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Matthew Cooper 03-14-2016 11:08 AM

Another boat
[url=]New river cruise player joins the Mississippi fray - Cruise Advice[/url]

The boat in the picture looks like the "Columbia Queen"

[url=]Authentic America: Louisiane - Cruises[/url]

Frank X. Prudent 03-14-2016 03:06 PM

It is the old COLUMBIA QUEEN. She is supposed to start service out of New Orleans this coming August and work her way up to the Upper Ohio River later in the month.

Judy Patsch 03-14-2016 10:22 PM

What an inaugural trip...
Her first trip is to be from New Orleans to Pensacola, certainly one of the DQ's best routes ever....

Carmen 03-15-2016 02:48 AM

Wondering who are the people behind this new company. I havenīt heard anything about them and obviously they donīt have a real website.

Not sure whether AQSC will be happy that they are featuring Chef Regina too.


R. Dale Flick 03-16-2016 09:16 AM

Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
Interesting reading the postings above from Matthew and others RE: 'Another boat.' Rumors/stories filtered around here for a time RE: the new AMERICA FRENCH LINE with the cat now out of the bag. I'd opine new AFL possibly a subsidiary company with a 'paper corporation.' Interesting concept for sure but take a long look at those PP [Per person cruise rates] fine French quisine, 24 hours service not withstanding. Their web site mentions opening on April 1st. Now one more 'player' in the river cruise business here. Can't believe we may all witness possibly one of those celebrated, exciting old 'steamboat wars' of the past. Raises the queston of 'how far can the pie be cut?' Carmen, more information about who they are can be found in the company's corporate profile and here papers of incorporation and registration. We will see in time. Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

Judy Patsch 03-16-2016 03:48 PM

Cutting the pie
Good question, Dale. What I don't understand is where this demand is for all these new proposed boats, when the few current ones aren't running at capacity, and in some cases not even near it. Now the corporate spokesmen might deny it, but at least here on the UMR the AQ was running half full many of her trips - they have to give the passenger count to the lockman, which is often done by marine radio. So I heard the 200s reported, no denying it. Then consider the 2 for 1 offers and so how many full fares were there on board those trips? I know nothing about their passenger loads on the other routes, but considering all these other companies are planning to run the UMR, where are the potential passengers? Do they plan to tap into their current pax on other boats like ACL does? Do they have a better plan to market their boats? Somebody has metrics or whatever indicating a market for so many to be jumping in, but can anybody tell us where these thousands of new passengers are coming from??? At the posted prices I sure won't be in their target group!

Jim Reising 03-17-2016 08:01 AM

I imagine that twenty years ago some German was sitting on the bank of the Rhine River asking the same question you are asking, "where will all the people come from to fill all these boats?" Not only did they come, but they came in droves. So many, in fact, that they continue to build new boats every year.
I'm a firm believer that business begets business, the more boats in the market, the more the demand will be. The market they are targeting is older people who have disposable other words, retired baby boomers....the fastest growing segment of the population.
How many people ever really thought about taking a European river trip until they settled into their easy chair on Sunday night to watch Downton Abbey and saw those gorgeous Viking River Line ads? Those ads make me want to book a cruise.
The other night I saw an American Cruise Line ad and it made the Mississippi River and their boats look absolutely stunning.
I really believe as the movie said..."build it and they will come".

Judy Patsch 03-17-2016 12:50 PM

Retired baby boomers
I fit right into your category Jim of the retired baby boomer who sees the attractiveness of these cruises, but I certainly don't fit into the financial picture. And that is why I question it: are there enough people with that kind of money and the desire to take a trip to fill all these boats? Just as we are enchanted with the Rhine and other European rivers, so nonAmericans are fascinated by the river of Mark Twain(or so they think it is). We don't appreciate what is in our backyard and I suspect a large portion of the passengers will have to come from overseas. I just know that two Masters degrees and 34 years of teaching have not left me with disposable income needed for these creatures....

Frank X. Prudent 03-17-2016 03:57 PM

[QUOTE=Judy Patsch;35419] Just as we are enchanted with the Rhine and other European rivers, so nonAmericans are fascinated by the river of Mark Twain(or so they think it is). We don't appreciate what is in our backyard and I suspect a large portion of the passengers will have to come from overseas. [/QUOTE]

You are right, Judy! The marketing for FAL right now seems to be geared to Great Britain and Australia. If not I'm sure this would have been news much earlier here in America. Also I've looked and can't find any of the prices listed in U.S.D.

R. Dale Flick 03-18-2016 05:03 AM

*Baby boomers/Disposable incomes*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
I must agree totally with Judy, and others, in the above RE: FAL's appearance. Though being too old to fit the frame as a 'baby boomer,' I'm in the same boat as Judy being a retired teacher etc. But don't kid ourselves as there are many, many out there who do have the disposable incomes for upscale cruise ships, cruise boats, resorts, individualized itineraries for foreign travel. Cruise ship/boat statistics show that generally the highest priced accommodations on ships in general sell out first over the medium to lower--especially now with the market 'priming' the traveler for the new outside cabins with private verandas and decks. Our recent cruise ship featured four master suites [Just got a peek inside] large as many smaller track houses, two complete baths, huge outter decks, baby grand pianos, upper and lower levels with stairs, assigned stewards/butler etc. I'm sure Frank has seen this in his many travels with CUNARD LINE. The accent on many 'smaller' luxury cruise ships/boats usually means higher per person tariff. Pretty sobering for sure but, again, you get what you pay for and it 'only costs a little more to go first class.' Yeah, right. I still think we'll see in time a big 'shake out' in the river tourist business similar to the old 'steamboat wars' of yore.

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing,, Ohio River, Cincinnati

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