Archive for the ‘Amadeus/Luftner River Cruises’ Category

Introducing: Fred. Olsen’s ‘Brabant’

May 23, 2018

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ new 156-guest river ship, Brabant, commenced its inaugural cruise season from Amsterdam in April 2018.

Fred. Olsen is operating its inaugural European river cruising programme between April and November 3rd.

Guests can choose from a total of 30 departures on Brabant in 2018, on durations ranging from five to 25 nights, complemented by a selection of high-quality chargeable shore excursions, designed to enhance guests’ experience of the destination.

Fred. Olsen guests – who are predominantly British – will also feel at home on board Brabant, with English spoken throughout and all transactions conducted in 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. 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.  I like the Amadeus product.

Amadeus Elegant ship review HERE

Malcolm

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Don’t book an ocean cruise…

April 29, 2018

…until you have read my river cruise reviews.

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

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

Each cruise is different, each ship is different, yet they are all similar.

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

I did enjoyed it, it made a refreshing change. However the experience still felt slightly ‘alien’ to me, compared to the many an ocean cruises that I have done.

Yet something drew me back to river cruising 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 Silver II ship review: HERE

My most recent river cruise was something different again. It was on the  Mississippi river, on-board the ‘American Queen’, a real paddle-wheeled steamboat.

So how did the experience differ from an Ocean cruise and a European river cruise? Please read on….

 

American Queen ship review: HERE

Malcolm

Introducing: The Amadeus Queen

December 12, 2017

Click to enlarge (Image courtesy of Amadeus)

The AMADEUS Queen, the 15th river cruise ship of the Austrian ship operator, will tour the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers as well as Dutch and Belgian waterways from spring 2018. Similar to its prominent predecessors, this ship will also continue the company’s orientation to high quality river cruises in Europe.

(Courtesy Amadeus)

This new vessel follows the award-winning model of the AMADEUS Silver ships but offers even further innovative developments. The popular concept of spaciousness has been maintained. This includes not only generous public areas but also spacious cabins: 12 large suites impress with an outdoor balcony and a cozy reading corner whilst the 69 standard cabins mainly have panoramic window fronts which can be automatically lowered and luxurious bathrooms. A new on-board highlight is the indoor pool, the roof of which can be opened in fine weather. In the evenings, this area may also be used for informative talks, functions and cinema showings.

Amadeus Queen

(Source: Amadeus/Luftner)

Malcolm says: Amadeus Queen will be 135m in length and carry 162 passengers.

I’m quite a fan of Amadeus. My first two river cruises were on-board their vessels – See HERE for my reviews. Amadeus represent good value compared to many other river cruise lines.

Amadeus boats are made in the same boatyard as ‘Emerald Waterways’ fleet. However although similar, in the past the Amadeus boats did not have the indoor pool as Emerald did, that can also convert into a small cinema-space. The new ‘Queen’ will this feature.

Maybe you should think about taking a river cruise in 2018?

The Myths & Reality of River Cruising: HERE

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.

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