How river cruise newcomer, Riviera Travel, does things differently
European river cruise line, Riviera Travel – a newcomer in the Australian market – likes to do things differently and has released a list of the ways its award-winning product differs from that of better-known river operators.
The industry leader in the UK, Riviera Travel disrupted the local market with its launch here in Australia in mid-2016 and has seen Australian sales figures double in recent months compared to last year.
Riviera Travel has highlighted the many ways it differs from other river cruise lines:
- Offers inclusive, five-star cruises at fares up to 50 per cent lower than competitors
- Solo-use cabins with no supplement on every cruise
- Doesn’t include automatic gratuities in fares, allowing guests to tip as they like
- Avoids discounting, so guests don’t discover fellow passengers have paid less for the same cabin
- Unlike competitors, Riviera’s fare structure is simple and transparent with no hidden costs, benefitting both passengers and travel agents
- Riviera does not raise fares to cover drinks for all passengers, regardless of whether they want them or not. In 2018, Riviera will introduce optional, low-cost, drinks package for A$99 per person for four nights, A$169 for seven nights or A$329 for 14 nights, covering beverages with lunch and dinner
- Riviera’s ships in Europe are unique in offering tea and coffee-making facilities in every cabin on every ship – a feature popular with Australians
- Riviera offers two restaurants on most of its ships, including an alternative – and complimentary – dining bistro bar for a more intimate dining experience
- Instead of hurried, back-to-back shore excursions, Riviera offers relaxed tours, included in the fare, with ample free time left over for independent exploration
- Most cruise lines operate popular Amsterdam to Budapest itineraries but Riviera starts the route in Cologne, eliminating less scenic landscapes and allowing more time in towns further along the route
- Upgrade fares between cabin types are only between A$200 and A$600 per person – much lower than other cruise companies
- Riviera Travel is fully committed to Australian travel agents with set commissions and all bookings coming through agents – never direct with the cruise line
- Riviera also enjoys one of the highest repeat booking rates in the industry, with 97 per cent of guests indicating they would book again and a high 65 per cent doing so
Riviera Travel’s Sales Manager for Australia, Shelley Davey, said Riviera was proud of the way it offered a unique and affordable product that was quickly winning over increasing numbers of Australians.
“Our dedicated Australian website and brochure, low fares and desire to do things differently have clearly struck a chord with Australians and our task now is to spread the word that we are offering the market here an exciting, new choice in premium, European river cruising,” Ms Shelley said.
In 2018, Riviera Travel’s biggest-yet fleet of 11 luxury ships will carry a record number of guests on 300 cruises across 12 different itineraries in Europe. Riviera’s ships are rated amongst the finest and most spacious on Europe’s waterways, each boasting attentive, gracious service, fine dining, a grand, marble lobby, sumptuous lounges and restaurants, splash pool and gym, with most cabins offering a French or full balcony.
Including daily shore excursions, fine dining and afternoon tea, fares with Riviera Travel are available from A$2099 per person – twin-share or solo use – for a seven-night Blue Danube cruise and from A$4349 per person – twin-share or solo use – for Riviera’s most popular cruise itinerary, a 14-night Heart of Europe cruise between Cologne and Budapest.
Bookings and brochures are available via Australian travel agents. Visit www.rivieratravel.com.au