– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
Riverside Luxury River Cruises is a new, and somewhat unique, approach to luxury river cruises; definitely with an international flare…which you know I love!
Its first ship is the luxury Riverside Mozart. You know, the former Crystal Mozart, which in many ways, set the luxury standard for river cruise hardware due, in part, to her being so wide with a unique – almost catamaran-style – hull.
Riverside’s approach is not to reinvent the ship and its offerings, but to appreciate what they are and use them to provide a wonderful river cruise experience. But before I get into the ship, let’s discuss its new owner and its plans!
While the cruise line is a new startup, the owner is anything but. Riverside is part of the Seaside Collection (formerly Seaside Hotels), a very well-regarded hotel group owned by the German Gerlach family. They own numerous four-and-five-star properties in Germany, Spain, the Canary Islands, and the Maldives, but are now focused on diversifying their tourism portfolio…and their customer base, which is currently primarily German.
The Seaside Collection, and thus, Riverside Luxury Cruises, is not content with its acquisition of the former Crystal Mozart, but is looking to purchase the other former Crystal river cruise ships as well.
Riverside has brought on Jennifer Halboth, a former longtime – and very well-known – Globus Family of Brands (Avalon River Cruises, etc.) executive – as CEO, as well as many highly experienced former Crystal Cruises folks, including Captain Bela Burjan, Hotel Manager Sonja Gruber, Chef de Cuisine Johannes Bar, and Director of Land Operations Ulrike Nehls. With this backbone, the luxury experience (onboard service and cuisine as well as land-based) is assured.
With this background, Riverside Luxury Cruises intends to elevate the culinary, overall onboard, and off-ship, experiences with a philosophy of “Money Can’t Buy Moments“.
The Riverside concept is to offer a variety of short (3-4 day) and longer (7-11 day) sailings – all of which can be combined – coupled with a unique pricing strategy, to attract both Europeans looking for a shorter getaway and North Americans interested in a short-stay moving hotel to guests looking for the more traditional seven-to-eleven-day (or longer) Danube River cruise. (Note: Because Riverside Mozart is essentially a double-wide river cruise ship, she cannot venture into other rivers…which is why the Seashore Collection is working to secure the other four former Crystal river cruise ships!)
It intends on providing the very best cuisine – changing menus as the ship sails to different regions – and wines onboard, with a focus on local and global vintages and spirits, delivered in four dining venues (Marketplace, Blue Bar & Grill, Vista Bar & Grill, and the more traditional Waterside) plus the Vintage Room culinary and wine experience!
Riverside’s 2023 itineraries are interesting, but one is most definitely my favorite…and one I am hoping to be on (and you may want to join me on it!): From Vienna to The Iron Gates, visiting Austria, Slovakia, Hungary (including two overnights in Budapest), Croatia, Serbia, and Romania (though the cruise through the Iron Gates – actually a spectacular series of gorges – there is no stop there).
Riverside is offering a wide variety of shore excursions, from vigorous bike rides and hikes to culinary experiences (including cooking classes), to religious, historical, art, walking, and other options. Clearly, delivering meaningful experiences to the intended guest demographic of diverse interests is a primary focus.