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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Uniworld

A Ganges morning in Varanasi, India. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

A Ganges morning in Varanasi, India. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

You’ve done Europe’s Danube, Rhine and Seine, and maybe Russia’s Volga, Portugal’s Douro, or Central Europe’s Elbe.

You’re a devotee of river cruising, and you’re not alone. River cruising is the hottest segment of the cruise industry right now, fueled in large part by baby boomers who enjoy the small ships, the close-up passing scenery, and the informative shore excursions, often included in the price.

European waterways from Spain and Portugal east to the Black Sea are now teeming with river vessels, with more being launched every year.

Cruise lines such as Viking, Uniworld, AMA Waterways, Avalon, Scenic, CroisiEurope, and Emerald Waterways are all competing fiercely for your business there, churning out sleek new ships with tons of innovations like floor to ceiling windows that open up and turn into virtual “balconies” with sitting areas.

Uniworld just launched… Continue reading

Uniworld's European Jewels river cruise will feature the SS Maria Theresa. Photo from Uniworld.

Uniworld’s European Jewels river cruise will feature the SS Maria Theresa. Photo from Uniworld.

I’ve often wondered about the derivation of the ship godmother tradition. A female celebrity of some sort says a few nice words about a new vessel and, in theory, breaks a bottle of Champagne across the bow to christen it.

According to one account I read, the tradition goes back thousands of years to when pagan priests would douse a new ship with blood as a kind of bon voyage send-off.

Somehow this morphed into celebrity godmothers and bottles of bubbly. Even royalty have gotten into the act. Queen Elizabeth II has served as godmother for a couple of Cunard’s “Queen” ocean liners, and Kate Middleton has  appropriately doused a Princess Cruises vessel.

Actresses Make Great Godmothers

Actresses are commonly tapped. In retrospect, I would have gladly splurged on a balcony… Continue reading

One of the big developments in cruising in the past few years is the rapid rise of river cruising, which has a big marketing advantage over ocean cruising among a certain segment of the population: namely, those who don’t like the idea of being out in the ocean on a big ship.

Emerald Waterways features an innovative

Emerald Waterways features an innovative “indoor balcony” in some cabins. Photo from Emerald Waterways.

Whether it’s fear of open water, fear of getting seasick, fear of overcrowding, or fear of being on a big ship if a crisis strikes at sea — such as some of the highly publicized events of the past year or two — a number of people just won’t consider taking a traditional ocean cruise. (No matter how much I or many other cruising advocates try to convince them otherwise.)

River cruising, on the other hand, enables you to stay close to land on… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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