Barrhead Travel has seen an increase in river cruising sales of 30% since last year.

The company said the growth was ahead of ocean cruise sales and included a 50% leap in the last month.

Catriona Parsons, cruise director at Barrhead Travel said 41% of the increase was attributed to new-to-cruise customers and of the remaining 59%, many had previously booked an ocean cruise.

She said: “River cruising is growing in popularity with Barrhead Travel customers, with bookings up by almost one third compared with last year.

“The figures reflect the increasing popularity of experiential travel. These customers are looking for adventure and authentic experiences coupled with fine dining and great-quality accommodation.”

Barrhead said the Douro river in Portugal had been the fastest selling among its customers with cruises in Asia being popular among those looking for experiential travel.

The Danube, Rhine and Rhone rivers also remain popular.

Parsons said: “Our specialists understand why a river cruise is the ideal break for those looking for a comfortable yet adventurous break, as they have experienced many itineraries for themselves.

“River cruises are much smaller than ocean cruises, yet travellers still enjoy fantastic food and entertainment while taking in a number of fabulous locations and sites en route.

“It’s easy to understand why at least three-quarters of customers who embark on a river cruise will re-book another one soon after they return.”