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notamermaid

The ever increasing popularity of river cruising

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Hi notamermaid! You're always on top of the River World News.

The Passion Play is such a special event, and an entire decade is spent preparing, planning, and anticipating it's return. Not only have we already launched our Danube Cruises with prime Passion Play tickets, but we are already nearing capacity!

Thanks for checking in!

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Looking further ahead into 2020 the famous Oberammergau Passion Play is coming up. CroisiEurope is already promoting its sailings: http://www.travelweekly.com/For-Travel-Agents/Travel-Product-News/CroisiEurope-promotes-2020-Oberammergau-Passion-Play-Danube-cruise?ct=river

 

notamermaid

We lived in Germany back in 87-91 and saw the Passion Play. It is amazing.

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The ITB in Berlin, the largest tourism trade fair in the world is drawing to a close and I am eagerly awaiting any interesting news to be reported in the media in the next few days. One announcement has already been made by a Russian river cruise company - hostjazzbeau has kindly put this onto the board here - and I am sure the statistics will prove interesting again this year. I think we can all imagine a rise in popularity will be reported, no surprise there!

 

Meanwhile as this, due to an understandable language barrier, is not easy to find, I would like to give you a sample river cruise of a lesser known company based in Cologne, Germany. It is called 1AVista Reisen: https://www.1avista.de/flussreisen/rhein/ms-vistaexplorer-nordsee-donau-flusskreuzfahrt.html?suchartfrom=landingpage

 

A trip from Cologne to the Netherlands in a loop, then return to Cologne from where the cruise takes you upstream and along the Main and Main Danube Canal to Passau. That is sort of uncommon. The stops are also a little different in parts. Königswinter for example will be featured in my thread on Rhine ports.

 

The last column gives you excursions and their prices.

 

notamermaid

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Signed...

 

during the ITB in Berlin was the contract between Scylla and Phoenix Reisen for building two new ships to join the fleet of the company based in Bonn, Germany in 2019 and 2020. They will be sister ships to the pictured Anesha: http://www.schiffsjournal.de/phoenix-reisen-itb-news-vertrag-ueber-zwei-neubauten-mit-scylla-ag-abgeschlossen/

 

and delivered...

 

or "handed over" was the Crystal Debussy on 8 March in Wismar: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/18685-crystal-introduces-new-river-vessel-to-its-fleet.html Her maiden voyage will be a round trip from Amsterdam on 9 April.

 

notamermaid

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Germans like to travel... also on river cruise ships - and some interesting statistics

 

in this article on the river cruising market in 2017: http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/german-market-growth-fueled-european-river-cruising-in-2017.html

 

Uniworld's recent anouncement to open up the "U" ships to all age ranges still ringing in my ear, this statement stands out for me: quote from article above: "Somewhat alarmingly, the number of passengers 41 to 65 fell 9.9% year over year. That means attracting younger customers—probably including families—will remain a key challenge for the industry." The German market is hardly different from the US-American market in that river cruising is still not really attractive to a young audience. It makes Viking's recent announcement of putting even more of their tried and tested ships on the rivers seem even more reasonable. Why go for a new market segment - i.e. millenials - when the age range dominating the market can be served so well? After all, the 40+ will be the 50+ in ten years' time, and so on...

 

notamermaid

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Notamerimaid;

 

What I don’t understand is Uniworld’s decision to pull the plug so quickly on the original U concept? They only rolled it out a few months ago and have pulled out already. Normally, bringing a new product or concept requires more than a couple of months kickoff!

 

From what I hear, river cruise boats are considered floating nursing home by most of the under 50 set. There are ocean cruise lines that cater to that younger set of cruisers, while others cater to the over 65ers, but there are options for both. Those options don’t exist currently with river boat companies. Uniworld seemed to address that, but quickly retreated. A lot of younger cruisers don’t want to be on ships or boats with passengers primarily their parents age.

 

FWIW, I ran into a younger couple this last week that had signed up for a U cruise. They are now attempting to cancel and get their money back. Their claim is by changing the age restrictions, Uniworld is no longer providing the cruise as originally advertised when they signed up. Uniworld probably lost them forever, they are not happy campers!

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Note that Emerald River Cruises are aimed at a younger demographic. Scenic is teaming up with cycle companies and moving into a more energetic experience although they are one of the few companies who carry cycles that can be used on request. One thing about aiming at a younger customer base is the amount of time available from a holiday allowance to indulge in river cruising. Maybe this is what Uniworld has discovered.

By the way I have yet to feel that I am spending time in a nursing home whilst cruising the rivers of Europe. CA

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pinotlover,

 

I was also puzzled by Uniworld's decision. I found the cut-off point of 45 years quite restricting and was wondering if they had been better off choosing 55, which is beside the point at the moment. Who should have put so much pressure on Uniworld, 75-year-olds who want to attend a concert at 9pm? Or 60-year-old mothers who want to travel with their daughters? I don't know, all a bit odd really... I thought it was a good move towards a younger crowd. Just a few things, the focus on social media influencers and so on, needed "adjusting" I thought.

 

I can fully understand that young couple wanting their money back. It is not the product they originally bought.

