Archive for the ‘Amadeus/Luftner River Cruises’ Category

Introducing Amadeus Provence

July 8, 2017

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Many of you may not have heard of Amadeus river cruises (formerly Luftner cruises) before, at least until you read my blog. However news junkies may have notice that Fred. Olsen Ocean cruises will be chartering an Amadeus vessel to enter into the river cruise market. (More about this below).

Amadeus are a family owned business by the Austrian Luftner family, who operate fourteenth river ships.

I have now cruised with them twice simply because of their good quality product and some very competitive fares.

Their latest ship called ‘Amadeus Provence’ (thankfully not called Silver 4) entered service in spring 2017.

She is 110 meters long and carries 140 passengers. She is  shorter than some newbuilds, probably because of the constraints the rivers she will be cruising on. She will sailing on the French rivers Rhône and Saône.

Amadeus Provence (Click to Enlarge)

Amadeus Provence (Click to Enlarge)

In their own words: The AMADEUS Provence offers custom-designed luxury and features a unique combination of modern elegance and superb amenities:
8 spacious Suites with comfortable corner sofa, luxurious bathroom and walk-out exterior balcony
62 Staterooms with mainly drop-down panoramic windows, luxurious bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes
Spacious public areas such as the pool deck with swimming pool and Lido-Bar or the outdoor glass-shielded “River Terrace”.

The AMADEUS Provence will transport you on the river cruise of a lifetime. Don’t miss the breath-taking 8-day cruise “French Savoir Vivre” from/to Lyon and experience world-famous sights such as Pont du Gard, Gorges de l´Ardèche, the nature reserve Camargue und the wine area Beaujolais. 

The design of Provence is a little different to all the other Amadeus ships.

The ship has to pass under a number of low bridges on these itineraries, which means the sun deck has to regularly be closed to passengers.

However the new ‘pool deck’ at the ships stern (not featured on any of their other ships) comes complete with infinity pool andis located at a lower level. This means the pool deck can still be used when the sun deck has to be closed because of low bridges.

Malcolm

Reviews: Amadeus Silver II: HERE    Amadeus Elegant: HERE

Introducing Fred. Olsen’s Brabant

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has announced the launch of its new dedicated cruise programme by river boat, unveiled in its new ‘European River Cruising by Fred. Olsen’ brochure. Fred. Olsen River Cruises is now offering European river cruise holidays, between 5th April and 3rd November 2018, on board 156-guest river boat, ‘Brabant’.

Fred. Olsen will be operating its new river cruise programme – taking in some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle – on a total of 30 departures in 2018, on duration’s ranging from five to 25 nights.

Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise itineraries on board Brabant for 2018 include: Düsseldorf, Germany to Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Düsseldorf to Nuremberg, Germany; Nuremberg to Budapest, Hungary; Budapest to Hirsova (Bucharest), Romania; Düsseldorf to Basel, Switzerland;and Hirsova (Bucharest) to Düsseldorf.

Built in 2006, 110-metre-long Brabant is a stylish and comfortable river cruise boat, and has everything that guests will need to make their holiday a memorable one: from bright and spacious public areas, to well-equipped bedrooms and ample deck space, from which to enjoy the superb views.

Brabant’s classic design is smaller than many river boats, so guests will enjoy the usual hallmarks of Fred. Olsen’s ‘closer’ approach to cruising. In keeping with Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going fleet, this smaller-scaled vessel has the style, atmosphere and elegance of a country house hotel.

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in Pounds Sterling. The British taste will also be reflected in the cuisine, customer service and shore tours on offer.

(Fred. Olsen)

Malcolm says: Olsen’s ‘Brabant’ is the ‘Amadeus Princess’ which entered service in 2006. The line has revealed that the vessel will not undergo a refurbishment before it sails as Brabant, but will receive Fred. Olsen River Cruise branding and a new livery/name.  It seems that this will essentially be an ‘Amadeus’ (Luftner Cruises) product, with Olsen tweaks, such as sterling as the  on board currency and British menus.

