Jump to content

The ever increasing popularity of river cruising


notamermaid
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is an interesting list. I have one question. Where are the Viking ships? There's not a single one on the list. Do they dock some place different that's out of the harbor master's jurisdiction?

 

Hello FuelScience,

 

thanks for spotting that! I assume that the harbour master is in charge of those as well, but I assume that they are not using the same landing stages. There is one further out into the park, perhaps they will use that one? Why they would not be listed I cannot say. A bit odd. Adding all those Viking sailings - I counted 352 for the Rhine Getaway alone - makes for quite a lot of tourists. Add to that all the day trippers, of course.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello FuelScience,

 

thanks for spotting that! I assume that the harbour master is in charge of those as well, but I assume that they are not using the same landing stages. There is one further out into the park, perhaps they will use that one? Why they would not be listed I cannot say. A bit odd. Adding all those Viking sailings - I counted 352 for the Rhine Getaway alone - makes for quite a lot of tourists. Add to that all the day trippers, of course.

 

notamermaid

notamermaid,

 

I thought at first that it might be due to the fact that the Viking ships are 135 m long, and might be required to dock somewhere else that wasn't listed. But I checked ships on the list, and there are other 135 m ships that are included on the list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe Viking is doing Rudesheim as a bus excursion from somewhere else?

 

Viking does have their own landing stage in Rüdesheim; while this is still part of Rüdesheim and its harbour/embankment, the setup is apparently somewant different. That is why the Viking ships are not mentioned. If I can find out the responsibilities / who is in charge of what / communal versus commercial area in Rüdesheim I will post.

 

Meanwhile I can say that the new modern (communal, i.e. local authority) landing stage has been in operation for about eight months and can be used by the 135m ships as well. They had quite literally run out of space and invested three quarters of a million euros according to a local newspaper.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is the week of the ITB in Berlin and traditionally a time to release the new statistics on travel. On the ITB: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITB_Berlin So how has the river cruising industry been doing in 2016? You might have guessed another growth in popularity of travel in Europe; the headline: European river cruise market grew 2.7% in 2016

 

And here is the article from Seatrade Cruise News: http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/european-river-cruise-market-grew-2-7-in-2016.html

 

 

Note this article refers to the German tourism market. I will try and get some more overall statistics.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Prior to my river cruise in 2013 my only worry was what the food might be like. Having been used to the day cruising "coffee and cake or sauages" scenario I was eagerly awaiting the experience of some proper dining. I was not disappointed. River cruise companies see the food as a major aspect of river cruising where there is still room for new things to allure the prospective customer. Here is an article on what ideas the companies have come up with for this year: http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Ships-culinary-innovations-include-healthier-fresher-fare?ct=river

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prior to my river cruise in 2013 my only worry was what the food might be like. Having been used to the day cruising "coffee and cake or sauages" scenario I was eagerly awaiting the experience of some proper dining. I was not disappointed. River cruise companies see the food as a major aspect of river cruising where there is still room for new things to allure the prospective customer. Here is an article on what ideas the companies have come up with for this year: http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/Ships-culinary-innovations-include-healthier-fresher-fare?ct=river

 

notamermaid

 

Thanks notamermaid!

 

We'll be leaving for an Avalon cruise on the Rhone in 4 weeks, and we are hoping to try some of the "Avalon Fresh" offerings, but the article says that the program is "launching sometime this year." This make me thing that we may not get the opportunity to sample the new menu items. We'll have to wait and see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks notamermaid!

 

We'll be leaving for an Avalon cruise on the Rhone in 4 weeks, and we are hoping to try some of the "Avalon Fresh" offerings, but the article says that the program is "launching sometime this year." This make me thing that we may not get the opportunity to sample the new menu items. We'll have to wait and see.

 

I hope it works out for you. This is what the brothers Wrenkh are serving this Spring in thier restaurant in Vienna: http://www.wrenkh-wien.at/restaurant/?lang=en

 

I would love to see the Pont du Gard again. Have a great cruise on the Rhone.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CroisiEurope sails the Tisza river

 

While looking for something different on river cruising I came across a news article that spoke of the enterprising French company also sailing the Tisza river. I do admit I had to look up this river in Hungary, being surprised that one can sail along it with a river cruise ship, and have found the itinerary on the CroisiEurope international website: http://www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/cruises/tbu-tisza-danube-experience-hungary

 

That is certainly different from your standard Rhine or Danube cruise! Remember, CroisiEurope - save the coastal itinerary ships - only has ships that are 110m or shorter on the rivers and canals accessing rivers or ports that longer ships cannot. I am not saying that this necessarily applies to the Tisza river, though. Perhaps some other company with a same-size or longer boat might follow suit?

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

FuelScience, I'll be on Avalon in less than two weeks meeting the new executives. I'm told Avalon Fresh is ready to go for this season, so hopefully you'll have it on your sailing.

