Authored By: Sarah
11 Jul 2024

 River Cruise Market Size to grow by USD 4.03 billion between 2024-2028

According to a research report “ River Cruise Market” by Product Type (Passenger ticket, Onboard facilities) Age Group (56 years and above, 36-55 years, 16-35 years, Less than 16 years) Geography (North America, Europe, APAC, South America, Middle East and Africa)- Global Forecast to 2028 published by Technavio, the market size is estimated to grow by USD 4.03 billion, at a CAGR of  12.65% during the forecast period. The global economy is experiencing a robust recovery, leading to an increase in disposable income for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) due to improved business conditions and higher investment returns. This excess income enables HNWIs to engage in luxury experiences, such as river cruises. Both developed and emerging economies have reported significant growth in disposable income, resulting in a rising HNWI population and a growing preference for luxury lifestyles and travel. River cruise lines cater to this market with their opulent amenities, personalized services, and exotic destination offerings, making them an attractive choice for affluent travelers seeking high-end experiences.

Browse market data tables, figures, and in-depth TOC on “River Cruise Market” by Product Type (Passenger ticket, Onboard facilities) Age Group (56 years and above, 36-55 years, 16-35 years, Less than 16 years) Geography (North America, Europe, APAC, South America, Middle East and Africa) Global Forecast to 2028. Download Free Sample


By Product Type, the Passenger ticket segment is projected to dominate the market size in 2024

The river cruise market caters primarily to the demographic of retirees and individuals approaching retirement, who seek hassle-free travel experiences. This age group's unique preferences align perfectly with the services offered by river cruises. One significant driver of demand among this demographic is the convenience and ease that river cruises provide. With transportation, accommodations, and meals taken care of, passengers can unwind and enjoy their journey without the burden of extensive planning, packing, and unpacking. Furthermore, the global aging population, which numbered approximately 771 million in 2022, representing nearly 10% of the world's population, is fueling the expansion of the global river cruise industry.

By Age Group, 56 years and above  segment is expected to hold the largest market size for the year 2024

The River Cruise Market's passenger ticket segment encompasses income derived from the sale of passenger tickets, insurance, and air transportation fares to and from embarkation ports. This segment includes a range of accommodations, amenities, meals, entertainment, round trips, service charges, air and land transportation fees, complimentary beverages, free Internet connectivity, pre-cruise packages, and shore excursions. The passenger ticket fare is influenced by the cruise itinerary, stateroom category, travel season, and additional factors. The expanding trend of multigenerational travel significantly contributes to this segment's growth. Numerous river cruise companies have tailored their offerings to cater to families and a broader demographic.

North America is forecasted to hold the largest market size by region in 2024

The North American river cruise market is poised for significant expansion over the next five years, with robust growth momentum driven by increasing passenger flow and the aging population. This market segment, which is among the fastest-growing categories within the broader leisure travel industry in North America, has experienced a consistent growth rate in terms of passenger capacity, itineraries, and embarkation ports over the past three decades. The retirement of the baby boomer generation is further fueling market growth, as this demographic seeks comfortable, relaxing travel experiences that offer opportunities to explore new destinations. River cruise ship vendors are responding to this trend by expanding their offerings to meet the evolving needs of this market.

The River Cruise Market growth and forecasting report also includes detailed analyses of the competitive landscape of the market growth and forecasting and information about 20 market companies, including:

  • AmaWaterways
  • American Cruise Lines
  • CroisiEurope
  • Globus family of brands
  • Grand Circle Travel
  • Luftner Cruises GmbH
  • Pandaw Cruises Ltd.
  • Plantours Kreuzfahrten
  • Riviera Travel
  • Scenic Cruises International GmbH
  • Tauck Inc.
  • The Travel Corp
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Inc.
  • Viking River Cruises
  • Crystal River Cruises
  • Exotic Heritage Group.

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Research Analysis Overview

The river cruise market has witnessed significant growth in recent years, with travelers seeking unique and immersive vacation experiences. However, impediments such as limited capacity and seasonal availability have shaped the competitive backdrop of this niche industry. Profiles of corporations like Viking Cruises, AmaWaterways, and Uniworld reveal a focus on thematic itineraries, cultural immersion, and eco-friendly practices. River cruising offers an alternative to ocean cruising, providing travelers with a more intimate and authentic experience. Popular destinations include the Danube, Rhine, and Mekong rivers. River cruise lines have responded to changing consumer preferences by introducing culinary cruises, wellness retreats, and multigenerational travel packages. As morning sunrises over the riverbanks and night skies light up the water with reflections, travelers can enjoy the serene beauty of river tourism. With the increasing popularity of river cruises, it's no wonder that more and more vacationers are choosing this mode of travel to explore the world. Whether it's the rich history and culture of Europe or the exotic wonders of Asia, river cruises offer a unique and memorable experience for all.

Market Research Overview

River cruising has emerged as a popular alternative to traditional ocean cruises, offering travelers unique experiences and thematic itineraries that cater to various interests. River cruises provide an opportunity for wellness retreats and vacations, allowing passengers to unwind amidst stunning scenery of snow-capped mountains, small towns, and tribal culture. River cruise tours offer transportation to tourist attractions while providing lodging and meals onboard. River cruise operators and lines have diversified their offerings, with thematic itineraries that range from cultural immersion and educational experiences to culinary cruises and eco-friendly practices. Popular destinations include international destinations like Europe, Asia, and South America. Seasonality factors play a significant role in river cruising, with some routes only available during certain times of the year. River cruises offer a more intimate and experiential learning experience compared to ocean cruises, with opportunities for cultural immersion and nighttime entertainment like music and BBQ. Multigenerational travel packages are also available, making river cruises an attractive option for families and groups. However, impediments like high prices and limited availability can deter some first-time cruisers. Competition from ocean cruises and land-based vacations remains a significant challenge for river cruise lines. Profiles of corporations like AmaWaterways, Viking River Cruises, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises dominate the river cruise market, offering a range of experiences and amenities to cater to diverse traveler preferences. River tourism continues to grow in popularity, with river cruises offering a unique and memorable vacation experience.


Technavio Research
Jesse Maida
Media & Marketing Executive
US: +1 844 364 1100
UK: +44 203 893 3200

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