Why More Gen-Z Travelers Are Enjoying River Cruising

AmaWaterways has noticed an increase in Gen-Z travelers on its river ships over the past few years, and new research shows that exploring Europe by riverboat is just the sort of experience that most appeals to the younger set.

I can personally attest to the appeal of river cruising to both parents and tweens as someone who has traveled with younger children on river cruises in Europe. The laidback experience is an easily digestible way to experience Europe’s most sought-after sights as well as its hidden gems.

River cruising is one of the most family-friendly ways to get an in-depth experience in Europe in multiple destinations as ships reach destinations that aren’t always included on more mainstream itineraries, as well as places that are no doubt on many travelers must-see lists.

However, river cruising’s newfound popularity among young jetsetters demonstrates how Gen-Z’s travel desires are being reflected in the purchases and travel decisions of their parents who are both determined to keep everyone happy and entertained on vacation and hell-bent on expanding their children’s worldviews.

According to a 2017 study from New Horizons, there has been a 26 percent increase since 2012 in the level of activities Gen-Z travelers choose while on vacation, and AmaWaterways has found that younger travelers are drawn to river cruising by one-of-a-kind destinations and memorable excursions that they can share on social media.

The New Horizon study also noted that Gen-Z travelers are happier when they are able to participate in more in-destination activities, and that’s exactly the types of opportunities that river cruising provides its guests.

River cruising delivers what Gen-Z travelers want: travel to multiple destinations where they can actively engage in unique destinations.

While members of Gen-Z might not be purchasing river cruise vacations themselves, they have a major impact on family vacation decisions and are set to become the largest consumer generation by 2020.

It’s also true that nothing makes a family vacation a bigger success than when all members of the group are happy. While the types of unique excursions and freedom to explore exciting destinations appeal to teens and tweens, the comfort and laid-back travel that river cruising offers means that all members of the group return home having made memories they will cherish forever.

AmaWaterways, in particular, is one of the most welcoming river cruise lines for families. Its newer ships offer connecting rooms for multigenerational groups. Ships have pools and activities onboard and—according to my own children who have traveled through Europe with AmaWaterways—the best French fries on the continent and cuisine that appeals to both the young and young at heart, as well as those with more sophisticated palates.

“Over the past year, I’ve been reminded how important family is,” said vice president of sales Gary Murphy. “In 2019, I want to continue making AmaWaterways the most welcoming river cruise line for families. Our variety of included excursions accommodates everyone’s activity levels and interests, and select ships also offer connecting staterooms and triple and quadruple accommodations perfect for keeping loved ones close.”

Right now, travelers can earn early booking rewards when booking select 2020 cruises—$250 off select seven-night cruises and $500 off select 10, 11- and 14-night cruises.

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