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The ever increasing popularity of river cruising


notamermaid
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Riviera Travel UK - Riviera River Cruises - is expanding. 2019 will see them launch two new ships, the MS William Wordsworth and the MS George Eliot. Also new extensions to cruises will appear in their 2019 brochure:

https://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/riviera-river-cruises-adds-new-great-offers-to-its-2019-brochure

 

notamermaid

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Amadeus River cruises are expanding: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/317294/amadeus-river-cruises-to-add-16th-ship-to-fleet

 

Amadeus, although a European company, has been until of late a bit under the radar with me. I am surprised to read the new ship will bring their fleet up to 16. Their cruise catalogue shows the standard cruise itineraries and unfortunately for me none shorter than six nights (Christmas markets on the Rhine). A special theme they offer are golf cruises. Certainly a niche market, but interesting.

 

notamermaid

 

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Marketing, marketing, marketing. Sometimes I find it really too much, especially when an article like the following comes at a time when river cruise companies are under scrutiny for their interactions with their existing customers. Do not get me wrong, I work in a tourism sector that requires me to be acquainted with marketing strategies and able to employ them, on a very small scale. But one reads so often about marketing officers and all the verbiage of what those people will do for the company, etc.

 

https://www.travelpulse.com/news/people/janet-bava-joins-amawaterways.html

 

I have yet to read an article in which an appointment of a "customer relations evaluation for the improvement of communication officer" is employed...

 

Personally, I have the slight impression that the AmaMagna building project has taken some energy away from other AmaWaterways areas of strength. Just an impression probably, I leave that up to the present and future cruisers to decide. Or is it just the trials and tribulations that have come with the extreme drought this year?

 

notamermaid

 

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Slightly off topic but as a river cruise company is doing specials for the Passion play, which is by the way well worth going to even going to Oberammergau is worth it, is there a company that goes to Bruge during ‘The Passion of the Holy Blood’? Which if memory serves is every five years not ten as is the ‘Passion Play’ CA

P.S. Is anyone else getting a ‘no content’ when receiving notifications on their iPad?

Edited by Canal archive
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On 12/7/2018 at 1:03 PM, Canal archive said:

Slightly off topic but as a river cruise company is doing specials for the Passion play, which is by the way well worth going to even going to Oberammergau is worth it, is there a company that goes to Bruge during ‘The Passion of the Holy Blood’? Which if memory serves is every five years not ten as is the ‘Passion Play’ CA

P.S. Is anyone else getting a ‘no content’ when receiving notifications on their iPad?

Have not read anything so far about offers. Bruges is very often an excursion and I am not sure which ships actually sail (are allowed to) sail into Bruges. I would do it the other way round, on the online river cruise purchase sites enter the time frame for the Passion and see what comes up.

 

I would post your technical question elsewhere again.

 

notamermaid

 

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The German company A-Rosa's plans for 2019: https://www.fvw.com/news/river-cruises-a-rosa-invests-millions-in-fleet-and-targets-uk-market/393/195338/11245

 

Another ship for the Douro. I just wonder, as sailing is not allowed during the night on the Douro, might the companies get problems finding places to dock? Seeing that most itineraries go to the same places. The river is certainly getting ever more popular.

 

notamermaid

 

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Statistics...

 

This is the best market observation I have been able to find for a long time. A great insight into the popularity of river cruising (in Europe). The figures are impressive: https://www.inland-navigation-market.org/en/rapports/2018/q2/7-river-cruises/

 

One quote: "Between 2002 and 2017 river cruise traffic on the Danube increased by 89%, by 128% on the Rhine, and by 295% on the Main-Danube Canal."

 

Another interesting point is that old ships are normally not taken out of commission; unless beyond rescue for whatever reason, they are not scrapped. The oldest ship is over 100 years old, sailing in Sweden. As far as I know all "old" Viking ships, those of other companies/owners they first used, are still in operation. Revamped and renamed they still sail the rivers, or might have been "converted" into floating stationary hotels. I have not looked into the fate of those ships in detail. I do know of two ships of other companies that have been taken off their original river and have "moved home" to Ireland and the UK, respectively, as hotel ships.

 

The Prinses Juliana is another one that used to sail the Rhine and Dutch Waterways, but has not had to move as far away to her new home. She has been refurbished and renamed and now resides on the Moselle, as an "outpost" to a local hotel. It is a floating hotel but for some events also sails stretches of the river.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Edited by notamermaid
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On 1/15/2019 at 10:13 AM, notamermaid said:

The German company A-Rosa's plans for 2019: https://www.fvw.com/news/river-cruises-a-rosa-invests-millions-in-fleet-and-targets-uk-market/393/195338/11245

 

Another ship for the Douro. I just wonder, as sailing is not allowed during the night on the Douro, might the companies get problems finding places to dock? Seeing that most itineraries go to the same places. The river is certainly getting ever more popular.

 

notamermaid

 

Another limitation is locks.  We had 20 minute waits at 2 of the locks we encountered.  Add more day cruise ships to the river and...

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On the Douro, one should never have long waits at the locks. The upper portions of the river can get fairly narrow so the River Master only releases the boats from their docking when they can proceed up or down river and quickly pass through the locks. Navigation on this river is far more highly regulated than other major rivers. The boats sit at the dock until released to sail not at the locks.

