Driving the rise of the river cruise sector

Den Breejen Shipyard is driving industry uptake by building luxury vessels that help cruise operators provide the best experience

Driving the rise of the river cruise sector
Avalon Envision’s wall-to-wall windows provide views of the landscape as she sails Danube itineraries

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Rivers have long been a source of holiday entertainment. On a summer’s day, people venture through parks and hills to picnic by its meanders, seek its waters to cool them and enjoy water sports, fishing and swimming. It’s clear to see why immersive river cruises are fast becoming a popular way for travellers to experience one of nature’s most impressive features.

According to figures from Cruise Lines International Association, river cruises are on the rise. Driven by the choice of itineraries and the high standards of the ships, British and Irish travellers went on around 232,300 of the trips in 2018, marking an increase of over 10% from 2017. North America has also seen a 50% rise in this cruise sector in the same period.

Netherlands-based Den Breejen Shipyard has been specialising in the design, engineering and construction of luxury river cruise ships since 2000. In the first quarter of 2019, the family-owned shipyard delivered two ships. The first to be completed was Dunav Tours’ Adora. The 135 metre-long, 190-passenger, three-deck ship features 95 all-exterior passenger cabins. Those situated on the Orion and Saturn decks have large panoramic windows that can be opened to create French balconies.

Following delivery in March 2019, Adora began sailing for Phoenix Reisen on the Danube, making stops in European cities such as Passau, Germany and Budapest, Hungary. As of November 2019, she will change operators and join the Cruise iN fleet, maintaining her spot on the river with seven-night itineraries.

The second ship to leave the expert hands of Den Breejen shipyard this year was Avalon Waterways’ Avalon Envision. The line’s 13th Suite Ship was christened in April 2019 and debuted soon after with a river cruise on the Danube. At 135 metres long, she features two full suite decks with wall-to-wall sliding windows which, like Adora, open out to create French balconies. The 166 passengers onboard can take advantage of a range of amenities including the Panorama Bistro, an expanded fitness centre, a spacious Sky Deck, whirlpool and much more.

Den Breejen is already working on Avalon Waterways’ newest ship, Avalon View, which will be delivered at the end of 2019. She will join Avalon Envision in service from 2020, becoming the line’s 17th suite-only ship.

Besides building luxury river cruise vessels, Den Breejen also specialises in the repair of vessels. With experienced employees and advanced equipment, the shipyard ensures that each ship quickly re-enters service.

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
11 November 2019

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