The world of river cruising was in Amsterdam last weekend for the fourth River Cruise convention, organised by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The river cruise section is really growing, with a more than 22% increase in bookings last year, and a record 24 new vessels launching next year. There are now 308 river cruisers afloat.
This is a really lucrative sector for travel agents to increase their incomes and has a high repeat factor with clients.
Sharon Jordan, Country Manager, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, was on hand to show the magnificent SS Antoinette on which, from the moment you board, you are treated like royalty. The ship was built in 2011 and can accommodate 154 passengers in total luxury. Cabins are a class apart in terms of design and amenities. There is even a cinema onboard and, of course, a fine spa with gym.
The actual convention was well organised by CLIA – UK & Ireland and is very agent orientated, with a workshop coupled with organised ship visits to the seven cruise lines who participated.
Travel agents were allocated to a different ship each night for dinner and overnight accommodation.
The seven river cruise companies who were at the Convention were Uniworld, arosa, Emerald Waterways, CrosiEurope, Amadeus River Cruises, European Waterways, and Shearings Holidays.