WTM 2016: Avalon boss expects further river cruise growth

WTM 2016: Avalon boss expects further river cruise growth

The president of Avalon Waterways has said 2017 will continue to be a great year for river cruising as they are now ‘giving customers what they really want’.

Patrick Clark said river cruising is continuing to be popular however the company were listening to what their guests wanted on board which would aid the continual growth of the industry.

Speaking at World Travel Market on Monday November 7, Clark said: “In 2017 we have 16 vessels in Europe and two in Asia, plus we also have other destinations like the Amazon where we take over someone else’s ship.

“Active discovery will be a large part of 2017 for us, after receiving feedback from our customers that they wanted to do more. We’re giving them what they really want.

“Our themed cruises are the perfect way for our customers to do this whether they want to learn about wine, music, food or Jewish heritage.

“We have designed the itineraries to really immerse our guests which includes visits to vineyards and markets. This also means more daytime sailing and more excursions giving our guests more time to explore Europe.”

Clark, who is based in the US, said the UK team led by Giles Hawke would continue to offer support to agents.

“It is simple, we are a lucrative product to sell and then the customers will keep coming back.

“The river cruise community is growing and with that the ships and experiences are dramatically improving.

“In future there may not be enough room on the rivers to physically expand our ships but we are always looking to enhance the experience for the customer and for agents.”

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