MS Olympia, Rhine River Cruise

By guest contributor, Edwin Todd.

We have just recently come back from our first ever river cruise. It was the Romantic Rhine Cruise, with Newmarket Holidays, on MS Olympia.

Whilst not in her first flush of youth, having been launched in 1984, she had been refurbished for the 2016 season and appeared well looked after.

She is small by modern standards taking only 96 passengers and having a crew of 26. The crew coming mainly from Europe, but also from further afield.

My wife won’t fly so we drove down to Ashford where we were met by a bus at 9.45 the following morning. With channel crossing etc we did not arrive at our destination, MS Olympia at Andernach, until 8pm, local time where we were nicely greeted and given a lovely evening meal.

The cabin was quite small, at 10.5m/sq, but the beds folded up during the day, and it was kept immaculate by our cabin stewardess.

Our cabin was on the lower deck but still had a large picture window.

The cruise took us to Rudesheim, Speyer, Strasbourg, Basel, Breisach, Mannheim, Mainz and finally Cologne. As always, one can spend much more time in such places but then the stops are only there to offer a flavour of the sites in question and in that respect it works.

The two and three abreast mooring can be an issue at times, having to walk through other vessels. But this seems to be a given. It becomes more of a issue when the inner vessel(s) need to move on before your scheduled departure time, vessels having to be untied and then retired/docked. This, it seems, is only going to get worse as more and more river ships are launched.

The lounge and dining areas were quite spacious giving people plenty of elbow room and the like.
The meals were of a very high standard and how a galley crew of three chefs and two orderlies produced such enjoyable meals in a small galley forward of the restaurant, in the bow, goodness only knows. The table service/waiter was nothing short of excellent.

The evening entertainment was a little repetitive, but enjoyed by most people on the vessel, and we were graced with very good weather and so could sit out on deck until very late at night if it took your fancy.
The gala show by the crew was very entertaining.

The captain thinks well of his crew and it shows in the way they interact.

The Officers, crew and staff did everything possible to make our journey as pleasant as possible, and it worked.

We have very fond memories.

Did it work? Yes it did and we are considering the Danube, hopefully, in the not too distant future.

Edwin Todd