Amadeus Courting Younger Passengers with Mature Product

As an industry originator, with more than 40 years on Europe’s rivers, Amadeus is looking forward, not back. Their current clients, the Baby Boomers, are more active than the previous generation but quickly aging. The next wave of river cruisers are the ones to catch, said Marcus Leskovar, executive vice president, in the 2020 European River Cruise Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

“It’s shifting. And we are, of course, coming up with programs and themes that will attract a younger crowd. We started a few years ago to experiment with the Millennial market a little bit just because the Baby Boomer will not be able to cruise forever. There is naturally a shift in demographics. We’re seeing this shift slowly and naturally, which is interesting,” Leskovar said.

Amadeus differentiates from other cruise lines by not coupling tickets to all-inclusive shore excursions.

“If you look at the shore excursions, just because they are included doesn’t mean they are free. You pay for all of it. Which works for a lot of people but also doesn’t work for a lot of people. If you like to sit in a bath twice a day or if you like to do the full program, that’s great. But a lot of people don’t,” Leskovar said.

“We don’t mandate shore excursions. You can add them. We have different packages. If you haven’t decided and you don’t want to add everything upfront, you can buy them onboard the vessel. It gives you the option to really customize your vacation a little bit. It’s also great for travel agents or for groups that may have their custom excursions that they would like to offer.”

“People don’t just book this anymore: Have breakfast. Sit in a coach and look out the window on the driving tour, and then have lunch, and do the same thing in the afternoon. Have dinner and then go to bed at 7 o’clock. You have people who are more active. You have travel agencies and operators offering different twists within the cruises,” he said.

“We’re working with one agency who are putting together a beer cruise. There are no shore excursions but they give out pointers to visit breweries and beer specialty restaurants. So that attracts a different crowd who may not have been a typical river cruiser before, but that interests them.”

About half of the company’s passengers come from North America. Most of the rest come from Europe, the UK, and elsewhere. “We have a good contingency of Japanese, Israelis, Australians, New Zealanders, South Americans, you know, they travel with us. Since we’ve been around for 40 years, we have a really very well diversified clientele aboard the vessel. Obviously we were advertising this well before it became interesting to the U.S. market, which happened about 10 years ago.”

About the 2020 European Cruise River Market Report 

The new European Cruise Market Report provides a comprehensive look at the river cruise business with capacity metrics by river and brand, company profiles and much more. 100+ pages of insights. Learn more. 

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