Kerry's River Cruise Adventure
03 Mar 2020
I was lucky enough to be invited onboard Fred. Olsen’s river ship, Brabant, for a section of a cruise that visiting the Middle and Upper Rhine & Lochs disembarking in Switzerland.
We flew from London Heathrow to Frankfurt with British Airways on a very early flight. We took a beautiful drive from the airport to the town of Koblenz, which I had visited as a child on a school trip recently...by recently I mean 20 years ago!
We boarded the ship and were greeted with the usual amazing Fred. Olsen welcome of polite, smiling, courteous and helpful staff. I was shown to my cabin - 335 - at the aft of the ship on Mozart Deck 3. I had a stunning floor to ceiling sliding door and Juliette Balcony with the most gorgeous view of the lush green landscape against the Rhine. I loved the array of tea and coffee making facilities and more than ample wardrobe space! All I will say about the location is I experienced some noise and vibration so a more midship or forward cabin would be my recommendation.
My first port of call was the restaurant! The Panorama on Deck 2 had all the hallmarks of their Ocean ships and the standard of food and service was equally as fantastic.
We spent the afternoon on deck in the beautiful sunshine playing shuffleboard and eating ice cream as we sailed through the beautiful scenery of the Middle Rhine before heading to the town of Speyer in Germany. Here I took part on my favourite excursion, a visit to the Technik Museum. A fascinating place full of submarines, aircraft, trains, cars and spacecraft. I even took a slide 100ft down from a real Boeing 747 on plinths! The only reason I wanted to leave that place was the thought of having lunch back onboard Brabant!
We had a business session that afternoon but stayed awake for the wine tasting quiz in the Panorama bar that followed (hic) then enjoyed some onboard entertainment from the resident pianist and singer. The following day was unfortunately pouring with rain, although very mild. We took a wonderfully damp walking tour of Strasbourg, France; our next stop on the Rhine taking in the stunning architecture of this beautiful city and the most stunning Gothic Cathedral I have ever visited. We headed back to Brabant to dry off, the staff had prepared warm drinks, towels and even made a mini bridge over the puddles to enable us to get back on safely!
Our last night on board included the Baked Alaska Parade, a firm favourite with Fred. Olsen Ocean ship guests so it was a pleasant surprise to experience it on their river ship too, and of course it is delicious! We also got an opportunity to thank all the staff onboard and say our goodbyes before an early(ish) night before arriving in Basel in the morning and taking our flight back to the UK.
This was my first experience on a river cruise and certainly won’t be my last. I love that you have the most wonderful scenic views from wherever you are on the ship and are able to moor up in the heart of a city and are free to roam, or take advantage of some of the great value Fred. Olsen excursions available to pre book. I’m also a huge fan of the free wifi, complimentary tea and coffee available 24hrs a day and the daily afternoon tea also complimentary.
If you’re a seasoned Fred.'s cruiser, you will not be disappointed, although also perfect for first time river cruisers such as myself. If you would like any more information about Fred. Olsen River Cruises, or would like to hear more of my recommendations, please call me on 02380 714 790.