As river cruising becomes more popular, companies that traditionally catered to one or two European markets are beginning to expand, courting North American guests with diverse itineraries, unique features, and different ships.
One such company is Riviera River Cruises. The river cruising arm of UK-based Riviera Travel recently set up offices in the United States, opened up a dedicated US call center, and hired industry veteran Nicola Iannone to head up its North American efforts.
Iannone, who comes to Riviera River Cruises from his most recent stint at CroisiEurope, is no stranger to courting the North American market. In this case, he thinks that Riviera's more accessible price-point will woo guests over who may be unfamiliar with the line.
"We're a five-star line at a four-star price," he told us recently. "We have very elegant ships operating itineraries throughout Europe, from the Douro to the Danube and beyond."
Founded over thirty years ago, Riviera's river cruises have been garnering accolades from its UK-based clients. The company has a fleet of 12 river cruise ships that are marketed towards North Americans, each of which carries between 126 and 169 guests.
Riviera also offers some unique extras aboard its ships, including two dining venues aboard every ship, luxury toiletries from Crabtree & Evelyn of London, onboard fitness centers, and even steam rooms and saunas aboard select vessels. Other niceties – like the tea and coffee-making facilities included in every cabin – reveal the line's British heritage and provide extra value.
Perhaps one of its strongest features, however, is just how solo-traveller-friendly the line is. Every ship in the fleet offers cabins that can be booked, depending on availability, for little to no solo traveller supplement.
Here on River Cruise Advisor, we've been hard at work creating a new company overview of Riviera River Cruises, along with detailed ship profiles for its North America-targeted fleet. You can read our reviews and profiles of the Riviera River Cruises fleet below:
|Ship Profile||Voyage Report|
With river cruising's steady march to popularity showing no signs of letting up, the introduction of Riviera River Cruises to the North American market adds an entirely new dynamic to an industry that has, until now, largely focused on upper-premium products that command an equally upper-premium price tag.
Riviera's philosophy of "unbundling" features may not appeal to everyone in the market for a river cruise. However, its lower price-point, classy ships, and attention to detail will likely be enough to win over those looking for a moderately-priced river cruise without a lot of bells-and-whistles that doesn't skimp on the most important aspects of any river cruise: service and itinerary.
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