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A-ROSA orders groundbreaking new river ship

A-ROSA River Cruises has ordered a new ship with on-board technology to reduce the line’s environmental footprint. The ship is designed specifically to appeal to families and multigenerational guests and is scheduled for delivery in spring 2021.

New on-board innovations include battery propulsion for sailing emission-free into and out of cities, air bubble technology to reduce fuel consumption and a range of family features including large family cabins sleeping up to five people, a children’s pool and a dedicated kids club area.

The ship, which will be built at Concordia Damen Werft shipyard in the Netherlands, will sail primarily on the Northern Rhine, departing from Cologne and calling at Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bruges and Antwerp. It will be the first river cruise ship on the Rhine to feature four decks.

Jorg Eichler, CEO and shareholder of A-ROSA Flussschiff GmbH, said: “This new ship features innovations never seen on a river ship cruise ship before and it heralds the future of travel on the rivers – both in terms of use of space and sustainability. With 140 cabins, a length of 135 metres, a width of 17.7 metres plus a fourth deck, this ship enables us to offer more space than ever before.

“At A-ROSA we have been setting new standards for the industry for many years – we always want to be different and this new ship allows us to continue to do just that.”

A-ROSA is looking to lead the way in lowering emissions and protecting the rivers and cities it travels through.

The new ship will feature an ‘E-Motion’ concept that allows it to switch to battery power when approaching a city and arrive emission-free. Like all other ships in the fleet, the vessel will be equipped with a shore power connection, meaning the battery can be charged overnight and the ship can depart the city in the same way.

In addition to the energy-saving and environmental protection measures already in place at A-ROSA, the new ship will also have an optimised hull design and employ ‘DACS’ air-bubble technology – patented by the Damen shipyard – to reduce fuel consumption.

Eichler added: “Sustainability is so important for us both in terms of the environmental and social responsibility. We appointed Matthias Lutter in January as head of new builds, an expert in the field of alternative drives. Together with the shipyard he has developed an ‘E-Motion’ concept which will help us ensure that we are playing a vital role in protecting the cities that we sail to.

“Today’s guests have growing expectations when it comes to the environment and sustainability and these innovations will help us on our journey towards meeting these.”

The ship is also designed with families and multigenerational holidays in mind. Spacious 28m2 cabins will sleep up to five people, and the restaurant will have a children’s area where young guests can dine with their friends.

There will be a large spa and wellness area with sauna, whirlpool, gym, ice room, heat-bench and various treatment rooms.

The UK will play a key role in selling this ship as river cruising continues to boom. Lucia Rowe, managing director of A-ROSA River Cruises UK and Ireland, commented: “This new ship really is a prototype on Europe’s rivers and something we haven’t seen before. It will open up river cruising to a completely different market segment with a host of new facilities and features tailored to the whole family. We want to attract the growing multigenerational sector and encourage a much younger audience to consider river cruising as a family holiday choice.

“We have taken a tailor-made approach with this ship, building in line with what the river can accommodate and creatively offering more space for more experiences, which is what today’s families want. I expect this new concept to be hugely popular with UK customers and we look forward to working with the UK trade going forward to educate them on all that the ship will have to offer and how and who to sell it to.”

More details on the ship will be announced over the coming months. Looking further ahead, a second ship is currently planned for 2023.

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