In very general terms, passenger navigation comprises excursions and river cruises.
Excursions comprise scheduled and occasional traffic (less than one day) whereas a river cruise is the term given to a river trip involving an overnight stay in cabins on board.
An important boom of the passengers traffic have been noticed in Europe during the last years both in cruises and excursions. Passenger navigation demand is not entirely independent of economic and cyclical trends but does not respond as sensitively to economic fluctuations as freight transport. More important are long-term factors such as demographics or consumer habits which sometimes also depend on culture.
The positive growth in day excursion ships is to be seen in the context of travel behaviour. Accordingly, day trips and short holiday trips (duration of between two and four days) are becoming even more important. The economic potential of these short trips or day trips is very high and one can count with a relatively large growth potential for inland navigation.
Split of inland navigation passengers on European inland waterways per nationaliy (in %)
Source : SeaConsult based in different sources
For more information on passengers transport market in European inland navigation : study to download:
CCNR Study – Passengers transport market – 2010