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The ever increasing popularity of river cruising


notamermaid
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On the Rhine, the town of Wesel is preparing the ground, yes, I mean the actual embankment, for the Viking longships. Sounds unusual and it is. Wesel is a relative unknown entity in the river cruising world and not even a frequent stop with German cruise lines. Wesel is on the lower Rhine, past Düsseldorf, in the plains just before the Rhine turns fully West to get to the Netherlands. The official website of Wesel says it is planned to have everything ready, including the new landing stage, by March 2021. The plans had already been postponed due to the pandemic - I had read of their earlier time schedule - and Wesel cannot say when the first ship will dock.

 

Dated 24 November, only in German: https://www.wesel.de/rathaus-online/alle-aktuellen-meldungen/mit-viking-ueber-den-rhein-arbeiten-am-weseler-steiger

 

I will get back to this at a later date in the thread on the Rhine if I hear more of the construction and the prospective dockings.

 

notamermaid

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have just concluded a most unusual year in river cruising and more importantly a distressing one when you look at our lives. I hope you will not find it insensitive if I have a look ahead at what this new year will bring. At this point in time we are still facing many travel bans and in Europe we cannot even be certain that the season will start in March as planned.

 

One thing is certain: there will be new river cruise ships on many rivers throughout the world. Some of those were scheduled for 2020 but never started sailing, either because they were not completed or it was not possible/commercially viable to operate them.

 

But let us now have a look at what the professionals say. Travel Weekly has a preview to 2021: https://www.travelweekly.com/Preview-2021/River-cruise

 

notamermaid

 

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Our friends have just had an awful start to the new year, he went to check that his Narrowboat was okay only to find that some idiot had broken into it. One window broken out to gain access all drawers and cupboards opened the only stuff they took was alcohol which was similar to our boats brake in some years ago. DH on his way to assist in securing the boat, the police have been and fingerprinted but maybe a bonus the twit managed to cut him/herself on the glass and according to the police quite badly. 
The only thing I can say is it’s better than catching COVID-19. 
Lets hope the vaccination works wonders, fingers & toes crossed.

10 points to ponder as 2020 draws to a close:

 

1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.

2. 2019: stay away from negative people.   2020: stay away from positive people!

3. The world is turned upside down. Old people are sneaking out of the house and the kids are yelling at them to stay in doors! 

4. This morning I saw neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought it could understood her. I came to my house and told my dog! We had a good laugh.

5. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pyjamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

6. Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing your hands?

7. I never thought the comment 'I wouldn't touch them with a 6ft bargepole' would become a national policy.

8. I really need to practice social distancing from the fridge.

9. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip around the garden....I'm getting fed up with the living room.

10. Never thought the day would come when I could walk into a  bank wearing a mask and not get arrested.

This from my craft group and yes we are still crafting. CA

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A little off topic.  I am addicted to watching YouTube videos about Narrowboating.  I watch daily and now, once we can travel again, my DH and I want to give it a try.  Soooo many canals in the UK and the CRT seem to manage them quite well.

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I have walked along the canals in the heart of England, watching the locks and narrowboats. I found this video a few days ago that I will post in the water cooler thread.

 

@Canal archive love the things to ponder about. Lifted my spirits on this dreary day. Fancy reposting  it at the water cooler? Hope CC does not see that as double posting, we need all the laughs we can get.

 

notamermaid

 

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A few days ago, I mentioned in the thread on the Rhine that Cologne is the busiest river cruise port in Germany. A study has revealed the statistics and staggering numbers - before the pandemic made a major dent in the figures of both passengers and revenue: https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/cologne-top-destination-for-river-cruises

 

460,000 passengers visited Cologne as part of a multi-day river cruise. And 2020 would likely have seen a further increase. 

 

I think we can already assume Cologne will not get back to the figures of 2019 this year either.

 

Normal start to the season in March with overseas tourists? IMO, no way...

 

notamermaid

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lots of spare cash? Own a company? Want to through a huge wedding celebration with no expenses spared? Hire your own ship! I suppose stranger things have happened and renting a river cruise ship as a temporary hotel is a standard on the Rhine - although this means being stationary for a week or two. So if you want to sail with your own group think about this idea (need a big piggy bank) with AmaWaterways: https://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/river-cruises/amawaterways-private-river-cruise-charter

 

notamermaid

 

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28 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Thinking of booking a river cruise and have a specific date in mind? You may need to hurry, demand for 2022 is growing: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Insights/Thinking-of-a-2022-river-cruise

 

notamermaid

 

 

That doesn't surprise me.  All the cancelled 2020 cruises got moved to 2021 or 2022, and now the early 2021 cruises have been cancelled.  I imagine there may be more re-bookings than new bookings.

