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The ever increasing popularity of river cruising


notamermaid
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This company owns 38 ships but you will most likely never have booked with them in any country and any itinerary. That is because they give the ships as long term charter to others. The company is called Scylla and is based in Switzerland. We have mentioned them here briefly before. On 3 September the company celebrated 50 years in the business. Here is the history: https://scylla.com/en/the-company/history

 

They are currently having the Porto Mirante outfitted and more ships are to come. Business is booming. By 2028 they will have 52 ships in the fleet according to this German article: https://abouttravel.ch/reisebranche/cruise/scylla-plant-zwoelf-neue-flussschiffe-bis-2028/

Currently the demand is greater than the capacities, says the CCO.

 

notamermaid

 

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12 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

This company owns 38 ships but you will most likely never have booked with them in any country and any itinerary. That is because they give the ships as long term charter to others. The company is called Scylla and is based in Switzerland. We have mentioned them here briefly before. On 3 September the company celebrated 50 years in the business. Here is the history: https://scylla.com/en/the-company/history

 

They are currently having the Porto Mirante outfitted and more ships are to come. Business is booming. By 2028 they will have 52 ships in the fleet according to this German article: https://abouttravel.ch/reisebranche/cruise/scylla-plant-zwoelf-neue-flussschiffe-bis-2028/

Currently the demand is greater than the capacities, says the CCO.

 

notamermaid

 

My Viva cruise last year was on the Thomas Hardy and I really enjoyed the ship.  She’s sailing for Riviera this year.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jazz-  You know that Northern Ireland is part of the UK.  Nowhere does the article mention the UK.  I get that the article and idea is odd, that they chose to market in North America prior to Ireland, but your misleading intro doesn't help.

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I read the article as well and found it confusing. Quite frankly, I had assumed that Riviera Travel would kind of automatically serve the Irish market. But there must have been something in the past, then a change, now the return. A bit odd.

 

notamermaid

 

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I thought I had read that many of those already highly visited Cities were in the process of limiting, or reducing, the number of river boats coming in. Viking seems to be saying “ We’re going to raft them 5 deep”! Someone is not on the same page or singing from a different song book!

 

Who’s going to drive all those tour buses? Just what many of these towns need, 4-6 more tour buses picking people up and dropping them off every 200 meters!🙄

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@pinotlover my sentiments - at least as regards Viking. I shall bit my tongue for fear of burning it.

 

Which reminds me. I read a case of "feeling of grandeur" - or perhaps it is just an modern CEO's dream and celebratory speech? Scylla celebrated their 50th anniversary - a fantastic company with steady growth, no Guinness book of records stuff or big marketing words. Now their subsidiary/own company as a tour operator that is Viva Cruises has celebrated its fifth anniversary. Says CEO in this article: "... the leading river cruise tour operator in Europe ... we have the potential..."

https://binnenschifffahrt-online.de/2023/11/featured/31575/viva-cruises/

Yes, right... Seriously beating Viking or the splendid CroisiEurope? :classic_wink:

 

notamermaid

 

 

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To be serious about the rafting. Of course Viking is not allowed to dock 5-deep. But 3-deep is a tiny possibility in a few ports. It is a fact that Viking tends to say they have the prime spots which is true for the most part but they use the prime spot with their own ships so do raft and you look not at the cabin of another company's ship but the cabin of another Viking ship. And in a city like Cologne Viking has too many ships to fit them all into the city centre docks occasionally, something that is more of an occurrence in low water. In Koblenz Viking docks almost always as two ships and sometimes - as a third is not allowed - uses the dock on the other side of the river. Problem solved (sort of). Other rivers have other scenarios.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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6 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

To be serious about the rafting. Of course Viking is not allowed to dock 5-deep. But 3-deep is a tiny possibility in a few ports. It is a fact that Viking tends to say they have the prime spots which is true for the most part but they use the prime spot with their own ships so do raft and you look not at the cabin of another company's ship but the cabin of another Viking ship. And in a city like Cologne Viking has too many ships to fit them all into the city centre docks occasionally, something that is more of an occurrence in low water. In Koblenz Viking docks almost always as two ships and sometimes - as a third is not allowed - uses the dock on the other side of the river. Problem solved (sort of). Other rivers have other scenarios.

 

notamermaid

 

And there are the tour buses regardless of how docked! How many tour buses does it require to make some of those river towns unappealing to visit? Those limits have been tested.

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3 hours ago, notamermaid said:

They have indeed. The authorities and people of Heidelberg have reacted. Also in Koblenz.

 

notamermaid

 

Interesting that you mentioned Heidelberg.  We did the Rhine in October of 2019 and Heidelberg was the only port that was so crowded I found myself thinking "WOW, what must this place be like in July-August!"  Could not believe how many people were touring the castle in mid-October on a weekday.

 

Cologne, Strasbourg, Colmar, not crowded at all.

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10 minutes ago, sharkster77 said:

Interesting that you mentioned Heidelberg.  We did the Rhine in October of 2019 and Heidelberg was the only port that was so crowded I found myself thinking "WOW, what must this place be like in July-August!"  Could not believe how many people were touring the castle in mid-October on a weekday.

 

Cologne, Strasbourg, Colmar, not crowded at all.

You’re lucky! We hit Colmar and there must have been 20 tour buses! Ten, at least, from Viking, then every one else. Too many tour buses for such a delightful small tour.

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7 hours ago, pinotlover said:

You’re lucky! We hit Colmar and there must have been 20 tour buses! Ten, at least, from Viking, then every one else. Too many tour buses for such a delightful small tour.

What month were you in Colmar?  In mid-October I don't remember seeing any other buses.

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23 hours ago, pinotlover said:

I thought I had read that many of those already highly visited Cities were in the process of limiting, or reducing, the number of river boats coming in. Viking seems to be saying “ We’re going to raft them 5 deep”! Someone is not on the same page or singing from a different song book!

 

Who’s going to drive all those tour buses? Just what many of these towns need, 4-6 more tour buses picking people up and dropping them off every 200 meters!🙄

We're doing our part to lower the congestion, we board our next river cruise 23 December, AMS-BAS.  I can't imagine much, if any, rafting.  Hopefully the Rhine isn't overflowing the banks and we can sail.

 

I'm guessing/hoping that Viking has a volunteer crew for the two ships that will be sailing over the Holidays, and that they are giving a pay bump for staying on task.

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9 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

What month were you in Colmar?  In mid-October I don't remember seeing any other buses.

 

9 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

What month were you in Colmar?  In mid-October I don't remember seeing any other buses.

June 2022

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Away from the standard and a bit more individuality with - Scenic. Next year sees the Olympics in Paris so Scenic has put together a special itinerary and has added a few new things to its other itineraries:

https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tour-operators/sporting-legends-to-join-scenics-olympic-themed-river-cruise

 

notamermaid

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

A few changes, new itineraries, a couple of new ships - quite a bit of info on 2024 published over the last month or so. A couple of things I would like to catch up on, a bit of info on what is new and interesting IMO. First, a bit more unusual, but it has been mentioned for other lines, so here goes.

 

Cancellation of your cruise due to a charter. Now it has happened to customers of Nicko Cruises. The German company has issued a statement that two itineraries on the NickoSpirit in December of 2024 have been given to what we call in German "ein anderer Quellmarkt", meaning they have chartered those two to an operator from a different market. This could be anything from American, to British, to Chinese, to French... The company has already informed guests that have booked either of the two itineraries and offered them a different date or full money return. So this can happen in Germany as well.

 

Nicko Cruises have also announced that they have made changes to a few Danube river cruises that go (close) to the Delta to insure the safety of guests, with the ongoing conflict in the region in mind.

 

Nicko Cruises will most likely not be your first choice if you look beyond the Anglophone lines, but they have invested in attracting guests from that market in the last few years. They have some unusual itineraries like from Münster to Potsdam on the Katharina von Bora or, if your German is quite good, you could enjoy a short crime story special cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This I saw advertised as a new itinerary and it does look a bit different from the standard - how about a trip from Brussels to Basel instead of the Amsterdam to Basel favourite? Tauck sails from the Belgian capital via Antwerp to Germany and up the Rhine: https://www.tauck.co.uk/tours/rhine-river-cruise-brussels#itinerary

 

Tauck have managed to put another exciting exclusive experience into this one. They dock in Gorinchem and explore an island castle. Gorinchem is a relatively popular stop with German river cruise lines and I assume not unpopular internationally but the castle I have seen with no other company.

 

notamermaid

 

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Here is the calendar - and some additional info - of which ships enter service when:

https://travelweekly.co.uk/destinations/new-cruise-ships-2024

 

Some more info here:

https://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Insights/New-river-cruises-ships-2024

 

The ship missing in the lists as it only sails for the German-speaking market is the MS Amina of Phoenix Reisen.

 

notamermaid

 

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