Author Archives: Ralph Grizzle
There are 455 articles by Ralph Grizzle published on this site.
Check out my video highlights from back-to-back Burgundy barge adventures in April 2023. Afterward you may want to see How Locks Work On The French Canals or read Back From Back-To-Back Barge Trips. Also for your reading and visual pleasure, Barging In Burgundy Week One and Barging Through Burgundy: Week Two Of Our Adventure.Read the rest of this entry »
This past Thursday, I returned from France after back-to-back barge trips in Burgundy. To say that my 17 days in France was wonderful would be an understatement.
For starters, we had a fun group of people. They came from Georgia, British Columbia, Alberta, California, Colorado, Illinois and other regions throughout North America. We had lots of laughs, enjoyed long canal-side walks and bike rides, indulged in delightful dinners, sipped sumptuous wines, and so much more. Read the rest of this entry »
CroisiEurope is offering complimentary airfare on select summer departures on Seine and Loire River itineraries. The air-inclusive packages are currently limited to flights in and out of New York City’s Newark Airport (EWR) on select departure dates. However, CroisiEurope has plans to expand these offerings in the upcoming months, providing more opportunities for travelers to take advantage of similar deals.Read the rest of this entry »
AmaWaterways, the first major river cruise line to explore the magnificent Magdalena River in Colombia, announced details on two stunning, newly designed ships and mesmerizing itineraries debuting in 2024. As the demand for immersive cultural experiences continues to grow, AmaWaterways is now accepting reservations for its extraordinary program into the heart of Colombia, with unforgettable experiences awaiting on board the custom-built AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia.Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this week, AmaWaterways held a special Sip & Sail event to provide details about its new Latin America cruises. Beginning in April of 2024, AmaWaterways will offer a series of seven-night sailings, with optional add-ons, along the Magdalena River. The cruises will operate on two new ships carrying 60/64 guests between Barranquilla and Cartagena. The new ships, named AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia, are wider than those operating in Europe, because there are no narrow locks to contend with on the Magdalena river.Read the rest of this entry »
That’s an ominous headline, I’ll confess, but I don’t mean it as apocalyptic or doom and gloom. It’s a concept I’ve been thinking about quite a bit for the past several years. It plays out something like this: Imagine that you are in your last good decade. How would you live it?
The possibilities are endless and dependent on what’s important to you. But essentially, it’s a call to action and a reminder to not put off what you want to do.Read the rest of this entry »
Did you know that many river cruise boats carry bicycles on board for guests to use? The bicycles are (or should be) well-maintained and capable of fitting guests of all sizes. Your ship often will have helmets and, of course, a liability form for you to fill out. If you’re squeamish about wearing a helmet that someone else has worn, carry your personal bike helmet. Simply strap it onto the outside of your carry-on luggage so that it doesn’t take up precious space inside your luggage. Or pack a foldable helmet. You’ll need to ask your local bike shop or do a web search for those.Read the rest of this entry »
For decades, river cruising has largely been a pursuit for couples; families and solo cruisers need not apply. But that old way of thinking is quickly going out the door, as river cruise lines move to court multi-generational families and solo cruisers eager to try their hand at the rivers of Europe.
The problem is that river cruise vessels are restricted physically by height, length and width due to the rivers they must traverse. The ships can only be so tall, so long and so wide. That, in turn, means that staterooms must also have finite dimensions. You can add another person to that existing space – but unless you’re booking at the suite level, things are going to get very cramped, very quickly. Unless, that is, you come up with some creative ideas, which a handful of cruise companies have done.Read the rest of this entry »
River cruising to or from Amsterdam? Why not do what the Dutch do and straddle a saddle? Hop on a bike and pedal your way through Amsterdam and the beautiful countryside to experience this fascinating region the way the locals do.
Most river cruise companies make bikes available to guests – at no additional charge. All you need to do is ask your ship’s front desk staff to prepare a bike for you. You’ll likely need to sign a release of liability, and you may be required to wear a helmet, which many cruise company provides.Read the rest of this entry »
Viking® will welcome a new Viking Longship®, purpose-built for the Seine River, to its fleet in 2025. Sailing the company’s popular eight-day Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary, the new sister ship will join four Viking Longships that were officially named in 2022, the Viking Fjorgyn®, the Viking Kari®, the Viking Radgrid® and the Viking Skaga®. All five ships are designed specifically to navigate the Seine River and bring guests to the heart of Paris, just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.Read the rest of this entry »
One of my best river cruises ever was one of my longest river cruises ever. In 2016, I spent 15 glorious days cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest on AmaWaterways’ AmaSonata. After transiting the Rhine, the Main, the Main-Danube Canal and the Danube, I was left with one thought: Could I stay on and do the cruise in the opposite direction?
