After a very early start we boarded our Easyjet flight to Amsterdam for the CLIA River Convention. On arrival we made our way from the airport to the Railway station in Amsterdam Central (a one-way ticket 5.20 Euros). On arrival in Amsterdam Central we had a 20 minute walk to our overnight hotel and Conference location, the Movenpick Hotel. We checked in and went to our room which was a twin with an extra bed, adequate for our needs and included breakfast the next morning.
We walked into Amsterdam following the tourist route and had lunch, whilst we decided what to do with the rest of our day. We decided to go on a canal cruise which was 11.00 euros for an hour’s cruise around the canals and under some of the 1500 bridges located in the city. There are 100 kilometres of canals in total. We then decided to go to the Museum of Prostitution and learn some Red Light Secrets. Inga from Russia took us around her world and told us what she did, who she would accept and what they were allowed to do, we were even taken into the fetish room! (10 euros). After leaving the Red Light district we walked to Anne Franks House and took a self guided tour of the House, where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis in a secret annexe, during WWII. An interesting piece of history preserved to remind visitors about the past. After all our sightseeing we found a lovely Italian to finish our day – there is a huge choice of eateries in and around the city.
The next morning we registered at the Conference for sessions on River Cruising. There were various representatives from Scenic, CroisiEurope, Pandaw River Expeditions, Uniworld, Emerald, Riviera, Saga and Amadeus. After lunch at the hotel we joined the Networking Trade Fair to speak to some of the delegates attending and learn more about their ships and itineraries. Our overnight accommodation was aboard the MS Symphonie, CroisiEurope’s premium ship inaugurated into its fleet in 2017. The ship can take 110 guests if all its cabins are sold as twins. They also have one cabin for guests with reduced mobility. All have private bathroom, tv, radio and hairdryer and safe. The public areas consist of a bar and lounge with dance floor, vast restaurant, sun deck with sun loungers and a boutique.
That evening we had a lovely five-course menu which consisted of Creamy Mushroom Soup, Smoked salmon – rolled with white cream cheese and horseradish, Beef filet with its garnish, Goat cheese “Cabecou” on toast with salad and Chocolate Emotion followed by coffee. Throughout the meal we were served complimentary red and white wine. Our evening ended with dancing in the lounge.
The next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before beginning our river ship visits. We started on the Emily Bronte, which is Riviera Travel’s five star cruise ship, launched in 2017, she carries just 167 guests. The boutique style suites are fabulous, all enjoy a river view. The marble bathroom features a powerful shower with ‘rainshower’ head and complimentary toiletries. On board there is a main restaurant, bistro, souvenir shop, fitness centre, hairdressers, Sun Deck and Observation Lounge.
Next was the Amadeus Silver III which was introduced to their fleet in April 2016. She features a combination of modern elegance, spaciousness and attractive comforts. She has 12 spacious suites with comfortable corner sofa, luxurious bathroom and walk-out exterior balcony. Her 72 Staterooms with mainly drop-down panoramic windows have luxurious bathrooms and walk-in wardrobes. The public areas are spacious, and include the classical “Café Vienna” and the outdoor glass shielded “River Terrace” both are complimented by the amenities such as the Panorama Bar with lounge, Amadeus Club, Sun Deck with Lido bar, Fitness Room, Hair Salon and Massage Room.
Our final ship visit was to see the Scenic Jasper. The Scenic Space-Ship is friendly and intimate in equal measure, a luxury floating boutique hotel with space and views in abundance. The cabins feature the Scenic Slumber Beds, a complimentary mini bar and balcony with the innovative all-weather Sun Lounge, and not forgetting the butler service for every guest. Fine dining in up to six exclusive on board venues, authentic dishes inspired by the destinations you are travelling to with a good selection of complimentary premium drinks all day every day.
Our visit ended with a lovely hosted lunch aboard Amadeus Silver III. We then collected our luggage and went back to the airport for our Easyjet flight home. Overall an interesting trip and certainly increased my knowledge on river vessels and the many destinations and experiences available.
Written by Naomi, Sussex Cruise Club
Contact Naomi on 01243 871664
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