Q – My friends and I have decided that for our next trip we want a tour that covers several cities and doesn’t require changing hotels every night or two. We’re thinking a river cruise might be the thing, but several people told me that river cruises are best taken at 70+ –thereby insuring that your fellow cruisers will be your chronological peers. Do you have any suggestions for a European river cruise or cruise line that caters to a middle-aged clientele? Thank you.
A – River Cruising is such a hot travel commodity, at the moment, that it is attracting a somewhat younger demographic. However, it is accurate to say that none of the top-rated riverboat lines we cover in our reviews caters to a younger clientele. Given that well over 90% of river cruisers choose an extended package including hotels as well as the cruise, the average guest is retired and can take two weeks off. Some fair share have never taken a cruise because they thought they would get seasick and so they come to river cruising in anticipation of smooth sailing. Studies show that a surprising number of the employed shy away from river cruising because they fear inadequate Wi-Fi connections. (This is a peculiar mental problem in the United States but there is hardly enough space here to cover it).
Emerald Waterways has a somewhat younger clientele. But when you seek out the fountain of youthful travelers in your planning you are ALWAYS going to be giving up top quality products. One of the absolute travel laws is that the better the product the higher percentage of secure retirees who are willing to pay for it.
Finally, we would suggest you look at AMA, Scenic and Viking River for a younger (relatively speaking) group of travelers. Viking’s ads are so pervasive that they appeal to more than one age group. AMA and Scenic have serious biking programs and some hiking offerings that attract younger travelers. But when we say younger we mean 50-70 years of age. Our strong recommendation tot hose concerned about age issues is to simply forget about it and accept that equation that quality is in direct proportion to the age of the guests in virtually every travel scenario. No one tells you this – but it is true. The retired country club set knows quality and if you follow them you will seldom go wrong.