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River cruising

Business booms for Swiss companies

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River cruises in Europe are becoming very popular, and Swiss tour operators are getting their piece of the action, and have expanded to Russia. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Swiss tour operator Twerenbold has just inaugurated its eighth ship of its river cruise fleet. This newly restored luxury vessel will transport Swiss passengers between St Petersburg and Moscow. Twerenbold has invested millions of its own capital in river cruises over the past few years.

River cruising is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and Switzerland plays its part. Many larger river shipping companies have their headquarters here at the Swiss port in Basel. It’s easier to register a new ship here compared to the rest of Europe. And taxes are lower too.

According to figures by the Port of Switzerland, the numbers of ships travelling across Europe under a Swiss flag has almost doubled since 2012. The boom has been mainly thanks to American tourists. In the past they travelled across Europe by bus. Today many choose a river cruise.