When the going gets tough, the tough go river cruising….
Yes, things are tough out there and all the special river cruise offers like ‘companion fly free to Europe’, ‘buy one get one free’, ‘save $2,000 off the cost of your cruise per couple’, etc. are an indication that river cruising companies are finding it difficult to induce travellers to come out of hiding. Last week, Peter Deilmann Cruises, best known for its European river journeys, announced that it is ceasing its river cruise operation at the end of the summer.
Peter Deilmann Cruises have been operating for over 25 years, but unfortunately its client-base is over-concentrated in one group – 70% come from German speaking countries. From our experience with other cruise companies, they appear to have a broader mix of clients. Also, up till recently, smoking was permitted on Peter Deilmann river cruises, a real turn-off for non-smokers.
But, it’s not surprising that river cruises are over-supplied at the moment. Before the harshness of the economic downtown caught everyone off guard, the river cruising industry was a booming business and companies were ordering more river boats and putting on more river cruise itineraries to cover projected growth, as one would. So, with increased numbers of river boats and cruise itineraries and less people prepared to make that commitment to travel, companies are caught with excess supply.
Deals that are available at the moment are quite incredible and anyone who’s interested in river cruising should take advantage of these offers. When the good times come around again, you can be sure that prices will go up and the most that you will get is perhaps a measly 5% discount for booking early or being a repeat customer.
Much as people tend to lose confidence at times of economic downtown, the smart travellers should really become counter-cyclical travellers, i.e. travel more when there’s an economic downturn to gain from the cheaper prices and then sit back when times are good and prices start sky-rocketing!
So, when the going gets tough, the tough should go river cruising!