How to Sell Themed River Cruises

River Cruise 2018 Focus Series

The recently released River Cruise Focus, from the editors of Travel Agent and Luxury Travel Advisor magazines, examines a niche within a niche. The sales tool focuses on four popular themed river cruise products—World War II, culinary, arts and Christmas markets— to provide travel advisors with a targeted guide to the selling more themed river cruises.

Art & Music Cruises

“When promoting art themed cruises, I focus on the special interest tours and experiences that I think will appeal most to my customers. Art themed cruises are wonderful because they give guests an immersive experience and an opportunity to travel with like-minded people,” said Lisa Long, owner of Luxury Vacations LLC, an independent agency in the Avoya Network, Marietta, GA. She emphasizes that themed experiences are an enhancement to the itinerary and typically available at no extra cost.

The guide reports on several noteworthy art themed cruises from top-selling providers, including Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, CroisiEurope, Tauck, Avalon Waterways and Crystal River Cruises. Art and music collide on Tauck’s 12-day “Musical Magic Along the Blue Danube” sailing that brings guests up close and personal with the homes, concert venues and palaces where Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and others composed and performed.

Wine & Cuisine Cruises

With food such a focal point of traveling today, river cruises companies are taking the farm to (floating) table to heart by offering decadent multi-day sailings. For 2019, AmaWaterways will operate 64 wine-themed cruises, including “Gems of Southeast Europe” and “Medieval Treasures,” where passengers can take part in wine tastings and epicurean-focused shore excursions.
While the guide looks at several wine and food themed cruises, like CroisiEurope’s “Exceptional Wine Tasting Cruise on the Saone” and “Bordeaux Wine Festival” itineraries, the sales tool also suggests non-culinary themed cruises as viable options for foodie travelers. For instance, Emerald Waterways’ “Sensations of Southern France,” is not culinary themed but the eight-day cruise includes a port call at Chalon-Sur-Saone and Beaune, the center of Burgundy’s wine region, as well as onboard wine tastings.

Readers can also learn about the World War II themed cruises that Rick Carlson, franchise owner, Cruise Planners, Hyannis, MA recommends to his clients whose relatives served in World War II as well as his "most memorable cruise." Additionally, the travel planner reports on the latest trends in Yuletide Market cruises, including this year’s best itineraries and sales tips from a river cruise specialist.
Find the 2018 River Cruise Focus course, along with the all-new Travel Industry Exchange e-Learning program at