River cruise lines are reporting a huge uptake in cruisers booking longer river journeys or back to back voyages with Australians taking up the majority of these cabins.
So much so, that lines like Avalon Waterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and AmaWaterways are offering voyages of up to 54 nights.
Luxury line Uniworld has a 25-night itinerary from Amsterdam to Bucharest which joins three of its most popular European itineraries. A spokesperson from the line said that Australians are making up around 70 per cent of the bookings.
“We are finding that Australian and Kiwi guests intend to travel for much longer than ever before – if they are going to go long-distance, they want to make it count,” said the spokesperson.
And in May 2023, there is a spectacular 46-night cruise that visits nine-countries on five Uniworld ships.
“Our longest special itinerary is our version of a world cruise – Rivers of the World. In 2023 this is 46 nights from Cairo to Lisbon and combines five river cruises with all the connections and transfers included, departing May 2023,” said the Uniworld spokesperson.
“It has been hugely popular and has only one suite remaining for sale (due to a cancellation out of the US). Aussies have taken around 80% of the cabins.
Starting the journey in Cairo, 11-days are spent on the Nile River on the S.S. Sphinx. Following the Egyptian jaunt, the itinerary then takes guests to the Venice Lagoon and Po River on the S.S. La Venezia which visits Italy and Switzerland.
The next leg of the cruise takes place on the S.S. Maria Theresa. Over the seven days, cruisers will visit Hungary, Austria and Germany. The fourth section sails on the Seine on the S.S Joie De Vivre while the final leg sails on the Douro River on the S.S Sao Gabriel.
Demand has been so high that Uniworld is about to release a 2024 version which is 54 nights and four cruises from Lima to Saigon.
Avalon Waterways has a stunning 26-day river itinerary from the Black Sea to the North Sea and the line is saying that they are seeing strong bookings for their longer itineraries.
“Typically, we see our returning river cruisers book our longer cruises, who love the unpack once aspect of river cruising and are after more immersive, deeper experiences. When they visit Europe, they want time to really explore the destinations, get to know the locals and experience the culture,” said an Avalon Waterways spokesperson.
“Longer itineraries have proven popular with both the Australian and New Zealand market, allowing these guests to see as much as possible, after the long journey to get to Europe. We’re seeing demand across the board for our river cruises, but we are seeing a slight trend towards longer itineraries as customers want to experience as much as they can as they re-discover Europe after two years of closed borders – they’re ready to get out there and explore.”
AmaWaterways also revealed a 46-night voyage that passes through 14 countries on four of the line’s ships. Broken into four sections on Europe’s seven major rivers, the voyage visits ports in France, Germany, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania and more.
“At AmaWaterways, we continually anticipate the needs of our guests and always strive to provide innovative experiences that push industry standards. With the pent-up demand for travel we are seeing and the increase in requests for our longer cruises, we feel this is the perfect time to introduce our incredible, all-new Seven River Journey,” AmaWaterways’ president Rudi Schreiner told Cruiseradio.net.
He added that demand had been brilliant and he’s confident that the cruise will exceed the expectations of the 144 guests aboard.