Travel with Val: Riverboating helps aging boomers make the most of European trips
Riverboating in Europe is becoming the new trend on waterways. YNN's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
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One could say that the European waterways are riding the next wave of cruising, as many older Americans are planning on floating around Europe this summer. Riverboat cruising is poised to be so popular this year that a recent spring week in Amsterdam hosted five bumper-to-bumper ship christenings.
Four belong to Viking River Cruises, a company that will have 12 new “longboats” sailing European waters by the end of 2013, while Vantage Deluxe World Travel added a third vessel to its fleet also plying the same rivers this year.
Sailing as a media guest on the newly named River Discovery II, Vantage’s chief operating officer, Bret Gordon, told me Europe is the place to be for their target market, baby boomers aged between 68 and 72.
"We recognize this type of traveler wants to see the world, but wants to do it in a style that is comfortable, not stressful," says Gordon.
River cruises accommodate an intimate number of passengers, usually under 200, and always stay in sight of land, a plus in the safety department. Those are just two reasons why frequent cruiser June Spargo has sailed 62 times with Vantage.
"The main reason is you get the opportunity to stop at small towns, villages that you would never see on a bus tour," says Spargo.
Vantage River cruises are usually on the longer side, between 10 and 14 days, with daily rates between $150 to $250 without airfare. Meals, some excursions and house wines at dinner are included, as well as the value of unpacking just once. For more information, visit www.vantagetravel.com.