Malcolm

The Danube

January 7, 2017

Below is a short slide show of the Danube River form on-board Amadeus Elegant:

 
Amadeus Elegant ship review HERE.

Don’t Book An Ocean Cruise…

January 5, 2017

…until you have read my latest review.

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For twenty years I have been ocean cruising. I am lucky enough to have experienced many big ships, small ships, old ships and new ships.

To keep the whole thing fresh I tried many different ships and some different cruise lines. These have included Cunard, P&O, Fred. Olsen, RCI, P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Thomson and CMV.

Each ship and line is different, yet they are all similar.

While searching for something different, I tried my first European River Cruise in 2015.

I did enjoyed it, it made a refreshing change, but the experience still felt a little ‘alien’ to me compared to an ocean cruise.

However something drew me back to river cruising this year (after fitting in another ocean cruise) and I took my second European river cruise over Christmas 2016.

This time something ‘clicked’ inside of me. (And I don’t mean my spine or knee cartilage.)

I really got into the format and style of the experience this time around. Many aspects of the experience were actually better than on-board most ocean ship.

Amadeus Elegant ship review HERE

I’m NOT seriously suggesting that you give up ocean cruising, but maybe your New Year’s Resolution should be to seriously consider the idea of a River cruise in 2017.

I would bet that some of your most dreaded annoyances about ocean cruises probably do not exist on river cruises.

Happy New Year

Malcolm

The Rhine, Germany

January 12, 2016

Here is a little slide-show for you of my recent River Cruise:

Malcolm

 Review of River Vessel: Amadeus Silver II

Paddlewheel ship on the Loire

January 8, 2016

(Click to enlarge all images)

In May 2015, the French-based river cruise line CroisiEurope unveiled an innovative new paddlewheel vessel which is the first hotel ship to sail on the Loire River.

The 96-passenger Loire Princesse, named in Nantes, incorporates dual engine ‘paddlewheel’ technology enabling it to continue sailing when normal methods of propulsion would not be effective in the river’s notoriously shallow waters.

Founded by the Schmitter family in 1976, the line was one of the early pioneers of the river cruise booking business, and the dual commemoration brings the number of ships in the fleet to 43.

Speaking to an audience of 300, Lucas Schmitter, grand-nephew of founder Gerard Schmitter, said: “The Loire Princess is a landmark in shipbuilding and we are very proud that is 100 percent French as it was made in France, is French-owned and opened on a French river.”

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Until now, no ships with overnight cabins have operated on France’s longest river due to periods of low water. The 295-foot ‘Loire Princesses’ features 48 outside cabins, spread over two decks, a restaurant that can accommodate all passengers for single-service dining, a lounge with a central dance floor and sun deck.

The vessel will operate six- and eight-day round-trip cruises from Nantes visiting destinations such as Saint-Nazaire — where the ship was built — the chateaux of the Loire Valley and wine-growing regions.

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A second paddlewheel ship is currently being built for CroisiEurope at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard. The 80-passenger Elbe Princess will be launched this year (2016) and offer itineraries between Berlin and Prague on the Elbe and Moldau rivers.

(J.Williamson)

Malcolm says: There’s something romantic about Paddle Wheels!

See My River Ship Review: Amadeus Silver II

Just Back From Europe

January 3, 2016
Amadeus Silver II (courtesy of Luftner)

Amadeus Silver II (courtesy of Luftner)

I’m just back from my first European River Cruise.

After many ocean cruises, I decided it was time that I should give this growing holiday type a try.

I spent a week on the Rhine, Germany, including Christmas day. I chose Amadeus/Luftner cruises, rather than one of the bigger players.

The boat (or is it a ship?) was a fairly new one, Amadeus Silver II.

Did I like it?  How does it compare to ocean cruising?

Here is my extensive review: Amadeus Silver II

Malcolm