Brits love river cruising in Europe

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Brits love river cruising in Europe

European river cruises are gaining popularity as more British travellers than ever chose a river cruise in 2011. The latest figures released by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) show that the number of Brits taking a European river cruise rose by 7% in 2011 - to a record 80,000 passengers.

Russian river cruises also saw a gain - with a rise of 11% in passenger numbers. Combination cruises also enjoyed growth, with the number of passengers taking a river cruise along both the Rhine and Danube doubling. There was also a 28% increase in Brits taking a river cruise along the French rivers of the Rhone and Seine.

But it's not all good news. The Arab Spring and the unrest in Egypt had a negative affect on travellers to the region, with the number of Nile river cruises taken by Brits down by 57% to just 25,000 passengers.

The UK river cruise market is now worth an estimated £179 million, with the average price paid for a river cruise rising to £1,574, up from £1,367 in 2010.

Bill Gibbons, PSA director said, "The appeal of a river journey has never been stronger. Passengers enjoy panoramic landscapes together with easy access to explore the heart of great cities and towns, and all while just unpacking once. 2012 will see the launch of 12 new river cruise vessels, a number which feature suites and balconies, together with some wonderful new itineraries."

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