruise as an intriguing alternative to a land tour, or just want to be a part of the 'in crowd' of thousands of vacationers who are now trying them for the first time, there's no doubt that river cruising will continue to play a vital part in our business as we sell out the remaining inventory of 2014 cruises and continue booking 2015 river cruises at a very brisk pace."