If there is one section of the cruising industry that is growing faster than all other areas, it has to be river cruising. With more ships, lines and destinations becoming available all the time, customers are realising the value in seeing the world from an outside cabin whilst sailing along a breathtaking waterway.
And in a bid to raise the profile of these holidays further and capitalise on a continuing surge in demand, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is staging the first ever River Cruise Weekend in the coming days.
Starting on March the 26th and continuing until March the 30th, the event will take inspiration from the already successful Cruise Week that CLIA organises every September. Anyone wanting to participate can post onto various different social media platforms using the hashtag #LoveCruise and these will be collated by CLIA over the course of the five days.
The organisation wants cruisers to post pictures relating to river cruising along with an explanation as to why they love travelling in this way. It could be a particular ship, an operator that you enjoy sailing with, a destination that really stuck with you, or even a particular shore excursion that you’ll never forget. At the end of this homage to river cruising, a post will be chosen at random from those that CLIA selected to put on their own Facebook account, and the person behind it will win an iPad.
To coincide with the event, CLIA’s 17 river cruise partners will be offering customers a whole host of deals to try and persuade them to book over the weekend. These limited time offers include free cheese hampers and travel guides from AmaWaterways, complimentary cabin upgrades from Amadeus River Cruises, and even a ‘companion pays half price’ deal on a selected cruise with APT.
Whilst there are definitely plenty of deals to be had by customers, the event is aimed at getting agents involved in the excitement too. Not only will CLIA be putting a wealth of river cruise related training material up on their website, each operator will also be incentivising agents in their own way. Uniworld, Avalon, and AmaWaterways are all offering Love2Shop vouchers to staff who sell their cruises over the weekend, whilst American Cruise Lines are even giving an extra $50 of commission to any agent securing one of their 2015 cruises.
Whether you plan to post your experiences on social media, book your next river adventure, or simply look for inspiration regarding your 2016 river cruise, this weekend is sure to be an exciting one. So look out for the hashtag #LoveCruise and get involved in the first ever River Cruise Weekend.