Gate 1 River Cruises: ‘Over Deliver’

Monarch Princess in Bratiislava

Promising more of the world for less, Gate 1 Travel’s river operations attract passengers by offering four-star quality cruises at budget-friendly price points.

“We constantly strive to live up to this sentiment. We want to over deliver for the lowest price in the market. We want to make escorted international travel approachable for a mass market audience,” said Marty Seslow, vice president of marketing, in the 2020 European River Cruise Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

Through their U.S. headquarters near Philadelphia, and growing presence in Melbourne, Australia, Gate 1 attracts mostly passengers from North America and down under.

“Thanks in part to our relatively aggressive price points, and our online marketing strategies, we drive a relatively younger demographic and a wider age range. The average age is close to 60 years old which is at least 10 years younger than the industry,” Seslow said.

The line owns the 2015-built Monarch Empress. It has 70 outside cabins, ranging in size from 140 to 210 square feet, for a maximum capacity of 140 passengers. Fifty-eight of the cabins have French balconies. The ship also sports a putting green.

Gate 1 has multi-year exclusive charter agreements for four other boats: the 138-passenger Monarch Princess, and the 136-passenger Monarch Governess, Monarch Countess, and Monarch Duchess, all built in 2009 or 2010. Each of these ships has a jacuzzi.

“Even though we are enjoying very high satisfaction ratings from our travelers, we are investing in off-season renovations this winter, which will be in place for 2020,” Seslow said.

“We operated four ships in 2018 carrying approximately 16,000 passengers. We added a fifth ship in 2019 and will carry approximately 20,000 in 2019 and again in 2020 with five ships both years. We are planning to increase capacity as of 2021 with at least one more ship.”

The Spring Tulip Time Holland and  Belgium cruises sell out quickest, he said. “The season is relatively short – from late March through the end of April – which limits overall capacity. In terms of volume, the core Danube sailings between Regensburg, Germany and Budapest, Hungary, and vice versa, represent our highest overall volume.”

New itineraries in 2020 include the Rhine and Moselle Rivers with Luxembourg, and a Danube cruise with the once-a decade Oberammergau Passion Play.

About the 2020 European Cruise River Market Report 

The new European Cruise Market Report provides a comprehensive look at the river cruise business with capacity metrics by river and brand, company profiles and much more. 100+ pages of insights. Learn more. 

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