River cruise operators with a clear profile and concept were again ranked highly in this year’s exclusive fvw Cruise Study, although travel agents handed out lower overall scores.
River cruises are growing well, even though they remain a niche market, the study showed. A strong 48% of German travel agents, including many smaller outlets, expect the segment to keep growing, which is four percentage points more than last year.
A major success factor is a clear profile, according to the survey of 200 representative travel agents who rated six river cruise companies in terms of 15 different product and sales criteria (on a scale of 1 to 6). This factor is very important or essential for 59% of travel agents compared to 50% last year. The ship’s concept has overtaken the brand and was the second-most important factor behind the choice of routing and destinations.
The clear overall winner was once again market leader Arosa, which has the strongest profile by far. The company came top for cabin quality, gastronomy and fair commissions but slumped to fourth place in the ‘value for money’ ranking. Its overall score (like those of rivals Nicko, Phoenix and Amadeus) was lower than last year.
Nicko Cruises moved up into second place with a solid score for pricing but was only fourth for cabin quality and gastronomy. Its profile also suffered in the eyes of German travel agents, who gave it a much lower score than last year. Nevertheless, the Portuguese-owned specialist is a strong seller, with 67% of agents naming it among their top three for revenues, which is 13 percentage points more than last year.
Phoenix Reisen dropped to third place. The company has improved its profile dramatically, topped the value for money table and was second for fair commissions. But it was only third for cabin quality and gastronomy, and also scored worse for routing and excursions.
Fourth-placed Amadeus scored well for cabin quality and gastronomy, coming second in each category, but was only fifth for value for money and fair commissions. 1A Vista Reisen entered the ranking in fifth place with moderate scores in the different categories.
Further information about the fvw Cruise Study 2018, including contents, price and an order form, is available under the link below. (In German only.)