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The ever increasing popularity of river cruising


notamermaid
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the three companies mentioned make for a good selection and give you a good choice to decide on who may be best for you if you want to dock in Honfleur.

 

Talking of choices, I have come across the survey by the British consumer magazine "Which?" that may be interesting to look at. While this is not a perfect tool by any means, I did find it interesting and I will spoil it for you - Scenic came out best (results first published 2020, updated 2022):

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/river-cruises/article/best-and-worst-river-cruise-lines-at5HD5r6bFD6

 

notamermaid

 

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A naming ceremony has taken place in Paris today. Due to the circumstances we all know about this is a somewhat belated celebration. Eight ships have had a bottle of Aquavit smashed at their hulls on the same day - yes, not champagne with these Viking ships: https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/6831/

 

notamermaid

 

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The river cruise sector is indeed still doing well and has it seems aroused a bit more interest by ocean cruisers in the last two years. Another company that has much faith in further growth, at least with their customer base and target market, is Saga in the UK. The two new ships, Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube, were christened in Arnhem on Saturday and the company has now announced they are planning four more ships. They will all be "spirits" and sail their respective rivers: https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/shipbuilding-refurb-equipment/saga-adding-four-new-river-vessels-its-fleet

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Let us have a quick look not at a company but a river: the Saar in Germany. For context, the Saar is acommercial waterway adapted to modern shipping and flows into the Moselle not far from Trier. You may not know it because on the Anglo-American international market it is not offered much and is sailed by few ships. Wait! That is not quite true as I have recently found out, "few" is a bit of an understatement. Several ships do, German, Dutch and French and together they make up a sizable number. As they dock several times each during the season that is not little, as witnessed in this article by Saarburg town council (tourism section): https://www.saarburg.de/saisonstart-an-der-schiffsanlegestelle-fuer-flusskreuzfahrtschiffe

A few bits from the text: On 21 March the river cruising season started in the town and the first ship to arrive was the Elegant Lady, fully booked with 118 British passengers on a charter contract (the ship normally sails for a German company, German-language only) on board. After two difficult years the town and tour operators hope for a normal season to happen. For 2022 148 (!) bookings for dockings have already been made. The town council only issues licenses for docking from March till October. Ships up to 110m length are allowed to dock.

 

It looks a good year for Saarburg, a popular tourist destination for very good reasons and among the ship arrivals will even be new ones that have not visited before, like the MS Gustav Klimt, the MS SE Manon and the MS Traviata.

 

You can read a bit about the Saar river in the Moselle thread, mostly on this page:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2268619-the-river-moselle-infos-and-river-cruising-experiences/page/11/

 

Saarburg is a picturesque small town and the Saar certainly has a bit to offer, despite much industry, so I recommend checking itineraries if you want to focus on this area of Europe and Germany. Definitely worth a look in my opinion.

 

notamermaid

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The popular Tulip Time cruises through the Netherlands (and Belgium) are even more special this year with the Floriade taking place. If you are thinking of booking such an itinerary at short notice, here are some ideas, also for later in Spring and Summer as the horticultural runs till 9 October: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Itineraries-sprout-around-Netherlands-Floriade-Expo

 

notamermaid

 

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4 hours ago, notamermaid said:

The popular Tulip Time cruises through the Netherlands (and Belgium) are even more special this year with the Floriade taking place.

I'm in – AMA Tulip Time April 18-25.  Floriade is one of the tour options.  Also Keukenhof x2:  on the day we arrive in Amsterdam, and again a week later as a tour option onboard.  Having spent the winter in LA [Lower Alabama, Gulf coast] and now being back in the NY area, this will be my third Spring this year!  Making up for the year we lost to Covid!!!

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The photo made me think of a jumper knitted out of any leftover balls of wool someone could find.

 

I wonder if there are places where you can visit such fields and observe them from a tower? That would be attractive I think. Wouldn't mind seeing that, quite a different scene from my vine clad hills.

 

notamermaid 

 

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4 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

The photo made me think of a jumper knitted out of any leftover balls of wool someone could find.

 

I wonder if there are places where you can visit such fields and observe them from a tower? That would be attractive I think. Wouldn't mind seeing that, quite a different scene from my vine clad hills.

 

notamermaid 

 

When I was at Keukenhof in 2010, there was a windmill you could climb that had a view of tulip fields outside of the gardens themselves. But to be perfectly honest, the beautifully laid out gardens in Keukenhof far outstrip the tulip fields.

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Thanks. Climbing a windmill observing tulip fields - can it get anymore Dutch than that? Grin. I went to Keukenhof many years ago on a coach trip and do remember it was beautiful but cannot remember any details.

 

notamermaid

 

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And another ship has been christened (also belated) - the Avalon View. Safe travels always.

Here is the article: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Avalon-Waterways-ship-christened-in-Slovakia?ct=river

And on the occasion of this joyous event, Avalon Waterways announced a new campaign: https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Avalon-Waterways-launches-marketing-campaign?ct=river

 

So good to read of all these ships finally getting names officially.

 

The Emerald Luna has set sail but her christening will be later.

 

Still to come, also delayed due to circumstances: the Arosa Sena and the Amadeus Cara.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

And the next ship hull is on its way. Coming up the Danube is what we call a "Kaskotransport". The "Argo" is pushing the "Viva Two" and was spotted in Austria: https://www.binnenschifferforum.de/showthread.php?110831-Viva-Two-KFGS-Kasko&p=439109#post439109

 

Like many other ships her steel frame was built in Eastern Europe and she will get turned into a proper ship in the Netherlands.

 

notamermaid

 

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I still think the moving of one of Scenics boats and another companies boats to the Rhône was really cool.

Mind you this image is not one the ship in future would be proud of! Although what a masterful example of riverboat management, magnifique  as the French would say.

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