According to a recent market study published by Growth Market Reports, titled, “Global River Cruise Market” is categorized as by Type, by Propulsion Equipment, by Size, by Propulsor Type, by Propulsion output, by Applications, and Region: Size, Share, Trends and Opportunity Analysis, 2015-2030”, the market was valued at USD 2,160.8 Million in 2021 and is expected to grow at a growth rate of 5.03% by the year 2030.

As per Growth Market Reports industry analyst, “Global River Cruise Market is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period 2022-2030. The cruise tourism industry is rapidly expanding. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports, the global cruise industry contributed USD 154 billion to the global economy in 2019, accommodating 30 million passengers. Cruise tourism is a part of enclave tourism. Enclave tourism is tourism that takes place in a space that is segregated from the community outside. Cruise tourism significantly contributes to the global economy due to local and regional economic impacts. It generates employment opportunities for the local people that improve their standard of living.

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An increasing number of passengers, the opening of lockdowns, and societies returning to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic are propelling the tourism sector. This is conducive significantly to the global river cruise market globally.

River cruises are smaller in size as compared to sea cruises, as they need to navigate shallow rivers and lakes, whereas ocean ships are large enough to sail effortlessly across vast stretches of water.

River cruises differ based on the waterways it travels. It is a long flat structure that sails across the river. Some types of river cruises are the iconic paddle wheeler, steamship replica, or mega-yacht, which are found on the rivers and waterways in the US.

The design of these water vehicles varies on the basis of water levels and the weather. In regions where the climate is dry, such as Africa or Asia, the river cruise needs to be light in weight to smoothly float on the water. In terms of cost, river cruises are expensive as compared to ocean cruises, due to the small number of passengers, lesser bulk buying, and higher staffing costs.

River cruises are gradually becoming affordable, owing to technological advancements and increasing disposable income of people. Rising demand for new experiences, solo traveling, and exploration are contributing to the growth of the market.

The primary as well as secondary research methodology is used for keen observation and study about the river cruise market. The primary research methodology involves commercial agreements made with the primary respondents as well as consulting partners to extract critical information pertaining to the syndicated as well as consulting projects. Primary interviews were conducted with the stakeholders across industry verticals at regular intervals in line with the ongoing studies and to keep ourselves abreast with the latest market trends & developments. Validation of the estimated market size, current and future trends done by the key opinion leaders (KOLs). These KOLs are the CXO level people from leading companies in the industry and possess experience of around 10-20 years in the industry. On the other-hand the secondary research methodology involves exhaustive desk research undertaken to understand the prevailing market trends & dynamics, market competition, customer insights, and other KPIs. Company websites, their SEC filings, annual reports, broker & financial reports and investor presentations are scanned for understanding the competitive scenario, details and developments, and the overall competitive landscape. Regional government and statistical databases analyzed for macro & micro analysis. Research publications and paid data are referred to obtain and validate the market estimations, budget, expenditure and other statistical insights.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted economic disparities in the global demand in the crises of global interdependence and governance challenges. Epidemics are isolated concerns for businesses and prospects for emerging patterns and vulnerabilities.  According to the current pandemic situation, strict measures are required for monitoring the situation, which in turn, affects businesses causing unanticipated short and long-term effects. Consequently, epidemics and pandemics are problems for individual market and an enhancement of existing dynamics and limitations. In the long-term, COVID-19 can serve as another opportunity for manufacturers to reconsider their commitment to the supply chain in regions prone to outbreaks and to reconfigure themselves regionally. The pandemic restricted the supply of river cruises, owing to severe disruptions in businesses and the supply chain. This declined the global economy and hampered the potential effects of the prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine and uncertainty in the countries in Eastern Europe.

Key Takeaways from the Study:

  • The players include WD-40 Company, MEYER WERFT GmbH & Co. KG, Kamphuisen Group, TeamCo Shipyard, Den Breejen Shipyard, The Arab Contractors, among others.

  • Based on types, the global river cruise market is bifurcated into steel, wood, and others. The steel segment is dominating the market, owing to its versatile properties and chemical resistivity. Steel is extensively used in the shipbuilding industry. This is attributed to the extensive use of steel in shipbuilding. Wood is not directly used in shipbuilding as it is perishable and not sustainable for water transport. Wooden material is utilized for the furniture, flooring, and walls in the river cruises. The share of wood varies based on the size of the ship as well as the requirement of furniture etc.

  • Based on size, the global river cruise market is segmented into less than 250ft, 250-400ft, and more than 400ft. River cruises that are less than 250ft in size are expected to grow in popularity, due to their ability to ferry and serve a small number of consumers, and low cost of maintenance. The 250ft-400ft is expected to register high growth, as it helps in carrying a large number of passengers.  The more than 400ft segment is expected to hold a large market share during the forecast period, as river cruise ships of this size carry a large number of passengers and are highly preferred by consumers.

  • On the basis of propulsion equipment, the global river cruise market is categorized as outboard, inboard, and sterndrive. The inboard segment is dominating the market, owing to its fuel efficiency and lightweight. An increasing number of cruises owing to growth in the volume of passengers is boosting the preference for inboard equipment. This equipment needs less handling and incurs lower maintenance costs than outboard or sterndrive propulsion equipment. Multiple factors such as the size of the ship, number of passengers, fuel efficiency, space, maintenance costs, and the look of the cruise are considered while selecting the propulsion equipment. The inboard segment held a dominant share of the market; whereas, the sterndrives segment is expected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period. The outboard segment held a smaller share as compared to the other segments.

Report Scope:

Report Metric


Market Value in 2021

USD 1,838.8 Million

Market Growth Rate (from 2022 to 2030)


Historical Data

2015 & 2020

Base Year


Forecast Period

2022 – 2030

Units Considered

Value (USD Million)

Market Segments

Global River Cruise Market by, by Propulsion Equipment, by Size, by Propulsor Type, by Propulsion output, by Applications, and Region.

Key Companies Profiled

MEYER WERFT GmbH & Co. KG, Kamphuisen Group, TeamCo Shipyard, Den Breejen Shipyard, The Arab Contractors, among others.

Customization Scope

Report customization available on request

Pricing and Purchase Options

Avail tailor-made purchase options to meet your research requirements.

Target Audience:

  • Supply-side: Raw material suppliers and Manufactures

  • Demand Side: Passengers/Tourists

  • Regulatory Side: Concerned government authorities, and other regulatory bodies.