A third of ocean cruisers are considering a river cruise for 2021, according to research by Riviera Travel.

The river cruise and escorted tours specialist conducted the study ahead of a new publicity campaign to promote river cruising.

Riviera Travel has also launched a prize draw for agents to win a free cabin or suite on one of its river cruises in 2021.

Ben Hitchcock, marketing director, said: “Historically, there has been limited crossover between ocean and river cruising, with ocean cruising dominating a much larger share of the market.

“However, with ocean cruising still off limits according to government guidelines, we felt there was an opportunity to showcase the benefits of river cruising to an audience who may previously have discounted this form of travel.

“Our research confirmed this theory, and so we launched our campaign ‘Less is More’, which highlights all the positive aspects of river cruising that people may not have been aware of or considered.”

MoreClia River Cruise Showcase: Opportunities for 2021

Riviera Travel to run small group and private tours in 2021

The research also found that people who traditionally book ocean cruises are 79% more likely to take a river cruise than an ocean cruise next year.

Hitchcock added: “The aim of the campaign is not to turn people away from ocean cruising, but to highlight that river cruising shares all of the aspects that people love about cruise travel, with additional benefits that address the concerns that some may have about ocean cruising in the short to medium term.

“For example, our research showed that for 84%, sharing the experience with fewer fellow passengers was a key reason for preferring river cruising, while for more than 50% being docked at a destination every day was an important consideration.”

Riviera Travel operates 13 luxury river cruise ships in Europe, which carry from 121 to 169 guests.

The ships are docked each day in a destination, often steps away from the main sights.

To be entered for the draw, agents need to book a new river cruise customer onto a 2021 Riviera river cruise by November 30. For more information, email agencysales@rivieratravel.co.uk