River Cruise Conference

Su Dillon on 12 November 2019
Having been sailing and selling ocean cruises for over 20 years I thought it was time we experienced the vastly growing market of river cruising. My husband Ken and I attended the CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) river cruise conference in Amsterdam Nov 19, on which we heard from industry experts about the vast array of destinations of rivers around the world which are now available to sail. Many may think only of the Rhine or Danube but there are rivers across almost every continent I can help you with.

Like ocean cruise lines there are various options of both size and style to choose to suit, but most are inclusive of all meals on board. Some include shore excursions and either drinks with meals or are fully inclusive of all drinks.

Whatever your interest there will be a cruise for you, be it visiting cities, soaking up scenery, exploring new places and local culture, food and drink or health and fitness.

Before the conference we were offered the opportunity of a 4 night trip with Shearings holidays on ARosa. Like many I had a few misconceptions about river cruising which were soon squashed.

Firstly the cabin was extremely spacious, as big if not bigger than ocean cabins we’d stayed in. Floor to ceiling windows which can be opened in the summer (didn’t try this in November) but did let in lots of light, comfortable bed, spacious bathroom and storage.

Its been suggested to me that river cruising may only suit older clients but this is certainly not the case even lots of cruises are focused on health and fitness and for example organise cycling ashore or golf. Likewise there is an appeal for families too who perhaps enjoy city breaks. Whilst there are no specific child entertainment on board they often travel much cheaper or free with A Rosa so a great way to experience this kind of holiday.

Some river cruises dock overnight in port so you have the chance to go ashore and experience the cities/destinations after dark too. A Rosa put on a fabulous evening of entertainment on board for us with their MD welcoming us on board, working with their partnership with Shearings we can book their sailings with flight coach or rail connections.

Whilst in Amsterdam at the conference I had chance to visit other cruise lines and compare their styles and what they offer.