 

And yes, notamermaid, Croisi continues to push the envelope with their itineraries (although they are putting their older ships on these rivers). See this piece we did on the more Unusual River Cruise Itineraries out there: http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2687

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FuelScience, I'll be on Avalon in less than two weeks meeting the new executives. I'm told Avalon Fresh is ready to go for this season, so hopefully you'll have it on your sailing.

 

Thanks Chris, this is great news. I'll try to post from the cruise and give our impressions of the Wrenkh brothers' food. We're not foodies, but we'll do our best!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unusual rivers and "heavy traffic" on standard rivers

 

 

FuelScience, I'll be on Avalon in less than two weeks meeting the new executives. I'm told Avalon Fresh is ready to go for this season, so hopefully you'll have it on your sailing.

 

And yes, notamermaid, Croisi continues to push the envelope with their itineraries (although they are putting their older ships on these rivers). See this piece we did on the more Unusual River Cruise Itineraries out there: http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2687

 

Thank you Chris,

 

the article contains the Tisza. Some great ideas for those who have seen all the standard rivers.

 

Talking of standard rivers and their popularity, as of 1.30pm local time here, four Viking ships - the Viking Mani, the Viking Idi, the Viking Eistla and the Viking Alsvin - were docked in Breisach on the Rhine. That is a potential 800 river boat tourists in a town that has 15.315 inhabitants and I expect quite a few land trip tourists. Granted, most Viking people will be on the outing into the Black Forest. But it is still not something I am comfortable with, it seems a lot, somewhat feels like a "tourist monopoly" or a friendly invasion. Hmm, busy Breisach. Just my humble opinion.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In recent years, the European lines Arosa (Germany) and CroisiEurope (France) have branched out - with international websites, as well - and entered the growing North-American river cruising market.

 

Next one to do so is Riviera Travel (UK) starting with the launch of a new website on 3 April 2017 to market 2018 cruises to US-Americans. Here is an article on it: http://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/u-k-river-cruise-operator-riveria-travel-comes-to-u-s-market

 

What might be the appeal for prospective customers? Being from the UK the line is of course all English as regards board language and passengers, although you might get some non-native speakers of English on board whereas Arosa and CroisiEurope usually are bi-lingual on the cruises. The ships are very modern and classed as luxury vessels. The standard cruises will not be much different from the North-American ones as regards overall port stops and basic port experience, yet "history lessons" I expect to be geared towards the British public. Whether the cruises offered to the American passengers will be re-styled we will have to wait and see.

 

The UK being relatively close (train or flight) to the European rivers they offer five night trips, also to see the Christmas markets. A major difference to American cruise lines is that most cruises on the Rhine start in Cologne rather than Amsterdam. The newly introduced grand European cruise will start in Amsterdam.

 

Cruisecritic's page on Riviera Travel does not reflect the new developments yet: http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/cruiseline.cfm?CruiseLineID=192

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unusual rivers and "heavy traffic" on standard rivers

Talking of standard rivers and their popularity, as of 1.30pm local time here, four Viking ships - the Viking Mani, the Viking Idi, the Viking Eistla and the Viking Alsvin - were docked in Breisach on the Rhine. That is a potential 800 river boat tourists in a town that has 15.315 inhabitants and I expect quite a few land trip tourists. Granted, most Viking people will be on the outing into the Black Forest. But it is still not something I am comfortable with, it seems a lot, somewhat feels like a "tourist monopoly" or a friendly invasion. Hmm, busy Breisach. Just my humble opinion.

 

notamermaid

 

notamermaid, do you think that the ships at Breisach may be there due to congestion at the Kembs lock? I just checked, and the Mani is sailing toward Basel, but the other three are still at Breisach. Maybe they'll be embarking from there rather than Basel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

notamermaid, do you think that the ships at Breisach may be there due to congestion at the Kembs lock? I just checked, and the Mani is sailing toward Basel, but the other three are still at Breisach. Maybe they'll be embarking from there rather than Basel.

 

That is certainly a thought, I mean a possibility as Viking and a couple of other companies have let their people embark at Breisach. I remember past posters mentioning this. But I am not familiar with the situation that far upstream.

 

It is certainly quite a task for the engineers. One lock chamber is dry and the other chamber has to "do all the work". Here is a short report from a local German television station with video entitled "Rhine locks being modernized". The lock is 85 years old. It says that on average 15,000 ships go through the lock at Kembs each year: http://www.swr.de/swraktuell/bw/suedbaden/kembs-im-elsass-rheinschleusen-werden-modernisiert/-/id=1552/did=19005576/nid=1552/psfln0/index.html

 

Time is money for the many barges that need to get to Basel harbour and back downstream. 17 cameras will be installed at the lock to better monitor traffic. Completion of the work is still scheduled for latest in the Summer.

 

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link. I checked Marine Traffic, and it looks like the Viking Kara, Mani, and Alsvin are all at Breisach today. The Idi is heading north toward Mainz, and the Eistla is also headed north, although the last report of its position was yesterday morning near Strasbourg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the moment a lot of the boat traffic will be shuffling to get set for the season.

