• Maksym Dimitrov South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
  • Mariya Zlatkova Stankova South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria


The sector of cruise tourism is growing in both subdivisions: river and ocean cruises. The most popular river cruise destinations in Europe are connected with historical places around big rivers such as the Danube, Rhine, Volga and others. One cruise itinerary consists of several tourist destinations, well-known and unknown for the cruise tourist, and creates one tourist destination combined with different ports of call. The well-known ports of call such as Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg are the main attraction for the tourists.

Among them there are some ports of calls which the tourist is not familiar with before visiting them. River cruise tourists have the opportunity to discover smaller cities in the chosen country or visit a new country as a tourist destination. For the areas where tourism is in a very early developing stage it is crucial to create a unique destination image which could influence the future choice of the tourists and bring them back.

The study focuses on the main objective of exploring the attitudes of tourists traveling on two European river cruise routes, their experience and satisfaction within the visited destinations. Тhe research has a scientifically applied character, outlining certain attitudes that would be of interest to the business operating on river cruise destinations. Research results show that popular cities are a pull factor for river cruise tourism. Integrating them into the tourism offer as part of the long-term tourism planning would bring benefits to the destination by contributing to the creation of a unique and attractive destination image and growing popularity.