The last time I was on a Rhine River cruise, I had an unfortunate encounter with a bird.
We were approaching Germany’s Lorelei Rock, the most famous landmark along the river. Legend has it that a lovelorn siren plunged to her death there, and is now said to haunt the area, luring sailors to their doom with her lyrical voice.
But just as I looked up, a passing gull made an untimely deposit on my new blue jacket. By the time I had wiped it clean, the Lorelei was fading into the distance.
It’s gnawed at me ever since.
That’s one reason why I want to take a 2015 Emerald Waterways “Jewels of the Rhine” cruise, an eight-day voyage that travels from Amsterdam to Basel aboard Europe’s newest river cruise line.
Another reason is that, frankly, the previous Rhine cruise boat was… Continue reading
If you haven’t booked your planned 2014 European river cruise by now, you may be out of luck — at least for your preferred cruise line, cabin or destination.
European river cruising is the hottest trend in the cruise world right now, with many 2014 cruises already selling out or almost sold out. And its popularity is being driven largely by baby boomer travelers, who can afford to pay more per day than on a typical ocean cruise.
Several river cruise lines and travel agents who book cruises say they’re now more focused on 2015 than on 2014. This despite a rash of new ships being introduced into the market:
One of the big developments in cruising in the past few years is the rapid rise of river cruising, which has a big marketing advantage over ocean cruising among a certain segment of the population: namely, those who don’t like the idea of being out in the ocean on a big ship.
Whether it’s fear of open water, fear of getting seasick, fear of overcrowding, or fear of being on a big ship if a crisis strikes at sea — such as some of the highly publicized events of the past year or two — a number of people just won’t consider taking a traditional ocean cruise. (No matter how much I or many other cruising advocates try to convince them otherwise.)
River cruising, on the other hand, enables you to stay close to land on… Continue reading