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Riviera study finds a third of ocean cruisers looking at the rivers in 2021

Spacious accommodations — Riviera River Cruises' new all-suite vessel, Geoffrey Chaucer
A study by Riviera River Cruises found 34% of past ocean cruisers are considering taking a river cruise instead in 2021.

And, of those, 79% are more likely to take a river cruise than an ocean cruise next year.

'Less is More' campaign

UK-based Riviera, which operates 12 luxury river vessels in Europe, conducted the study as part of its new 'Less Is More' campaign to promote the positive aspects of river cruising in 2021.

The line did not share how many people it surveyed or its methodology.

'In the past, there’s been little crossover between ocean and river cruising, with ocean cruising accounting for a significantly larger share of the market. Right now, however, we feel there’s an opportunity to showcase the benefits of river cruising to that audience, which previously may have discounted this form of travel,' said Riviera's Marilyn Conroy, EVP sales and marketing North America.

'Our intent is to highlight that river cruising shares many of the aspects of cruise travel they love with additional benefits that address some of the concerns they may have about ocean cruising when ships begin to sail again,' Conroy continued. 'They don’t have to look away from cruising altogether — instead, they can look toward rivers as a fantastic alternative.'

Concerns identified

The Riviera study identified some of the concerns ocean cruisers may have, including the number of passengers on board and 'sea days.' For example, it showed that for 84% of those polled, sharing the experience with fewer fellow passengers was a key reason to prefer river cruising, while being docked at a destination every day was an important consideration for more than 50%.

Ways that Riviera addresses concerns include the fact that its vessels carry between 121 and 169 passengers, a far lower capacity than most ocean cruises. The cabins and suites measure up to 312 square feet, including a spacious bathroom. There are no inside cabins; each one has a window or balcony.

Also, the vessels are in port every day and it takes just seconds go ashore. Often the docks are just steps from the main sights.

Chance for travel advisors to win a cruise

As part of the 'Less Is More' campaign, travel advisors will have a chance to win a free cabin on a 2021 river cruise by joining the Riviera River Cruise Agents group on Facebook, following Riviera on Instagram and signing up for communications through the Agency Portal on Riviera’s website.

One winner will be selected at random from advisors who complete all three. Advisors need to join, follow and sign up by Dec. 31 to enter.

Riviera River Cruises offers 20 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including dedicated departures for solo travelers with no single supplement.