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6 hours ago, notamermaid said:

I can see their military history based extensions being popular.  And I'm sure pricey.

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It is the ITB (Internationale Tourismusbörse) in Berlin and time to look at the announcements made by companies for 2020. Ocean cruising of course gets most of the attention but also river cruise companies use the opportunity for making their new plans public.

 

But first, let us look short-term at 2019. According to Schiffsjournal.de the new ship Arosa Alva will be the latest addition to the fleet of Arosa and one of the growing number of ships that sail the Douro. The actress and singer Yvonne Catterfeld, who has been "the face of Arosa" for a few years now, will christen the ship in Porto on 30 April. (See also my post above)

 

With Arosa establishing itself on the English-speaking market I expect them to offer international Douro sailings as well. If you are interested, do check their international website.

 

More ship news to follow shortly.

 

notamermaid

 

 

Edited by notamermaid
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Exciting times for AmaWaterways as they get ready to launch the AmaMagna. Here is an article with promo photos and video: https://www.amawaterways.com/explore/amamagna-journeys-back-to-the-danube

 

She will be the second-widest vessel on the Danube - beaten by the Crystal Mozart by three feet - but at 135m the longest.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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AmaWaterways is adding a jazz theme to one of its Christmas market cruises: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/amawaterways-jazzes-up-amasonata-cruise.html

 

The North-American company is not the only one with jazz musicians on board one of their ships. The UK tour operator Saga offers jazz and wine cruises on the Rhine: https://travel.saga.co.uk/cruises/river/where-we-go/rhine-river-cruises/jazz-and-wine-on-the-rhine-and-moselle.aspx?boardbasis=FB

 

A trip on the older Rex Rheni might not appeal to those looking for luxury but I find the more intimate atmosphere on such a ship quite fitting for laid-back jazz performances, especially with some great sunsets along the Rhine thrown in. :classic_smile:

 

notamermaid

 

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While three to six night cruises in Europe are a standard offer with many European river cruise lines at certain times of the year they are rare with North-American cruise lines. Apart from Christmas market themed cruises. It hardly seems worthwhile to cross an ocean for just a four-night cruise, naturally.

 

Well, Avalon thinks otherwise, and I am sure they have done enough market research to think this economically wise. From 2020 they will be offering shorter cruises than the standard seven or eight days: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/avalon-waterways-to-offer-short-river-cruises-in-2020.html

 

notamermaid

 

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Fred Olsen has announced new itineraries for 2020: https://www.traveldailymedia.com/fred-olsen-river-cruises-2020/

 

Maiden voyage into Luxembourg sounded unusual so I had a look. The cruise goes to Remich. Indeed not frequented by many, but a standard port for AvalonWaterways.

 

The cruise on the Brabant called "Tipples and Treasures on the Rhine" is unusual in that it docks in Linz on the Rhine. A standard dock for the Dutch, but itineraries by German and British operators do not often stop there. https://www.fredolsencruises.com/river-cruises/cruise/tipples-and-treasures-of-the-rhine-and-moselle-r201112

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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On 1/23/2019 at 7:27 AM, notamermaid said:

 

 

Another interesting point is that old ships are normally not taken out of commission; unless beyond rescue for whatever reason, they are not scrapped. The oldest ship is over 100 years old, sailing in Sweden. As far as I know all "old" Viking ships, those of other companies/owners they first used, are still in operation. Revamped and renamed they still sail the rivers, or might have been "converted" into floating stationary hotels. I have not looked into the fate of those ships in detail. I do know of two ships of other companies that have been taken off their original river and have "moved home" to Ireland and the UK, respectively, as hotel ships.

 

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

I'm late to this thread, but to your point, notamermaid, this is very true.  Below are pictures my father took of the MS Nederland, taken during their Rhine cruise in the early 1960s, and she's now Belmond's Road to Mandalay, redone and still pretty luxurious, plying the Irrawaddy.

 

 

PICT0452.jpg

PICT0460.jpg

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4 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

Does anyone know where or what has happened to Scenic Emerald after she left their fleet. CA

Yes, I know, but FuelScience can tell you from first hand experience as they are currently on the Royal Emerald with Teeming. She is the former Scenic Emerald. ☺️

 

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I can add to the list of items included in the article. I have friends that were in Paris and were very negatively impacted by all the “ Yellow Shirts “ crap. At one point they were concerned about their personal safety. I know of people that have canceled France cruises or not even considering them until that mess is resolved. France likewise suffers from the “ it’ Tuesday, let’s have a strike and shutdown....” Does that country even want tourists anymore?

Edited by pinotlover
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I know this thread is supposed to glorify the expansion of river touring but we need to speak the truth somewhere.

It's obvious to me that there are problems with selling cruises. One day last week I got four (4) Viking catalogs on the same day. There were a few others from them in the same week. I had the usual trickle from other lines as well.

Everyone I've talked with complains about the rafting and overcrowding. After several years of sailing I feel the same. One of my friends who was on Viking was still angry about Viking's part in it.

Protest strikes in London, the Notre Dam fire, the French Yellow Jackets (democracy is messy as we in the US are experiencing), spreading word about river crowding and river level unpredictability are all reasons why US travelers are finding Europe less attractive.

The cruise lines need to pay more attention to the travel agent observations and less to their own publicity.

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