The new vessel entered service in Amsterdam last month, and is intended to give the line more prominence in the UK market. Jane Archer takes a look
Amadeus River Cruises is chasing a younger generation of cruisers and more prominence in the UK trade with the launch of Amadeus Star.
The 15th river ship in the Amadeus fleet, Amadeus Star is modelled on Amadeus Queen, which entered service in 2018, but has different furnishings and a new horseshoe-shaped wine bar in the aft-located Amadeus Club lounge.
With panoramic glass windows on three sides and an open-air terrace, it replaces an indoor swimming pool on Amadeus Queen that was rarely used by guests, according to executive
vice-president, Marcus Leskovar.
He said: “The pool takes up a lot of space, but is not used. We like to keep things fresh, so will do something different again on Amadeus Imperial.” That ship launches in April 2020.
The hull of Amadeus Star is 15cm shallower than most river ships so it can operate in low water. Six cabins have connecting doors to make three family rooms (Amadeus offers a 30 per cent discount for children aged 12-18) and bikes can be borrowed.
There is just one restaurant, but an area of the lounge can be sectioned off for group dinners for between ten and 28 people. These are booked in advance and cost about €26 per person.
Groups are big business for Amadeus, but Leskovar said the company is keen to increase FIT sales through the trade. These are handled in the UK by Fred River Cruises, which has expanded its team to reach out to more agents.
Former cruise.co.uk marketing director Sukie Rapal joined in April as head of river cruises, Dave Chidley joined from Uniworld as head of UK sales at the end of 2018, while Lucy Hone moved from Uniworld to be business development manager.
“We want to be the UK’s top trade-friendly river cruise operator,” said Fred Holidays managing director Steve Williams. The company is developing a new trade portal, pays 15 per cent commission and is planning fam trips this year, so agents can see the product first-hand.
Amadeus Star entered service in Amsterdam on April 19, sailing a spring-time tulip-themed itinerary. It will spend the rest of the year cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube.