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River cruising, a developing market for French passengers

River cruising, a developing market for French passengers
143,100 French passengers cruised on river ships last year according to new statistics compiled for the first time by IRN Research and commissioned by CLIA France.

The numbers represent a 3% decline compared to 2013 when 148,900 passengers chose a river cruise holiday.

According to the study, 30% of the French favoured France as a destination, followed by the Rhine (24%) and the Danube (18%), before  Russia (11%), Portugal (4%), Italy and Germany (the Elbe).

European rivers represent 97% of chosen destinations by French passengers, the remaining 3% cruised on the Mekong and in Burma.

‘The number of French river cruise passengers were until now relatively unknown and we are happy to be publishing reliable statistics,’ said Georges Azouze, president of CLIA France,.

‘With the added capacity  announced by the leading French river cruise operator CroisiEurope, in particular on the Loire and the Elbe, a market increase should be registered in 2015,’ he remarked.

French rivers and canals also remain a choice destination for international river cruise operators, with some 250,000 foreign passengers carried by 38 companies sailing in French waterways according to the national authority Voies navigables de France.