In 1979, river cruising was enjoying some smooth sailing. When we featured the Floating Through Europe cruise line in August of that year, the company had just added a new luxury hotel barge to their fleet, which toured England, France and Holland. Amenities for passengers included accommodations, unlimited table wine, a champagne welcome, tours and transfers. Destinations included Dijon and Lyon, as well as Burgundy, along with wine tasting in the vineyards and cellas of Clos Vougeot, Nuits-St. George, Beaunne, Macon and Cluny. (See the full article here.)
Thirty-one years later, river cruising has blossomed throughout the world. We ushered in the holiday season with river cruises touring Europe's Christmas markets. The Signature Group featured violinist André Rieu as part of its My Romantic Europe river cruise and Aqua Expeditions debuted its M/V Aria along the Amazon, while Travel Agent released our 10 Tips to Sell River Cruises and our Susan J. Young explored river cruises in France.
This fall, CIE Tours International celebrated its fifth anniversary of river cruising and Pandaw River Cruises expanded its fleet, while Victoria Cruises and Orient Tours renewed their Yangtze River program and Uniworld re-launched its River Tosca ship.
As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're taking a look at what was happening in the industry in the past and asking agents to share their thoughts on what has changed in the industry in the present. Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below, writing us at our Facebook page, sending a tweet to our Twitter page or by engaging in a discussion in real time at AgentNation (the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, which certainly wasn't around 80 years ago). We want to hear from you.