Of course, the answer was yes – from me – but a hard no from AmaWaterways. In fact, AmaSonata was not headed back to Amsterdam but would instead operate a series of Danube cruises. Sigh.Read the rest of this entry »
Our Readers Prefer Long River Cruisers: Time To Do Away With The Weeklong River Cruise? Go Long Or Stay Home?
In last week’s post, we talked about the trend toward longer river cruises, longer than seven days, that is. Nearly all of the major river cruise companies now offer long cruises, with some itineraries approaching two months in duration. Two months? That wouldn’t bother our reader Linda at all.Read the rest of this entry »
We wondered when it would happen: When would a savvy river cruise company pick up the rest of Crystal River Cruises fleet. Nearly a year after Crystal went bankrupt, Riverside Luxury Cruises acquired the double-width Crystal Mozart. That left four recently Crystal-built river cruisers with an uncertain fate. We worried that with companies recovering from the pandemic no one would be flush enough with cash to purchase these spectacular ships.Read the rest of this entry »
In anticipation of wave season, Emerald Cruises will expand its ‘Explore the Extraordinary’ campaign into the new year. This campaign, which runs from December 16, 2022 to March 31, 2023, offers savings on a variety of 2023 and 2024 river cruises, along with bonus offers when guests pay in full.Read the rest of this entry »
In anticipation of wave season, Emerald Cruises will expand its ‘Explore the Extraordinary’ campaign into the new year. This campaign, which runs from December 16, 2022 to March 31, 2023, offers sizable savings on a variety of 2023 and 2024 river cruises, along with a new menu of bonus offers available when guests pay in full.Read the rest of this entry »
One of my favorite river cruise vessels will soon be back in service, the m/s Mozart. I first cruised on the storied ship in 2008, when she was operated by Peter Deilmann. Aside from being awed by Mozart’s impressive width, nearly double that of a typical river cruise ship, I’d never been on a river cruiser with an indoor pool.Read the rest of this entry »
AmaWaterways Opens 2024 River Cruise Season With New Ships, Extended Seasons & Early Booking Rewards
Award-winning luxury river cruise line, AmaWaterways, tells us that travelers can now book unforgettable river cruise vacations on all 2024 itineraries on the iconic rivers of Europe, Africa, Egypt and Asia. With an added reward for early bookings and extended seasons on the Rhine, Danube and Douro rivers, guests have the opportunity to save now when reserving their much-anticipated journeys. Whether celebrating a milestone anniversary, a special birthday or a reunion with friends and family, river cruising with AmaWaterways offers the perfect variety of included tours and culinary experiences to please all ages and types of travelers searching for a more personalized way to reconnect with the world around them.Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve done a number of articles featuring our best river cruise tips. Search our site and you’ll find posts such as Our Top Three Tips For Choosing Your River Cruise, Three Tips For Cruisers Going To Europe, Five Tips For Choosing Your Stateroom, Airfare Hacks: Cheap Business Class Tickets For Your River Cruise, and many more articles designed to provide you with a better (and often, cheaper) river cruise experience.
This week, we turned to Emma Cakmak, owner of A Passport To Travel. Emma just returned from a river cruise in Bordeaux. That’s her in the photo above doing what we often love to do on our river cruises: exploring by bicycle.Read the rest of this entry »
News that comes as no surprise to us: Riviera River Cruises is proud to announce that it has received 2022 Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly for its solo traveler offerings. We’re not surprised because we have long touted – and advised single travelers – that Riviera represents one of the best choices when it comes to traveling solo. See Britton’s story, Riviera River Cruises: The Best For Solo Travelers?Read the rest of this entry »
This week, Britton is gearing up for her Rhine river cruise on Riviera’s Geoffrey Chaucer. That means arranging for pet-sitters, shopping for new clothes (of course), and finalizing the logistics of her trip. She’s become quite the traveler, something that she began training for early on in life. In fact, she was only approaching her first birthday when she crossed the Atlantic on the venerable Queen Elizabeth 2, the first of many cruises for the now 27-year-old.Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this week, we heard from a reader who was “stuck” in Passau on Uniworld’s River Duchess. Underway now, the ship had been stationary since September 3 due to low water levels on the Danube. “The River Duchess has been impacted by the low water near Passau,” Uniworld’s CEO Ellen Bettridge told us on Wednesday. “Good news is that it is raining.”
The stretch of river between Passau and Regensburg had been impassable until Thursday of this week. This afternoon (Saturday), River Duchess was heading toward Bamberg, doing six knots per hour (~7 mph), according to cruisemapper.com.Read the rest of this entry »