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Just waiting for the 2022 dates to be fully posted.  I seriously doubt that our May cruise will go through, and right now, neither of us are comfortable travelling.  Avalon has some dates up, but not the dates we are looking for.  Oh well, I still have a month before moving my cruise...:)

 

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Another postponement due to Coronavirus. The new APT Travelmarvel Capella was supposed to set sail in Spring. Now the inaugural river cruise will take place from 11 June. On board will be the renowned UK singer Aled Jones: https://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/399128/aled-jones-to-join-maiden-voyage-of-new-apt-ship

 

I hope all goes well with the new plans.

 

notamermaid

 

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Returning to any cruises in 2021 seems iffy to me.  We are not ready to put a lot of money out for 2022 either.  I do have 1 ocean cruise booked in April of 2022 but will only lose $200 if we can’t go or don’t feel comfortable.
 

We will wait it out. I’d love to go in 2022 but it may not happen.  Or we may have to take whatever, go where ever is left. At this point I’m ok with that.  I’m just anxious to go anywhere on a boat or a ship.  

 

Covid has changed everything for all of us.  My heart goes out to those who have lost their lives over it, lost ones they love, lost jobs, lost their way to make a living.  Talking on these boards has been a way to connect with others around the world.

 

All the vacations/trips we’ve been able to take now seem like such a gift.  I hope I can maintain that feeling even after we start again. I can’t wait to take another river cruise! I don’t want it to become too popular but maybe the secrets out! What a lovely way to explore the world.

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I see Avalon now says that if you aren't comfortable in 2022, you can switch to at 2023 at no extra cost.  I will probably be switching mine to 2022 soon, we only have our deposit, so that's ok, but I will not be making the final payment and leaving a large balance on hold for a year or so.  I am hoping with vaccinations, 2022 may be possible, but if not....

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1 hour ago, Daisi said:

I see Avalon now says that if you aren't comfortable in 2022, you can switch to at 2023 at no extra cost.  I will probably be switching mine to 2022 soon, we only have our deposit, so that's ok, but I will not be making the final payment and leaving a large balance on hold for a year or so.  I am hoping with vaccinations, 2022 may be possible, but if not....

If the cruise lines required all passengers to be vaccinated, and got their crews vaccinated, why should summer ( July 1) not be doable? 
 

I believe, here in the US by 6/1, anyone that seriously wants to travel internationally ( except those under 16) will have the opportunity to be vaccinated if they so desire. If they don’t, they can sit at home.

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4 hours ago, pinotlover said:

If the cruise lines required all passengers to be vaccinated, and got their crews vaccinated, why should summer ( July 1) not be doable? 
 

I believe, here in the US by 6/1, anyone that seriously wants to travel internationally ( except those under 16) will have the opportunity to be vaccinated if they so desire. If they don’t, they can sit at home.

In Canada they are saying officially that by the end of September anyone who wants a vaccine will have had one, but I have also heard that they won't finish until the middle of 2022, particularly if the EU gets nasty and cuts off our vaccine supplies.

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1 hour ago, Canal archive said:

gnome12, I didn’t realise that the EU was targeting your supplies as well! I’m sure it will get sorted but at the moment it’s leaving a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth. CA

As far as I understand it, we had chosen to be supplied from Europe rather than the US because we were worried about the US doing what the EU has now threatened to do and cut us off. Canada let our own vaccine production industry disappear.

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gnome12,

I believe there is already a major  - and I dare say slightly painful - rethink going on among officials in many countries. Here in Germany we realized how much the dependency on India for vitamins and other pharmaceuticals and China for PPE had put us in a bad position. Much more will now be produced in the EU and Germany and whole production lines in companies have been altered and companies have shifted whole product ranges from their normal lines to PPE - some of them perhaps for years to come or for good.

 

Major changes in life as a whole everywhere. And in river cruising a few changes may stay. High on the list for scrapping: breakfast buffets.

 

As a side note: no open salad bars in supermarkets here where I shop and in my opinion they need not return. 

 

notamermaid

 

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On 1/27/2021 at 4:51 PM, pinotlover said:

If the cruise lines required all passengers to be vaccinated, and got their crews vaccinated, why should summer ( July 1) not be doable? 
 

I believe, here in the US by 6/1, anyone that seriously wants to travel internationally ( except those under 16) will have the opportunity to be vaccinated if they so desire. If they don’t, they can sit at home.

 

Requiring a vaccination for Covid won't hurt river cruises as much as ocean cruises.  As you're probably aware, no Covid vaccines have been approved for children, so that eliminates family cruises.  @notamermaid can probably give us a better idea of what it will do to river cruise lines that cater to Europeans.  I don't know if the passengers are mostly older or if there are a lot of families onboard.  

