Tickets go on sale today for the sixth CLIA River Cruise Conference which this year will showcase seven ships including four which are new to the event.
More than 275 delegates, including around 200 travel agents, are expected to attend the Conference which takes place in Amsterdam on 20 & 21 November. The four ships making their debut are Amadeus Silver III, Tauck’s Grace, Riviera Travel’s William Shakespeare and Emerald Dawn. These will be joined by CroisiEurope’s Lafayette, Shearing’s Da Vinci and Uniworld’s Antoinette.
Travel agents will also be able to take advantage of a trade fair and conference sessions which will focus on identifying potential river cruise customers who would enjoy the varied experiences offered on a holiday sailing the world’s waterways.
Latest figures show the number of British travellers taking a river cruise grew by more than 10,000, taking the total to 150,300. Europe remains the most popular region accounting for 87 per cent of river cruises taken by UK passengers.
The first CLIA River Cruise Excellence Awards are also being presented on Saturday 19 November with the award evening being hosted on board Tauck’s new Inspiration Class ship. There are eight awards covering: Best River Cruise Newcomer, Best Overall Performance North & South; Best Marketing Promotion – Online, Retail & Homeworker; River Cruise Ambassador of the Year and 2016 Clia River Cruise Agent of the Year.
“We have seen many river ships launched in the past year with more to come. There is so much investment being made in new, innovative ships and the ever-increasing choice and diversity of itineraries in Europe and further afield means it’s no surprise that more UK passengers than ever are opting for river cruises as their holiday choice.” said Andy Harmer, CLIA Europe VP Operations.
He continued: “The River Conference offers travel agents a unique opportunity to see firsthand so many different styles of river ship and to hear from key speakers on the latest industry developments. And I’m delighted that our first ever River Cruise Awards will recognise innovation, expertise and an overall contribution to the success of this sector.’