In response to customer demand, Riviera Travel has added ten European city break extensions to its 2023 river cruise itineraries, enabling guests to spend more time in their final destination or a nearby location.
The three-day extensions, spanning six countries, are in Amsterdam, Basel, Cologne, Frankfurt, Lyon, Marseille, Munich, Paris, Porto and Vienna.
The U.K.’s largest provider of European river cruises has also announced an all-new French itinerary for 2023.
The new extensions comprise a stay in a centrally-located three or four-star hotel, with guests free to explore the city at their own pace. Riviera can offer independent advice of the best places to visit and has partnered with online travel platform Holibob so people can book recommended tours and experiences.
The move follows an increasing number of guests requesting to stay on independent river cruises on the Danube, Douro, Rhine, Rhône, Moselle and Seine. City break prices include return flights to a choice of UK airports, transfers from the ship to the hotel and hotel to the airport, and a daily breakfast.
Riviera will continue to offer five fully escorted tour extensions on its European river cruise itineraries, which are aimed at guests wanting the services of local guides and an included programme of tours and visits. These are available following sailings on the Rhone, Danube, Rhine and Douro.
Additionally, Riviera has announced a new river cruise for 2023. The 10-night Lyon, Provencal Rhone and the Camargue itinerary will operate from April to October and include guided tours of Cluny Abbey, Lyon, Arles, Avignon and Beaune, wine tastings and visits to the natural highlights of the Ardeche Gorge and Camargue, famous for its white horses, black bulls and flamingos. The new city stay extension in Lyon can be linked to this sailing.
Katja Hildebrandt, Head of Product River & Ocean Cruise at Riviera Travel, said:
“It’s clear that an increasing number of our guests are looking to enjoy their river cruise and then spend additional time away. By offering city stay extensions, guests have the option to visit these destinations, and explore the local landmarks and attractions at their own pace.
“From relaxing with a café au lait and croissant in a Paris café to experiencing the architectural grandeur of Cologne or having time to visit the many museums in Amsterdam, our city stays allow guests to explore even more, safe in the knowledge we will take care of all accommodation and travel arrangements.
“For those guests who would prefer to continue their holiday with a programme escorted by an expert tour manager, we will continue to offer that choice across both this year and 2023.
“Meanwhile our new Lyon, Provençal Rhône and the Camargue itinerary has a stunning schedule we’re confident guests will love. It will provide the very best tours and visits to a wonderful part of France and offer the perfect combination of discovery and relaxation.”
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Riviera Travel