 

notamermaid

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I've not heard younger people refer to river cruises as floating nursing homes. The issue is the price, plus airfare, that's puts in out of the reach of most of those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. They're paying off student loans, buying homes, starting families, etc. Vacations are more likely to be camping trips, a 1-wk. cottage rental at the beach, or an inexpensive ocean cruise out of Florida.

 

Roz

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Ritz;

 

You’re generalizing to much . Currently in Beaver Creek, CO skiing with my daughter, SIL, and grandkids over their Spring Break. The slopes are full of under 45ers spending a lot of money to ski for a week between here and Vail just up the road. My wife and I are late 60s , and we’re probably 1%ers on the slopes. Very few over 60 to be seen!

 

My SIL is a Dr and my daughter is a mgr for a large national insurance firm. Having the expendable funds isn’t the issue. They prefer spending that time,and those resources, doing things with their own peers. Thirty years ago I could go out drinking, and dancing, after a day of skiing like they are doing now. Not anymore, now I might be asleep on the couch faster than the grandkids! I sure they are glad the mountain/resort is 95% plus 60 year olds, but predominantly their ages!

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The size of river cruise ships is determined by what authorities will allow onto the river and of course the lock size. The standard largest size for ships these days is approx. 135m by 11.5m on European rivers, i.e. ships do not come bigger than that. Normally... However, as we know, the Crystal Mozart is much wider. She can only sail the Danube on a stretch where the locks are large enough. Does it makes sense to operate a ship that is limited thus? Crystal certainly thinks so and AMAWaterways is heading in the same direction with the AmaMagna to be launched in May 2019. Here she is (in a computer rendering): http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/AmaWaterways-mega-ship-arriving-May-2019?ct=river

 

notamermaid

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They might not be on everyone's radar yet so here is an article on the increasing number of European lines offering their services on the North-American market: http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Insights/European-lines-bringing-value-proposition-to-the-rivers

 

I would add the lesser-known Arosa from Germany to the list. And if, on top of feeling comfortable in a crowd of non-native English speaking passengers, you can also live with unusual food options for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) for a week then such companies are definitely worth looking into! :)

 

 

notamermaid

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Arosa, the German river cruise company, got a new owner earlier this year. The company has also got a new deal with the UK tour operator Shearings that will charter the Arosa ships. A new ship will join the fleet in 2019, on the Douro: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/302689/a-rosa-to-build-new-ship-to-sail-portugals-river-douro

 

The Douro has seen a big increase in ships in the last few years. Will it mean double-docking and more crowded places, seeing that on the Douro sailing is restricted to daytime? Or is there still much room for more docking places?

 

notamermaid

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Food on river cruises...

 

 

always a subject for much debate, comparing. liking and not liking. For those happy to go beyond where they have ever gone before as regards food and those who want to "experience" food rather than just eat it, here is an article on what AmaWaterways wants to offer you: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/epicurean-journeys-await-with-amawaterways.html

 

 

notamermaid

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Posted (edited)

Uniworld's 2019 itineraries are out: https://www.cruisetradenews.com/uniworld-launches-2019-europe-programme/

 

 

I really like their 10-day itinerary on the Rhine and Moselle. As it does not cover as much ground as a sailing from Amsterdam to Basel these ten days could be a more intensive look at the area and the day-to-day description certainly gives the impression that it does. As regards airports it is Frankfurt and Cologne, but the great thing about this is that, if you had to, you could also make it back to Frankfurt without too much hassle on a high speed train.

 

 

https://www.uniworld.com/eu/river-cruise/europe/rhine/magnificent-moselle-and-rhine/2019-frankfurt-to-cologne/day-to-day/

 

It is the first time that I have read about a visit to the Roman villa Borg on a river cruise itinerary. Ebblewoi in Frankfurt, really nice. If you are going on this trip try and go up with the chairlift in Boppard!

 

 

notamermaid

Edited by notamermaid
added website

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Uniworld's 2019 itineraries are out: https://www.cruisetradenews.com/uniworld-launches-2019-europe-programme/

 

 

I really like their 10-day itinerary on the Rhine and Moselle. As it does not cover as much ground as a sailing from Amsterdam to Basel these ten days could be a more intensive look at the area and the day-to-day description certainly gives the impression that it does. As regards airports it is Frankfurt and Cologne, but the great thing about this is that, if you had to, you could also make it back to Frankfurt without too much hassle on a high speed train.

 

 

https://www.uniworld.com/eu/river-cruise/europe/rhine/magnificent-moselle-and-rhine/2019-frankfurt-to-cologne/day-to-day/

 

It is the first time that I have read about a visit to the Roman villa Borg on a river cruise itinerary. Ebblewoi in Frankfurt, really nice. If you are going on this trip try and go up with the chairlift in Boppard!

 

 

notamermaid

This one also appealed to me. I have spent over a week in Amsterdam (on 2 different trips), and since I did Vienna to Basel, I have gone upstream from the Main to Basel. This trip doesn't duplicate much that I have done before (except Rudesheim) but covers the places that I haven't seen; the Moselle and the castle section of the Rhine. I also like the fact that it really is a round trip to Frankfurt. (I have taken the train between Frankfurt airport and Cologne so I know how easy it is.)