 

I doubt I will be able to get a vaccination by July 1.  I'm over 65 but under 70.  My neighbor who's over 75 was able to get an appt. for her first shot at the county health dept., but it's at the end of April.  My next river cruise is scheduled for this coming December.  I may be able to be vaccinated by then, and hope the EU will admit US residents.

Edited by Roz
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On 1/27/2021 at 5:51 PM, pinotlover said:

If the cruise lines required all passengers to be vaccinated, and got their crews vaccinated, why should summer ( July 1) not be doable? 
 

I believe, here in the US by 6/1, anyone that seriously wants to travel internationally ( except those under 16) will have the opportunity to be vaccinated if they so desire. If they don’t, they can sit at home.

 

You also have to remember that it's not only the people on the cruise that will determine when cruises start.  The countries we cruise to, towns we stop in all have to be able to have us visit.  They will want to have their own vaccination programs well established, and also be able to open up not only for the residents, but tourists.  I really doubt that by July 1 Europe will be able to greet tourists in the same manner that they had previously.  I keep in touch with people in Budapest, and their restaurants aren't just closing due to requirements by the government, but closing for good.  They tell me that there are a lot that have "for lease" signs in them  Hotels are also questionable.  Maybe not the big chains, but the others are in trouble.  It will take a while for recoveries in all areas.....not just when some countries possibly have everyone vaccinated.  As a Canadian under 60, I probably won't be able to be vaccinated until Aug or Sept, because I have to wait for those older to get theirs first.

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19 minutes ago, Roz said:

@notamermaid can probably give us a better idea of what it will do to river cruise lines that cater to Europeans.  I don't know if the passengers are mostly older or if there are a lot of families onboard.  

I am not sure. As of now everything is still such an unknown as regards procedure. Vaccine certificates are discussed in the EU. But we have our vaccine cards here in Germany anyway, where eventually everyone will get a proper entry. For now I think at least some people get a statement on paper. But that is anecdotal knowledge. Saga's move of only allowing vaccinated people on the cruises caused a stir here in the industry news that I have read. It only works for them as they have the benefit of being a UK company with an over-50 policy built into their company idea. From May they can easily fill a river cruise ship if they do enough marketing to the 60plus active population in the UK. Many thousands will be fully vaccinated by then.

 

There is hardly a chance that we can get enough people vaccinated on the continent to have a mixed generation family river cruise of all-vaccinated passengers in Spring - granted, we could perhaps get 10 passengers each of 10 countries together to make it work. Even Summer is not a given yet. Perhaps age 100 down to 30. Might happen in some cases. And what about the crew?

 

Everyone talks of passengers in the reports but I have not seen it mentioned that they will only allow vaccinated employees. That is even less likely as they are usually younger and way down the line in programmes, they are not exactly essential to the system of a basic functioning society.

 

Specifically families: If A-Rosa allowed only vaccinated passengers on board in March they would run hardly any ship in Europe I reckon... They allow young children on board and run family river cruises, so they could not fill a multi-generational cruise say age 80 down to 8 for quite some months. Would a company like A-Rosa really want to immediately disqualify say perhaps 30 percent of their potential customers, i.e. people younger than 30 and parents with children? They may do the maths at some point but I doubt it for the Spring and Summer sailings. We will see.

 

Going on a river cruise with vaccinated people and thinking you can bin the masks and social distancing is a thought to banish immediately. It will not happen for some time as we do not know yet how "well" we will keep infecting people if we catch the virus and just do not feel ill due to the vaccine. I cannot imagine a river cruise line to go against the new health protocols that quickly.

 

Generally, they say many lines in Europe have a slightly younger clientele than North-American lines but that is shifting. I think there is not much in it as regards average age with some lines. It depends on line, itinerary and time of year anyway who sails. Difficult to generalize these days I think.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

 

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I have just thought of a way to fill a river cruise with vaccinated passengers aged 30 to 60! It seriously is actually in theory easy: health care workers. By March so many will have been fully vaccinated even in Germany that A-ROSA (or other company) could fill a boat with them. It would be perfectly possible if they were not busy. But perhaps there is way to find enough of them that are exhausted and in need of a short break and can get away from their workplace. If A-ROSA (or other company) gave them the cruise at half price and free spa treatments on board, now that would be some good marketing for the company and a lovely gesture to show the health care people that we thank them. I would be willing to sponsor it with a bit of cash. Or perhaps a bit of crowd funding.

 

If you read of such a "vaccinated nurses on Rhine cruise" in the near future remember that you read the idea here first. 😉 

 

notamermaid

 

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