Posts Tagged ‘Amadeus’

Amadeus to Offer River Cruises for Millennials

January 24, 2018

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Amadeus River Cruises has become the latest line to offer sailings specifically for the millennial generation.

Amadeus’ move follows that of Uniworld, which under the U by Uniworld brand (see below) launches two ships dedicated entirely to river cruises for millennials this April.

Full ‘Cruise Critic’ article: HERE

Malcolm says: I like the Amadeus (Luftner) product. Their fares are better than many.  However, like many (most?) river cruise lines the experience is sedate and the entertainment can be very weak. Unfortunately I’m not the ‘millennial generation’.  If you don’t know what that means you are probably not one either. (It is sometimes defined as 20’s 30’s and early 40 year olds).

However just because I’m not a millennial, does not mean that I don’t want a little more to do on my river cruise of an evening. As for “a special program for passengers, focusing on topics like healthy living, fitness and nutrition”.  I’m not going to pay for somebody telling me off about what I eat on-board.  And as for ‘celebrity influencer’ they were called ‘celebrities’ or ‘salesmen’, back in the day.

Joking aside, I do welcome the river cruise lines who are reaching out for a younger demographic. However I think striving for millennials might be a little  too ambitious. I think the river boats would need to be designed specifically with a little more excitement on-board. I’ll let my readers debate what features that might be.

P.S. Fred. Olsen’s new river cruise product, ‘Brabant’ is actually an Amadeus product in disguise. Mind you Fred. is not seeking out millennials.

Introducing Amadeus Provence & Fred Olsen’s Brabant: HERE

Amadeus Silver II review: HERE

‘U’ by Uniworld

‘U’ by Uniworld is a sub-brand form the river cruise line. In their own words: “U by Uniworld is a new take on experiential travel, with cruises designed for those with a passion for exploring and a taste for authentic adventures. We at U have always believed that travel should be relaxing, exhilarating, convenient and tailored to your interests — all at the same time. And on a U by Uniworld river cruise, that’s exactly what you’ll experience.”

Still confused? I believe ‘U’ is the first-ever river cruise brand for millennials. This is of course a younger demographic than river cruising normally attracts.

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Would these young women book a river cruise? (U by Uniworld)

‘U’ by Uniworld has debuted its first ship in Paris, recently. The B is the only ship on the river to reveal a unique all-matte black exterior.

The ‘B’ set sail on its maiden voyage along the Seine River for invited guests.

“We’re thrilled to make history with the launch of U by Uniworld and introduce a whole new generation to river cruising,” said Ellen Bettridge, president of Uniworld.

The ship was originally called Uniworld’s River Baroness. The renaming ceremony was led by the ship’s ‘Guardian Angel’ Petra Nemcova, supermodel and noted philanthropist. The a renaming ceremony where guests released biodegradable lanterns to symbolize starting anew with The B.

(Courtesy Uniworld)

‘B’ accommodates up to 120 “fun-loving” travelers per voyage, spread across its four suites, 26 balcony bedrooms, 29 studio bedrooms and two studio bedrooms with triple occupancy – all with waterfront views and equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers.

The inaugural events included a drum circle creating a spiritual energy onboard and sabering champagne on the top deck.

During the remainder of the maiden voyage, guests experienced yoga, camping on the top deck, a silent disco party, mixology, impressionist painting and wine classes.

(Courtesy Uniworld)

Malcolm says: ‘U’ certainly sounds a little different, if not a little bizarre, but then I was not on-board. The brochure is full of images of young people. In fact I am a little cynical that Uniworld can really attract people as young as the ones pictured, but I wish them luck.

The other big issue is the often high fares. I wonder how many financially comfortable millennials want to spend their money on a river cruise? An RCI, MSC or NCL mega-ship, full of high-energy activities and ‘gimmicks’, sounds much more likely to appeal to millennials, in my opinion. Mind you, I could be wrong!

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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

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

What’s The Biggest River Boat?

January 14, 2016

Continuing with a river cruise theme, I was wondering what the ‘biggest’ river vessel in operation is.

Now the terms ‘river vessel’ and ‘biggest’ are open to some debate. However in this case I am talking about non-ocean going vessels with passenger cabins for overnight travel.

I believe the vessel below must be one of the biggest river ships, but if you know of a bigger vessel, please do let me know.

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American Queen is the largest river steamboat ever built.

I suppose her size was not constrained by the need to fit in locks or pass under low bridges  like many of Europe’s river vessels.

The vessel was built in 1995 and is a six-deck recreation of a classic Mississippi riverboat , built by McDermott Shipyard.

Although the American Queen’s stern paddlewheel is indeed powered by a genuine steam plant, her secondary propulsion, in case of an emergency and for manoeuvrability around tight areas where the paddle wheel cannot navigate, comes from a set of diesel-electric propellers on either side of the sternwheel.

She has 222 state rooms for a capacity of 436 guests and a crew of 160. She is 127m long and 27m wide.

Victoria Jenna

Victoria Jenna (Victoria Cruises) is a large river boat which cruises exclusively on the China’s Yangtze river.

(Courtesy Victoria cruises).

(Courtesy Victoria cruises).

Victoria Jenna certainly was biggest ship on the Yangtze in 2009 and may well still be?  She is 133.8m long, 18.8m wide, carries 378 passengers and 180 crew. So she is slightly longer than the ‘American Queen’, but not as wide and carries 20 more crew, but 58 less passengers.

Reader ‘Max M’  (see comments below) has kindly pointed out that the Russian waterways have some big vessels such as the Valerian Kuybyshev and Dmitriy Furmanov class.

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A Russian waterways vessel (Source Wikipedia)

To properly eventuate which ship is really bigger, we need to compare the gross tonnage (internal volume) figures of the above ships, as we do with ocean cruise ships. Their respective length, width or the passenger capacity is not so helpful.

However I do not accurately know their respective gross tonnages, although I believe the bigger river vessels are generally between 6,000-10,000 gross tonnes.  I’m not even sure that river vessel gross tonnage is measured in the same way as ocean ships?  Can anyone help?

(Source: Wikipedia, American Steamboat Company, Victoria Cruises)

Malcolm says: Do readers know of any bigger river vessels? Have you cruised on these impressive vessels? Please let me know your experiences.

Stop Press: Ben Roethig kindly tells me: As for the largest ships, that’s the Yangtze Gold 2-6 which are are just a hair under 150m by 24m x 2.6m of draft and 17m in height. These are more like small ocean vessels in size and have more amenities than your traditional boutique river cruise vessel. SEE HERE

 Review of  American Queen steamboat: HERE