Norway, the Northern Lights, the Nile and the South of France will be the hot destinations for 2020, one of Flight Centre’s top selling cruise consultants, Anna Shannon has predicted.
“Experienced Australian cruisers who have done the multi-country river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, are now booking cruises to the South of France and the Douro River in Portugal.
“They prefer to discover Provence which gives you the best of everything France has to offer. From the most picturesque countryside with iconic French cobblestone street villages to fantastic food and wine with lots of local produce and farm-to-table experiences (hello soft cheeses and truffles).
“Australians are willing to spend more to have this unique experience rather than cruise to visit only big European cities. They are also venturing back to cruise on the Nile after staying away for many years. Understand Viking which has two ships on the Nile has sold out its itineraries for the next two years. And now Avalon has just returned to the Nile offering cruises next year.
“Closer to home, Australians who have cruised to Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu are looking to experience further afield destinations like P&O cruises to Tonga and Princess Cruises to Papua New Guinea.
“Fly-cruise is also popular with more Australians booking to go on world cruises from 45 to 130 days. I have just booked a couple who will fly to London to experience a 75-day world cruise on Princess and visit Iceland, UK and eventually return to Sydney – and they only have to fly once.”
Mrs Shannon who has been with Flight Centre for nine years, is an expert in cruise. Her forte is curating personalised travel for customers.
She has visited 30 countries and goes on at least two to three trips a year.
“I absolutely love it and I’m obsessed with cruising and all things French,” she admitted.
She has also seen more interest for cruises to experience the Northern Lights and Norway. One couple who has just returned from a Hurtigruten cruise to Norway was blown away by the scenery and they simply loved their experience.“I have had more enquiries for cruises to Russia because Australians are keen to discover the history and culture which they have never experienced before.
“I have also had enquires from Australians who want to go on the new Celebrity Apex which will launch in April next year because they like the design of the ship and want to experience the cantilevered platform which goes up and down the side of the ship. They are picking their holiday based on a new cruise ship.”
She also noticed that Australians are prepared to spend more on their cruise to get an unbeatable experience.
“They have been on the Danube and Rhine. Now they looking for quality cruising, are willing to spend more and have a good experience. There has also been a greater interest in booking Christmas market cruises in Europe.”