Luxury river cruise line identifies heightened demand for slow travel and celebration travel from current booking patterns
AmaWaterways, the luxury river cruise line, has revealed six travel trends for the river industry. The trends – which include slow travel and celebration travel – were driven by booking patterns that are reflected in heightened demand during a time when guests are unable to take a holiday.
“North American luxury travellers are beginning to plan their next holiday, and, based on what we are seeing, river cruises are poised to be among the first to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Rudi Schreiner, president of AmaWaterways.
“River cruise holidays take place on smaller ships with fewer guests, cruise within countries and conveniently dock in the centre of charming towns and hidden villages. Looking ahead, we anticipate travellers will prioritise meaningful and authentic travel experiences that create true connections with their loved ones and the destination they are visiting. Travellers seeking this type of unique, intimate experience are driving increased demand for AmaWaterways.”
The trends are as follows:
• Celebration Travel – With many group gatherings to commemorate milestone birthdays and anniversaries postponed throughout 2020, celebration travel is anticipated to be a top trend among travellers of all ages in the year ahead.
• Longer Stays, Shorter Booking Windows – With international travel regulations still evolving, booking windows are expected to shrink, as travellers stand by ready to leap at the opportunity to escape to a new destination as soon as conditions are right. AmaWaterways is seeing its guests increasingly adding extensions to their seven-night river cruise – combining back-to-back cruises through Europe and adding pre- and post-cruise land packages.
• Slow Travel – Trend analysts report that more travellers are opting for unhurried and authentic experiences within less crowded destinations that offer a true immersion in the region’s culture, history and gastronomy.
• Regenerative Travel – Now, more than ever, travellers are actively seeking ways to give back to destinations by contributing to local economies and choosing sustainable ways to explore the world.
• Holistic Wellness – With the pursuit of improved physical and mental health becoming more prevalent, the global pandemic has inspired many to focus on wellness, connect with new activities in the outdoors and improve their health and fitness.
• The Value of Travel Agents – The company highlighted the important role that travel agents have played in helping customers navigate their way through the increasingly complex travel picture. In a startment they said: “AmaWaterways has always worked hand in hand with the travel agent community and, at a time with complex restrictions and policies, professional travel agents are more valuable than ever, serving clients with expert knowledge, destination insight and a personal touch to ensure a seamless transition throughout the voyage.”
To recognise the importance of the trade, AmaWaterways recently launched an all-new Referral Savings Offer that rewards both past guests and their newly referred friends and family with savings while encouraging all guests to book with a travel agent.
The new vessel will debut in September 2022, sailing the line’s Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary
Viking Cruises has announced that it will be launching a new ship in Egypt. Viking Aton will debut in September 2022 and sail the line’s 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary.
The new vessel will join Viking’s existing Egypt river fleet, which includes its identical sister ship Viking Osiris and Viking’s first owned and operated ship on the Nile, Viking Ra.
“Egypt remains a top destination for many of our guests who are inspired to discover the rich history and beauty of the region,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. “We will always maintain our commitment to creating meaningful experiences that are focused on the destination. The addition of Viking Aton is a reflection of our continued investment in Egypt; we look forward to introducing the country’s cultural treasures to even more Viking guests in the future.”
The new ship will be capable of accommodating up to 82 guests within 41 staterooms. All staterooms will have river views, and it will include venues that are seen throughout the Viking brand, such as the Aquavit Terrace. Fares start from £4,665.00 per person.