The Globus family of brands — which includes Globus, Cosmos and
Avalon Waterways — sent out a “Wish List” survey to the brands’ previous
travellers back in December.
In total, the company received 28,971 responses (almost 10,000 of
which were from Avalon guests, specifically), about what they most
desire in 2023.
The most popular countries and rivers
First on the list were the most sought-after countries and rivers.
“From Paris to Prague, Amsterdam to Zurich, and Budapest to the Black
Sea, the storybook landscapes, castle-dotted cliffs and vineyard-lined
waterways of Europe continue to drive river cruise interest,” according
to a press release from Avalon.
The top five “must-see” countries for Avalon cruisers are France
(39%), Portugal (31%), Germany (30%), Austria (25%) and Switzerland
And the results for the top five rivers these clients wish to
navigate are the Rhine River (76%), the Upper Danube River (64%), the
Seine and Rhone Rivers (39%), the Lower Danube River (34%) and the Douro
“River cruise bookings for 2023 are being led by the Rhine River;
however, our most popular destination for the new year is France,” said
Pam Hoffee, president of Avalon Waterways. “We expect both the Seine and
Rhone Rivers to sell out this year. And, on the heels of announcing the
new Avalon Alegria on the Douro River for 2024, we’re enjoying
early-booking success. The new ship and itinerary are already 50% sold
more than one year in advance.”
Meanwhile, waterways outside of Europe are popular, as well,
including the Nile River (15%), the Mekong (13%) and the Amazon (9%).
With less-frequented rivers garnering interest, off-the-beaten-path
destinations are increasingly picking up steam. In fact, close to half
of Avalon loyalists (44%) said it’s important to them to visit new ports
and have new experiences.
Other post-pandemic river cruise trends
Who clients are seeking to travel with is evolving after the
pandemic, as well, with more guests looking to share the experience with
others (and some preferring to go it alone).
The largest grouping (73%) said they want to cruise with their
partner or “better half,” while 30% expressed a desire to sail with
friends or family. And still a good amount — nearly a quarter of
respondents, at 24%— indicated they like to cruise solo.
“Catering to this trend — and recognising that river cruising is a
perfect travel style for solo travellers — Avalon waives the single
supplement on a select number of rooms on every departure across Europe
and Southeast Asia,” Hoffee said.
The desired length of a cruise is also shifting. According to Hoffee,
seven- to 10-day journeys were previously en vogue, as well as trialing
the travel form on three- and four-night voyages. But the Wish List
survey indicates that river cruisers are increasingly looking for longer
vacations in 2023.
Over half of river cruisers — 51% — told Avalon that they want to
reserve a two-week trip in 2023, versus the 38% who still prefer a
Active itineraries are trending
Not only does Avalon offer two-week cruises — such as its
“Magnificent Europe” and “Grand France” routes — but the brand also
offers “Active” itineraries that are growing in popularity. Among those
surveyed, 26% of respondents enjoy hiking, biking and paddling during
“Our fastest-growing itineraries on Europe’s rivers are Active &
Discovery cruises,” Hoffee said. “Since launching Active & Discovery
cruises on the Danube River in 2017, we have added these popular
itineraries to every major European waterway, increasing offerings by
Source: TravelAge West