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gnome12,

 

 

glad to read you also like it. It is a good mix of excursions and towns I find, unusually also leaving out Koblenz. Knowing both Koblenz and Bonn quite well I would say that this is perhaps a bold move, but hope it will do well with cruisers as Bonn for me has some merits that Koblenz has not (although Bonn does not have a stunning fortress with views) and is certainly superior for shopping.

 

 

notamermaid

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The bigger the better?

 

 

That is not necessarily the case as regards ports on a river cruise. Small places can come as a pleasant surprise, says travelweekly's Michelle Baran: http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Insights/On-Europes-rivers-its-the-smaller-ports-that-shine?ct=river

 

 

I would tend to agree. One exception (and yes, I am biased) that is Rüdesheim on the Rhine stands out. That small town is not for me. And big, yes, my river cruise has left me with a longing to see Budapest again, I just did not have enough time there.

 

 

And if you are willing to venture out into the hills on a coach, a half hour trip will bring more enchanting places closer to you that could delight. Let us see what river cruise companies will offer us as regards "new" places in the near future. A nice amount of new options has already been introduced in 2017 and 2018.

 

 

A river cruise that goes to none of the (very) familiar towns and villages - now that would be a challenge and an economic adventure. Would it work? I would like to see a company try it out!

 

 

notamermaid

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Agree about Rüdesheim. Did not go to mechanical museum or have the special coffee. Wandered town and not impressed. We really liked Beilstein.

 

Hope we get some new interesting small towns.

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River cruising is getting ever popular with the British: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/310798/river-cruise-passengers-surpass-200000-for-first-time

 

 

Sort of going full circle in history, I suppose. Seeing that it all started with British, rich (and sometimes odd ;)), young gentlemen on the Rhine in the early 1800's...

 

notamermaid

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Notamermaid, did you see the ARD program Hartaberfair on 3rd. Sept., about Mass Tourism. On the same level as Venice, Durovnik and Santorin Passau was included in this group.

 

 

Here is the link to the mediatheke:

 

 

http://mediathek.daserste.de/Hart-aber-fair/Wir-Kreuzfahrer-und-Billigflieger-wer-z/Video?bcastId=561146&documentId=55710200

 

 

For other interested party's it is only available in German.

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G.M.T.,

 

 

Thank you for the link. I am not a television person unless it is some documentary on specific topics. I watch those recorded, sometimes weeks later. "Hart-aber-fair" being normally a guarantee for civilised talking I did devote some time to your recommendation yesterday. And stayed with it all the way to the end!

 

 

It was an interesting bunch of people from a professor of tourism of sorts (ex-TUI, a German travel operator of the massive type) to a lady from Greenpeace. I found the photo they showed of a cruise ship next to the old town of Venice striking, it looked surreal, but Bernd Plasberg (the presenter) was quick to point out that it is indeed not a photoshop thing, but the real deal. If I had not thought this before, my decision not to go to Venice this decade would have been taken there and then. San Turin? Never. Dubrovnik. Probably not ever. Give me an old castle in the middle of nowhere in Britain anytime...

 

 

Now Passau, that is a different matter. When I was there in 2012 on a land trip I really enjoyed it. Early Spring and not many people about. I did not even notice the river cruise ships or any crowds of tourists. When I took my river cruise in 2013 in Spring I likewise did not see any crowds of people. Just a couple of Asians here and there, German day tourists, the like. The busiest place was the railway station platform as many got off the train to go to at least two river cruise ships embarking on their cruises on that day. I cannot agree with the local gentleman in the TV programme (a short embedded clip from Passau) saying that the "real" shops for the locals close and are replaced by those serving only tourists. It sounded as if that was a deliberate thing. One thing does not automatically lead to the other. All inner city structures in Germany have changed due to supermarkets, online shopping, rising house prices. Passau could well be more affected by this trend towards "cheap tourist kitsch" shops as this is where money can be made these days (shop owners think). In 2013 I could not see this trend in Passau, but that was five years ago. In 2018 it might be more evident. Since 2013 much water has flowed down the Danube and at least seven more river cruise ships plough her waters. I have lost count of how many have been introduced to the rivers of Europe in recent years, but most of those are deployed to the Rhine and Danube. And we travel enthusiasts and professionals have not finished yet filling the river with ships and tourists.

 

 

Passau indeed has a berthing problem as is very evident in the current low water level situation. See those many ships "outdocked" to Engelhartszell and elsewhere...

 

 

notamermaid

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44 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

The boss is coming...

 

The Crystal president will join passengers on a river cruise in October of 2019: http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/tom-wolber-to-host-crystal-river-cruise-on-the-moselle.html

 

notamermaid

 

Bet there are NO bus journeys or ship swap - this is why the Moselle has been chosen.

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

The boss is coming...

 

The Crystal president will join passengers on a river cruise in October of 2019: http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/tom-wolber-to-host-crystal-river-cruise-on-the-moselle.html

 

notamermaid

 

Would be more impressed if he was joining a cruise on the Rhine or Danube to see how things are being handled during problem times.

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