Data Shows River Cruise Guests Crave Unfrequented Experiences

Data Shows River Cruise Guests Crave Unfrequented Experiences

River cruise specialists Emerald Waterways are finding an increased demand for activities, excursions and experiences onboard its river cruise itineraries. To match the demand, Denitza Dimitrova Emerald’s Journey Planner is re-doubling the company’s efforts to ensure guests get what they want.

In this article, Denitza Dimitrova tells us what’s new, and which favourites will be returning in 2021.

Denitza said: “We have seen an increasing demand for more local experiences, active tours and explorations off the beaten track. Our goal for the upcoming season is to bring guests closer to the destination, alongside locals, at the heartbeat of each port. To stay innovative and respond to market requests, we are launching two brand new itineraries next season.

Man and womans bicycle on a bridge in Holland

“One is a 10-day cruise in blooming springtime in The Netherlands and Belgium offering culinary tastings during guided tours in big European cities as well as small charming towns (Springtime Delights, £2,370 per person based on 1 April 2021 departure on Emerald Dawn Star-Ship*).

The other is an eight-day itinerary featuring the Moselle River, Europe’s best-kept secret. This cruise sails through vineyard-covered hillsides and include visits of charming UNESCO heritage towns (Legendary Rhine and Moselle. The cruise costs £1,920 per person based on 21 June 2021 departure on Emerald Dawn Star-Ship*).”

Emerald Waterways Emerald Dawn cruising on the river

Emerald Waterways also follows the popular guest demand to extend their stay before or after the cruise and has developed two new extensions connecting to the 10-day Enchantment of Eastern Europe itinerary.

In Istanbul, guests can join a Bosphorus Cruise, see the magnificent Hagia Sophia and experience the world-famous Spice Market. Or choose an extension in Transylvania which includes some must-sees such as Dracula’s Bran Castle but also the opportunity to explore the peaceful countryside and meet local traditions.

There is also something for the adrenaline-seekers – guests can venture out to the wilderness of the Bavarian forest with rewarding views from a 44-meter high tree tower.

To make guests’ favourites return for 2021, Emerald conducted a survey with guests from 2019 sailings asking them to rate the excursions.

EmeraldACTIVE bicycle tour around Danube Island

Dimitrova said: “they voted the EmeraldACTIVE bicycle tour around Danube Island in Vienna experience a 9.8 out of 10 on our Danube Explorer itinerary.

The runner up was the included excursion to the Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam which was rated 9.7 out of 10 on our Holland and Belgium in Bloom itinerary. Therefore, despite looking for new excursions and activities, we will also always listen to our guests and make sure we are bringing back the favourites that are well-loved.”

Guests booking before 31 August 2020 will enjoy savings of up to £1,000 per couple, a complimentary Premium Drinks Package, entitling guests to unlimited onboard drinks*, and flexibility with Emerald Waterways’ Deposit Protection Plan. New bookings paid in full by 31 October 2020 will also enjoy an additional Early Payment Discount of £250 per couple.

All prices include relevant discounts, return flights, transfers, the cruises as stated above, all tipping and gratuities, all onboard meals and selected drinks**, excursions and experiences.

*Star-Ship – European Star-Ships are subject to change.

**Selected drinks – wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the sailing.

For more information on what experiences will be available in 2021 or to make a booking, please visit

Read more travel features and articles in our dedicated section here.

Data Shows River Cruise Guests Crave Unfrequented Experiences 2


Editorial Team

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