If you thought river cruises were too short and boring, 2017 could very well be the year you change your mind. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), exciting new destinations, lesser-travelled rivers and creative themed itineraries are just some of the 2017 river cruise trends you can expect to see crop up next year.
2017 River Cruise Trends
New destination: Borneo
Although river cruises along the Rhine and Danube have always been incredibly popular, the CLIA has revealed that information collected during the UK and Ireland River Cruise Convention which took place in Amsterdam in November showed that travellers are eager to try new and exciting locations. To cater for this demand, Pandaw, a company that specialises in small-ship sailings along far-off Asian rivers will be the first to pioneer cruises in Borneo, with a small selection of seven-night itineraries launching in February, 2017. These cruises will sail right into the heart of the Borneo rainforest and include excursions to tribal villages, religious shrines and an orangutan rehabilitation centre.
New destination: Southern Africa
CroisiEurope will be extending their itineraries into southern Africa. Sailing will take place on board two new 16-passenger vessels which will glide along the Zambezi and Chobe rivers toward the end of 2017. Itineraries include a seven-night cruise safari which incorporates three nights of sailing and four nights at a five-star lodge, plus a day trip to Victoria Falls. The two new ships will feature beautiful restaurants with panoramic views, relaxed lounge bars and open roof-top terraces so passengers can observe the landscape and wildlife around them with ease.
Next year CroisiEurope will also be launching several new multi-river cruises, including one eight-night itinerary which covers the Seine, Moselle and the Rhine, plus a full day trip to Luxembourg.
Themed river cruises
Although there are already plenty of themed cruises for ordinary cruise ships, this isn’t quite the case when it comes to themed river cruises which are very few and far between. In 2017 river cruise trends, dedicated LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) river cruises are expected to increase in popularity.
Emerald Waterways will be one of the first to host a LGBT themed river cruise: a seven-day sailing along the Danube with special guests “Gaydio” breakfast show hosts Emma Goswell and Chris Holliday. Emerald will also be giving passengers the unique opportunity to attend the christening of the fleet’s new ship, Emerald Liberte, in France in September, 2017, before embarking on a seven-night cruise along the Seine.
Avalon Waterways is encouraging passengers to get to know not just the landscape, but the people of the ports of call with their Active Discovery itineraries. On board these nine-day sailings along the Danube, travellers will be given the opportunity to do everything from tasting local cheese and beer brewed by Trappist monks to signing up for a jogging tour around Vienna.