Published on Sunday, November 10, 2019

River cruises not perceived as good value

The over 50s British traveller would be prepared to pay £1,200 for a 7-night river cruise, according to research from a media company.

But this figure is £300 lower than the average lead-in price of a four-star river cruise, said a report by Mail Metro Media.

Based on 20-minute interviews with 1,061 people, the research concluded that the expectations of consumers about what they get from a river cruise is lower than the reality.

When asked a direct question about the cost of river cruises, 80% of over 50s said they are expensive and only 20% believe they represent good value.

Ben Nealon, client partnerships director travel for the group, said the river cruise experience is clearly undervalued by consumers and that the sector has work to do in raising the awareness of the product.

The research found, for example, that although the majority of river cruises are all-inclusive, only 63% of consumers expect lunches to be included and only 35% expect to get free alcoholic drinks.

Just over half expect the price to include excursions and only 8% expect free use of bicycles - something which is often part of the all-inclusive package.

Educating clients about what's included in a river cruise upfront price is key, said Nealon, particularly when 80% of the travellers questioned said price was a key consideration when booking a river cruise.

he next most important factor cited was countries visited (59%) followed by accommodation (55%), on board facilities (48%) and length of trip (also 48%).

The research found that of emerging destinations, 45% of over 50s said they wanted to do a river cruise in Russia, 25% in North America, 24% in Asia and 19% in South America.

When asked why they hadn't yet taken a river cruise, 42% said they hadn't got round to it, 38% said the ones they'd looked at were too expensive, 25% said there are other types of holiday they'd prefer, 19% said it's not a 'special occasion' type of holiday, 15% said they didn't know what to expect and 13% said they don't feel ready for a river cruise yet.


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  • what a useless sample

    1061 people is a miniscule number. So small any results are meaningless

    By Michael Anderson, Friday, November 15, 2019

  • some odd results here

    The chosen sample seems to have come up with very odd responses such as 19% wanting a river cruise in South America. As a river cruise specialist I take maybe 500 new enquiries a year and in ten years can count on one hand the number of people who, unprompted, ask for a South American river cruise. This throws doubt on every other response !

    By JAMES HILL, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

  • Really?

    How many said they turn into coach trips if the river isn't right? And how many said paying for too much food and alcohol isn't an incentive?

    By Chris Scott, Monday, November 11, 2019

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