Re-discover River - CLIA river cruise conference

Claire Jackson on 18 March 2022
In March 2022 I attended the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) River Cruise Conference in Budapest. It is an event for travel agents to get an insight into River Cruising, learn what it’s all about, and spend some time aboard some stunning ships.

I was very lucky, along with a few of my colleagues to get a place aboard a ship after the conference, which set sail down the River Danube from Budapest to Vienna over a few days. This was a great way to experience river cruising first hand and to see some amazing cities along the way.

In terms of the ships/cruiselines that were on show at the event:-

• AmaWaterways • CroisiEurope • Avalon Waterways • Uniworld Boutique River Cruises • APT Travelmarvel • Amadeus River Cruises • A-ROSA • TUI River Cruises • Scenic • Emerald Cruises

And out of these ships I spent the night aboard Crosi/Europe Vivaldi, Uniworld’s S.S. Beatrice & Scenic – Amber, and had lunches on Ama Verde and TUI Skylark. This meant that I was able to get a real feel for the different types of ships, their facilities and what sort of people they would suit.

So what is river cruising, and what is so great about it?

A River Cruise is a voyage along inland waterways, often stopping off at multiple ports along the way. River Cruising allows passengers to experience multiple, and memorable destinations in a short amount of time all whilst travelling along the world’s most famous, and historic rivers.

1. You get to stop off at a new city/port almost everyday. 2. Most ships these days are all inclusive (Food and beverages) and sometimes excursions and tours are often included as well so this means once you’ve paid for the trip you won’t need to worry about the pennies whilst you are away. 3. Because the ships are a lot smaller than the ocean cruise liners it means that you get access to some places that you might not have been able to experience previously. You go to bed sailing down the river and wake up docked up next to the gateway to a city, and no immigration queues to worry about. Just hop off and explore. 4. You won’t get sea sick, there are certainly no open waters and waves to worry about. The vesssels are designed with flat-bottoms which ensures a pleasant journey along the rivers. 5. River Cruising offers an exclusive, luxurious option for travellers with different styles of trips and itineraries to suit all. Because the ships are smaller it means you get a more intimate setting with staff focusing on the guests more. They are less crowed than ocean cruise liners with most accommodating 150-200 passengers. 6. And because there are fewer guests on board the service feels more personal. You will become familiar with the staff on board and they will tend to learn your names. 7. The majority of river cruise companies cater for the solo travellers and don’t have single supplement surcharges.

There are so many itineraries to choose from in Europe and further field – the River Danube, the Douro, the Elbe River, and the Rhine. Themed cruises including Tulips and Windmills, Wine Tasting or Castles. Or how about sailing down the Nile or the Mekong and seeing the sights of Egypt and the Far East.

So now I’ve told you a bit about river cruising, what do you think? If you want to find out more, please get in touch.