Will an ocean cruise line buy a river cruise line?

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#1
San Francisco, CA
988 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
I was wondering. As river cruising is booming and ocean cruise lines are continually faced with a search for new itineraries - is it likely that one of the ocean lines might acquire a river cruise company? Europe has been a booming market over the past decade, but itinerary boredom can set in. (From personal experience, we did E Med, W Med and Baltics already and are doing our first river cruise in April)

Certainly, the business and economics are different from ocean cruises (especially labor costs) - but I still think that river itineraries could be a profitable addition to Princess, HAL or Celebrity/RCI.

By the way, I'm not necessarily a proponent of this (I'd appreciate payment terms more in line with US standards, but I'd hate to see creeping fees) - I'm just wondering why it hasn't happened yet or if it is likely to occur soon.
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.Mark Katzenberger

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#2
Boston MA
5,109 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
What about a river cruise line buying up an ocean line or even starting its own ocean-bound itineraries?
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#3
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Peter Deilman tried that with the Deutschland, mainly for a German clientele. They ceased operations on river cruising some time ago, but are talking about reviving it. Unfortunately, their ships are out of date compared to AMA and the Viking longships.
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It serves no purpose to list all the cruises I have been on chronologically. Many of the lines or ships do not exist any more, or have been renamed. I have sailed on NCL,Bermuda Star, Regency, Royal, Silverseas, Mississippi Queen, Vantage, Marco Polo, Scottish Highlander, Princess, Victoria, Hebridean Princess, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Oceania, Cunard, Rembrandt, and Lev Tolstoy.
#4
Germany
12,704 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Yes, Deilmann had both. But they went bankrupt and had to sell all river cruise ships. In the meantime the company has been sold and noone of the Deilmann familiy is involved anymore. The new Deilmann company is now offering river cruises as group cruises on one of the former Deilmann river ships. I wouldn´t say that the DertourMozart is out of date. Yes, it´s an older ship. But cabins are 20 or 22 sqm. So by the time she was built in the mid 1980ies she was way ahead. River cruise cabins had a standard of 11 to 15 sqm for decades. Now as more and more ocean cruisers are trying out river cruises there´s a demand for larger cabins. But remember the ocean going vessels 20 plus years ago? Cabins weren´t large either. I´ve been on the Majesty of the Seas in an 11 sqm sized outside cabin (no balconies unless you´ve booked a junior suite).

But let´s say it like this: There´s a developpment going the other way round. Viking River Cruises is currently building two ocean going vessels.

steamboats
#5
Western New York
677 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by steamboats
Yes, Deilmann had both. But they went bankrupt and had to sell all river cruise ships. In the meantime the company has been sold and noone of the Deilmann familiy is involved anymore. The new Deilmann company is now offering river cruises as group cruises on one of the former Deilmann river ships. I wouldn´t say that the DertourMozart is out of date. Yes, it´s an older ship. But cabins are 20 or 22 sqm. So by the time she was built in the mid 1980ies she was way ahead. River cruise cabins had a standard of 11 to 15 sqm for decades. Now as more and more ocean cruisers are trying out river cruises there´s a demand for larger cabins. But remember the ocean going vessels 20 plus years ago? Cabins weren´t large either. I´ve been on the Majesty of the Seas in an 11 sqm sized outside cabin (no balconies unless you´ve booked a junior suite).

But let´s say it like this: There´s a developpment going the other way round. Viking River Cruises is currently building two ocean going vessels.

steamboats
Hi
Vantage river cruise company contracts w. HAL and Hurtigruten for Vantage ocean cruises. On my Hurtigruten trip, there were 62 Vantage pax and 2 Vantage reps.
Tom
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#7
Beverly, ma, us
325 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
A few years ago, Grand Circle and Vantage co-owned the Paul Gauguin.. They have since sold it. The 2 companies are owned by brothers, who had a falling out. Grand Circle also owns several small ships that operate in the Mediterranean and charters small ships that operate in the Panama Canal and the Galapagos. It also books passengers on ships in South America and Scandinavia.
#8
south burlington,vt.
3,928 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Oh God I hope not!!!! Don't ruin the intimate feel of a river cruise with a mega-river ship that the scale of profit would dictate in a Cruise Line mentality.
#9
London, England
231 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by grand isle joe
Oh God I hope not!!!! Don't ruin the intimate feel of a river cruise with a mega-river ship that the scale of profit would dictate in a Cruise Line mentality.
Croisieurope has one small ocean going ship operating Med, Adriatic and around the Canary Islands. Being only a 200 capacity it is run in the same way as their river cruises plus more evening entertainment.
#10
Western New York
677 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by grand isle joe
Oh God I hope not!!!! Don't ruin the intimate feel of a river cruise with a mega-river ship that the scale of profit would dictate in a Cruise Line mentality.
Rest assured, river cruise ships are limited by locks that they must go thru--max about 170 pax.
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#11
Nuremberg
371 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Rest assured, river cruise ships are limited by locks that they must go thru--max about 170 pax.
Ships need to be max. 135m x 11.45m in order to cross the Rhine Main Danube Canal. Maximum pax ranges around 190-200 (Viking Longships or A-Rosa). Compared to a ocean cruise ship these 30 pax do not sound like a big deal, but for the ship it means an extra bus, guide etc..
#12
194 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by grand isle joe
Oh God I hope not!!!! Don't ruin the intimate feel of a river cruise with a mega-river ship that the scale of profit would dictate in a Cruise Line mentality.
Oh, I so agree, I do hope not!
#13
south burlington,vt.
3,928 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Tom47
Rest assured, river cruise ships are limited by locks that they must go thru--max about 170 pax.


Oh Thank you Tom47. I always worry when some "executive" thinks he/she can make it better thus cutting service and charging for everything they can think of.....All that comes into my mind is a long chain of ships lashed together with people yelling and drinking,dancing to YMCA.
#14
New York
5,011 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
If they "own" it, but don't change anything about them....fine. I think it's more the other way around as Viking announced that they are building two "ocean liner" ships, one to debut in 2014 the other in 2015. I'm anxiously awaiting info on them. Problem is......if they are going to offer pretty much the same experience on their "ocean liner" ships as they do on their river cruise vessels, the per diem is going to have to start at around $250 a day pp. Are people going to opt for that? Folks who have gone on river cruises may, but filling every sailing with 1500 people might be tough. However, I'd rather see them offer the same quality they do on their river cruises and not just be "another cruise line". We'll just have to wait and see I guess.
#16
NJ, USA
1,656 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
If it does happen, I would hope it would be more on the lines of Azamara or Oceania and not Celebrity or Princess.