US-based European cruise specialist AmaWaterways has revealed “several positive travel trends” driving increased demand and strong river cruise bookings for the year ahead.
Guests are looking to plan longer, immersive travel experiences to better appreciate nature, live in the moment and reconnect with family and friends, according to AmaWaterways’ Co-owners Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Gary Murphy.
Hosted wine itineraries are proving popular, with hand-selected varieties brought on board to serve during a special meal, tastings or seminars. Some wines come from the expert’s own winery and other selections are sourced from wineries located along the river cruise itinerary.
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Six travel trends AmaWaterways predict include:
With many group gatherings to commemorate milestone birthdays and anniversaries postponed throughout 2020, celebration travel is anticipated to be a top trend among travellers of all ages in the year ahead.
AmaWaterways is noting an uptick in multi-generational and multi-family travel bookings.
With a choice of up to 23 optional tours included in seven-night river cruises, each member of the family can personalise their cruise while coming together to enjoy quality time back onboard AmaWaterways’ ships.
Longer Stays, Shorter Booking Windows
With international travel regulations still evolving, booking windows are expected to shrink, as travellers stand by ready to leap at the opportunity to escape to a new destination as soon as conditions are right.
AmaWaterways’ guests are also increasingly adding extensions to their seven-night river cruise – combining back-to-back cruises through Europe and adding pre-and post-cruise land packages.
Trend analysts report that more travellers are opting for unhurried and authentic experiences within less crowded destinations that offer a true immersion in the region’s culture, history, and gastronomy.
With more leisure time in every port of call, river cruises allow travellers to explore at a slower pace and fully immerse themselves in every aspect of the destination – from sampling local cuisine and wines to venturing off the beaten path enjoying the line’s complimentary bicycles.
If expertly guided tours are preferred, thoughtfully curated options abound with more than 20 included excursions conducted in small groups of just 10 to 15 people.
Travellers are actively seeking ways to give back to destinations by contributing to local economies and choosing sustainable ways to explore the world.
Working closely with its destination partners, AmaWaterways has developed new hosted events to support local economies, mingle with the community and personally contribute to the recovery of the destinations they visit.
With the pursuit of improved physical and mental health becoming more prevalent, the global pandemic has inspired many to focus on wellness, connect with new activities in the outdoors and improve their health and fitness.
More people are pursuing travel that includes ways to continue to live an active, healthy lifestyle.
Expanded in 2019, AmaWaterways’ complimentary Wellness Program includes dedicated Wellness Hosts onboard its ships, guided hikes and bike tours through charming destinations as well as a variety of small group fitness classes that can be done on the spacious, open-air Sun Deck.
The Value of Travel Advisors
AmaWaterways has always’ worked hand-in-hand with the travel advisor community and at a time with complex restrictions and policies, professional travel advisors are more valuable than ever, serving clients with expert knowledge, destination insight and a personal touch to ensure a seamless transition throughout the voyage.
To thank its loyal guests and their dedicated travel advisors, AmaWaterways recently launched an all-new Referral Savings Offer that rewards both past guests and their newly referred friends and family with savings while encouraging all guests to book with a travel advisor.
In 2021/22, the river cruise line will debut five immersive new itineraries and new pre- and post-cruise land packages through culturally rich destinations.
Three new ships are also set to sail for the first time in 2021, including AmaDahlia on the Nile and the elegantly appointed sister ships AmaSiena and AmaLucia on the Rhine.
Lead image: AmaMora