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Strasbourg, France-based CroisiEurope — a large, 40-year-old European line cruising seas, rivers and canals — has announced a series of dedicated Spanish language departures on some of its most popular river itineraries, starting this December. It has created a selection of these cruises, priced in dollars for the American Latino market, with the inclusions Americans expect on river cruises, such as shore excursions, free Wi-Fi access and unlimited complimentary beverages. In this case, menus, information and guided excursions will be in Spanish.
The company, which is a member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), is becoming much more well-known to U.S. agents. Lucas Schmitter, a third-generation member of CroisiEurope’s founding family and the company’s e-commerce director, says the line recognizes the size of the Latino market in North America and is offering a range of itineraries, from four- and five-day cruises to Christmas market sailings on the Danube and Rhine Rivers and 11-day cruises in Southeast Asia.
The potential benefits are impressive, both for CroisiEurope and the North American agent community. Research from the National Tour Association (NTA) last year indicated that the Latino sector of the U.S. is currently 17 percent of the population and growing, and its purchasing power is projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2018. The NTA study indicated that Latinos at all income levels are more prone than the rest of the population to travel by air and to take vacations with other family members. Most important: The demographic is more apt to book through travel agents and tour operators — 42 percent, compared to 36 percent among other segments of the market.
In addition, a joint study in 2014 by Florida International University and ASTA indicated that Latinos take an average of two to three leisure trips per year and around 60 percent spend up to two weeks on each trip.
So CroisiEurope is betting that its product — which is especially well-received for its cuisine, Missoni furnishings and excellent shore excursions — will tap into this growing market. And the company’s value pricing is a big plus.
“People wonder how we can keep our pricing so low,” Schmitter said. “We do it by keeping every aspect of the business under our direct control. The only aspect that is not directly run by the family is the shipyard, and the owner was my father’s best man when he married.”
Fliers and other promotional tools are being added to CroisiEurope’s site for the following cruises:
- From the Angkor Temples to the Mekong Delta: The 11-day cruise from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with two overnights in each city, starts at $3,048. It departs Dec. 17, 2016; Feb. 3, 13 and 19, 2017; and April 2, 8, 18 and 24, 2017.
- Great Cities of the Rhine and the Netherlands: The eight-day cruise from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf, Germany, starting at $2,377, departs from Amsterdam July 15 and 22, 2017, and Aug. 24, 2017.
- Christmas Markets on the Rhine, Alsace and Black Forest: The four-day cruise from Strasbourg, France, starts at $779 and departs Dec. 5, 2016.
- Christmas Markets in the Danube: The five-day cruise starts at $1,145 and sails from Vienna on Dec. 5, 2016.
- New Year in the Douro Valley: The three-day cruise, starting at $729, departs from Porto, Portugal, with an overnight at each end and a call in Regua, Portugal, on Dec. 29, 2016.
- Cruise Paris, the Loire Castles and the secrets of Normandy: The eight-day, roundtrip sailing departs from Paris — with three nights as a floating hotel in the City of Light before visiting Honfleur, Rouen and Giverny, France — on July 22, Aug. 5 and Aug. 19, 2017. The cruise starts at $2,751.
- Springtime in Holland: The five-day roundtrip Amsterdam cruise calls in Rotterdam, with an overnight in Antwerp. The sailing starts at $1,200 and departs April 13, 2017.