Any lock restoration, repairing or rebuilding is extremely expensive and time consuming (ours are well over 200 years old) also if there are any heritage implications things take even longer. Choosing a time to work on locks can be a problem, weather for one and of course the challenge comes when a lock breaks it's usually at the most inconvenient time. Any closure also means a loss of income so it's in everyone's interest that the river locks are kept up to scratch and not just patched. Happy cruising CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The christenings continue with the AmaKristina having just concluded her maiden voyage on the Rhine prior to her official christening on 10th of May. The press release of AmaWaterways: https://www.amawaterways.com/News/PressReleaseDetail?id=208 and a short article from TravelWeekly: http://www.travelweekly.com/River-Cruising/AmaWaterways-launches-the-AmaKristina

 

What struck me about the press release is the fact that, after AvalonWaterways with the Imagery II in April of last year in Engers, another company i.e. AmaWaterways has chosen a more or less internationally unknown port for the christening of a ship. The AmaKristina will be christened in Lahnstein a few miles south of Koblenz at the new dock there. While Engers is a district of nearby Neuwied, Lahnstein is a larger place and a town.

 

I have therefore decided to write a little about Lahnstein in the thread "Rhine water levels 2017 and similar topics".

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have all seen the headlines and articles about river cruise lines wanting to cater for a younger demographic with Uniworld going as far as actually dedicating two ships to the young, active, mobile and hard-working. They will revamp two older ships. The German market is going in that direction, too. Arosa already has several river cruise itineraries especially designed for families, yet no ships deployed only for that niche. Now Phoenix Reisen are heading in that "younger" direction (in their own words) with the new ship Asara: http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/phoenix-reisen-aims-for-younger-market-with-new-vessel-asara.html

 

Here is an article (in German) on the inaugural cruise with the Asara, with some great photos to compare the design with North-American market ships: http://www.schiffsjournal.de/flusskreuzfahrtschiff-ms-asara-taufe-in-koeln-und-bilder-aller-schiffsbereiche/

 

I quite like it. :) Hm, perhaps I will have a look at the itineraries...

 

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have all read lately about river cruise companies offering different excursions of a more active and "different from the standard guided tour" nature. I am glad to see that Avalon is also adding more "active cruises" on the Rhine. They already have them on the Danube: http://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/avalon-waterways-adds-active-discovery-itineraries-to-rhine

 

A couple of comments: I remember reading last year about the dancing lessons in Vienna. A lovely idea. A painting lesson in Amsterdam sounds very fitting in that environment (The Flemish masters and Van Gogh). The " Roman experience" will be at Xanten and I am surprised that Avalon has now reached out to that port, after Scenic. Well done, Xanten! Duisburg sounds an unlikely choice but the place is great for Germany's industrial heritage. Nice to read that they offer free time in Bonn. A city with great appeal, yet for architectural history Cologne is a better place to visit, no question about that. I am really happy that Avalon will organize concerts in Engers, the palace is a lovely place (being home to a chamber music school). Wine tasting at Eltville is another great idea for variety on a cruise and for me would be a superior experience being a little more sophisticated than the nearby merry Rüdesheim.

 

Linz to Budapest is unusual in that Linz is not normally chosen for embarkation, but for longer times in a particular port or an activity in Linz of course it makes sense to cut out Vilshofen and Passau, i.e. the German Danube section, as well as the Austrian stretch up to Linz.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, thank you, Chris. Some days ago I posted on "Rhine water levels..." that I thought Wiesbaden merrited a closer look by cruise companies. Now I read in your article that Avalon is going to Wiesbaden!

 

Looking forward to your story about the experiences.

 

notamermaid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After Rüdesheim last year spending quite a bit of money on a new landing stage, Speyer has had one built and installed in March of this year. With that they have of course reacted to the increased demand for space for the long 135m ships. The older one was only designed for the 110m ships (note that Viking stops at Speyer of course as well as a few other companies, I do not know where they exactly dock in town or close to town) which in this day and age is not enough to further trade and attract the attention of international river cruise companies. Often at the old landing stages technical equipment is also outdated. As a side note, the town Neuwied North of Koblenz is currently revamping its embankment, creating space for two 135m ships.

 

Speyer celebrated the inauguration of the new landing stage by welcoming the first ship yesterday, the MS Switzerland (Phoenix Reisen): http://www.rheinpfalz.de/lokal/speyer/artikel/speyer-stadt-erhofft-sich-mit-neuer-anlegestelle-kaufkraeftige-schiffspassagiere/

 

The Stadtwerke ( technical departments) of Speyer had the landing stage built at Andernach for 860,000 euros and a further 100,000 euros was spent on the technical side of things at the embankment meaning that ships can turn off their diesel engines and use the electricity from on land. It is the fourth landing stage in Speyer, all the other three had reached their maximum capacity. Another article states that bookings for this fourth one have already reached 100.

 

notamermaid

Edited by notamermaid
additional information
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting info concerning Speyer and Rudesheim. I think a very wise decision. Both towns have a lot to offer, and the fact that the dock is close walking distance to the town is a very good thing from the cruiser's point of view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...