Passengers vessels

Two types of vessels can be distinguished for passenger vessels : the river cruise vessels and the excursion vessels.

The excursion sector comprises boat tour lasting no more than one day. The most important difference with river cruises lies in the fact that the excursion sector does not provide for any overnight stay and that the boats  therefore do not feature any overnight cabin accommodation.

An important boom of the passengers traffic have been noticed in Europe during the last years. Thanks to this boom in river cruises,  new construction activity is on the increase. Therefore, a rise in annual new construction numbers can be noted in recent years.



Number of new river cruise ships on the European market* (in units)

Source: Hader & Hader


Number of new river cruise ships on the European market by passenger capacity size classes* (in units)

Source: DeutscherReiseverband (German Travel Association) and Hader & Hader

The size class “passenger accommodation for more than 180 passengers and fewer than 200 passengers” has the highest frequency among current new construction. Primarily German, Swiss and US American companies are to be found among the shipping companies or river travel organisers putting the new river cruise ships into service.


The day excursion industry is also benefiting from the boom in passenger navigation. The new ships exhibit a trend towards a high level of comfort and luxurious specification.

Split of excursion vessels in Europe (2014/2013)

Source : CCNR based in national authorities and research studies