National Cruise Vacation Week Trend Alert
RIVER CRUISE SALES SURGE, LURING LAND & SEA ENTHUSIASTS ALIKE
During National Cruise Vacation Week, one cruise trend stands above the rest. According to Avalon Waterways , for five consecutive years, river- and small ship-cruising has dominated the market, increasing more than 200 percent in both size and sales, proving itself as the fastest-growing travel style today.
And bookings for 2014 show that this – cruising the rivers of the world – is a trend that’s here to stay, luring both big-ship cruisers and land travelers with new, sleek and modern ships; intimate, easy-to-navigate ports and inclusive pricing.
“There’s no sign that the excitement surrounding river cruising will slow down anytime soon. Our load factor for 2014 is already pacing well above where it was this time last year – another record-breaking year,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “Travelers interested in cruising the world’s rivers need to book early. National Cruise Vacation Week – and the special, limited-time offers touted this week – offer them a perfect incentive to book their dream vacation while space is available.”
Avalon Waterways’ four (4) most popular cruises for 2014 (based on sales to date) include:
– The Romantic Rhine (8 days, Zürich to Amsterdam or Amsterdam to Basel)
– The Legendary Danube (11 days, Prague to Budapest)
– Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches (8 days, Paris to Paris)
– Burgundy & Provence (11 days, Paris to Côte d’Azur)
According to Clark, sailing along the rivers of France is in high demand. In fact, Avalon Waterways’ France bookings are up 39 percent for 2014.
her off-the-beaten path cruises seeing the most growth in sales for 2014 are Austrian Highlights & Bavaria (9 days, Vienna to Munich) and Blue Danube to the Black Sea (14 days; Vienna to Bucharest or the reverse) .
Also popular are the company’s special interest cruises. “We’ve already sold-out five of our 12 special interest cruises, showcasing the immense popularity of these themed vacations.
Sold-out themed departures include WWI & European History, Art & Impressionist and Jazz cruises. We have also sold-out two of our wine-themed cruises for 2014.” Avalon’s themed cruises still boasting availability are our culinary, beer, Jewish heritage, golf and wellness itineraries.
Avalon’s proprietary Suite Ships, featuring two full decks of 200- and 300-square foot Panorama and Royal Suites are also in high demand, according to Clark. “When you compare Avalon’s Suite Ships to the rest of the industry, you’ll see there simply is no comparison. We understand that each stateroom should be an oasis for guests to escape to, not escape from. And while it’s true our Panorama Suites offer our travelers more room, they’re about more of everything. This concept has resonated with travelers and travel agents alike and with eight Suite Ships in Europe next year, we’re redefining the river cruise experience for our guests,” said Clark.
And, although river cruise sales are once again surpassing expectations, Clark says there’s still time to book a European river cruise. “Early season departures still have a lot of availability. For instance, if you want to see Holland tulips, book a Tulip Time or Tulips of Northern Holland cruise in April. Our holiday cruises also have more availability and afford travelers the chance to enjoy the festive, European Christmas markets while experiencing one of Avalon’s Suite Ships.”
Other Avalon itineraries with more availability include Upper Rhine to the City of Music (12 days, Zürich to Vienna) and Jewels of Central Europe (17 days, Paris to Budapest). The company’s cruises through Vietnam and Cambodia on the 16-passenger Avalon Angkor also have room for those interested in traversing the waters of more exotic locales.
Early Booking Incentive:
River cruise sales surge according to Avalon waterways.
In addition to finding space on the itinerary and departure date of choice, travelers booking an Avalon cruise early can benefit from these deals:
– Save $1,000 per couple on select 2014 Europe “Book Now” Sailings
– Receive up to $800 per couple Air Credit on 2014 Europe River Cruises
– Save $400 per couple on 2014 Europe River Cruises
– Save $1,000 per couple on select 2014 Mekong cruises
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