Americans have always been able to go on CroisiEurope river cruises — Europe’s largest river cruise line with 30 ships — but now the family-owned company has added a U.S. website and call center for consumers to book with them directly.
Until now, travel agents could book U.S. passengers onto CroisiEurope ships, but the company’s new U.S. presence means that it’s going after the American market in a big way — including, of course, baby boomer travelers, who are the lifeblood of just about all river cruising operations.
At this past weekend’s River Cruise Convention in Cologne, Germany, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) UK director Andy Harmer told delegates that boomers are “incredibly impactful for our business,” praising them as a “wealthy, active and physically fit generation of consumers.” He urged agents selling river cruises to focus particularly on clients in their 50s and 60s.
One notable exception about CroisiEurope, though, is that the company is also very family-friendly, meaning that boomers seeking an affordable multi-generational travel experience can find it here. Traveling with grandchildren, or with three generations, is more amenable here than on many river cruise lines.
Based in Strasbourg, France, CroisiEurope has nearly 40 years of experience navigating some 25 European canals and rivers, running through France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium. The cuisine is French, the crew is multi-national and multi-lingual (English included), and the company prides itself on its eco-consciousness.
I learned about CroisiEurope just this week at VEMEX, the Visit Europe Media Exchange held in New York on November 18, and had a chance to talk with some of their representatives.
In 2014, I’m told, CroisiEurope will be branching out a bit, offering new trips to coastal Cyprus (in the eastern Mediterranean), Amsterdam and France’s canal network, among others. Barges holding up to 24 passengers — twice as many as most barge trips — will explore the French regions of Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne and Provence.
In 2015, they’ll be introducing a fourth vessel on Iberia’s River Douro and looking at more development possibilities in Asia, beyond their current Mekong cruises in Vietnam and Cambodia.
By the way, if you book the new 2014 French barge cruises by December 1, 2013, you can save $400 per cabin, based on double occupancy. With these savings, especially, prices are quite reasonable for this type of trip, beginning around $2,300 per person for a seven-day barge cruise, including excursions.
The new U.S. call center number is 800-768-7232.