In a recent survey, we asked readers what, if anything, was holding them back from river cruising in Europe. More than half of respondents told us that nothing is holding them back. They already have river cruises booked for the remainder of this year or at some point next year. That’s good news. We’re glad to see people getting back into river cruising.
What’s holding back the half who aren’t yet ready to return to river cruising?
- Water levels topped the list. Indeed, low water levels on the Rhine and Danube have affected river cruises during the past several weeks and continue to do so, although things are improving.
- More than half of respondents told us they are still concerned about Covid-19. For those who believe in the power of the vaccines, and that includes us, the newest booster provides an added degree of confidence. I got my bivalent booster the week it was approved. The pharmacist told me that she has boosted a lot of people with the new vaccine already, and the majority of them were getting the new booster because they were traveling internationally.
- Only a quarter of respondents said that inflation was affecting their plans to river cruise, but some expressed concerns about pricing. “Prices are extremely high for all river cruises,” wrote one respondent.
The latter remark got us thinking, are river cruises prices “extremely high?” Last week, we published Getting The Most For Your Money, Plus Four Trends Impacting River Cruising, in which our analysis revealed that September 2023 Rhine river cruises were in the range of $450 per person per day to $600 per person per day. The range seems fairly consistent with the range we published in 2018, when prices for Rhine cruises were from $446 to $713 per person per day.
When Britton and I look at these three concerns, we conclude that things are actually getting better. The water levels are normalizing, Covid is becoming less of a concern and prices still represent a good value. So what’s holding you back? Feel free to leave your comments below.