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R. Dale Flick 12-13-2017 08:03 AM

*Luxry cruises/Travel up in new %*
Steamboating colleagues,
This may be pretty boring news to some but always good to know what's going on in the travel industry and what the other kids on the block are doing in upscale cruises, land travel.

Recent statistics just in for end of year 2017 going into 2018. 'Luxury' travel in areas of: European & American River cruises, blue water ocean cruises, land travel UP a stunning 64%. This includes not only luxury river cruises but travel to Italy, Mediterranean, United States, United Kingdom, Ireland. With cruise vessels the top expensive categories usually always sell out first; then down to the least expensive if available. What is this telling us? There are more than a few with the upper disposable incomes who can and will pay for it: larger modern vessel cabins, close weave sheets and fluffy towels, bath robes, TV/WIFI, private veranda decks, elevators, food, 'courtesy beverages,' shore excursions, on-board entertainment and theme lectures on and on. Food for thought.

A friend E=Mailed asking if, possibly, the recent FORBES report/article on "Top American River Cruises" [ACL & AMERICAN QUEEN] could have been "influenced" by advertising dollars? I pulled, read it seeing NO advertisements [i.e. 'bribery'] in this financial report finance journal. That's all I see and know.

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

Judy Patsch 12-13-2017 11:16 AM

and the cruises for the rest of us...
Reality is that those of us who travel the river for the river and the old boating experience are now priced out of overnight cruising - on the big boats. BUT we've got the TWILIGHT her entire season, the SPIRIT OF PEORIA on several Peoria-St. Louis and Starved Rock trips to ride and enjoy the river and its scenery at affordable prices. And then there's the BELLE's Madison trip each October, and perhaps an upper Ohio trip on the BELLE OF CINCINNATi to enjoy. And of course we've got excursion steamboating with the NATCHEZ and the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, and excursion boating on other local small vessels to patronize. If traveling several hundred miles for just a 2 or 3 day trip doesn't seem worth it, consider spending extra days landbased exploring river-related museums, attractions. Some of us have combined a TWILIGHT trip with an SOP overnighter...We can bemoan the loss of traveling on the big boats, or we can support and enjoy what we have offered to us now. I have organized both the Midwest Buffs and an unofficial Ohio River group on the TWILIGHT, and a national group on the SOP in the past, and I'd be glad to do it again. Just let me know...but most importantly, support these boats as you can individually!!!

Bob Reynolds 12-13-2017 12:51 PM

Indeed, Judy! Dale’s posting just goes to show that the pie might be bigger than we thought. If the DQ can get her exemption and get running again, that option will be available as well. And it will be a bit different from either of these other options.

I remember a Fred Way quote from YEARS ago (before my time started on the boats) in which he said something to the effect “people will always come back to the river for relaxation and travel”. That still seems to be holding up!

R. Dale Flick 12-14-2017 01:48 PM

*DQ's lagging exemption/Cruise rates*
Steamboating colleagues,
No way do I want to rile any up any fellow fans or partisans here over the DQ, as mentioned by Capt. Bob Reynolds above. Yet, I have to call it as I see it. Our U.S. Congress now in their final days before the long holiday season. The new calendar year for congress and our federal government begins in the new year. Nothing has moved on the DQ initiative so far with nothing concrete from those actively involved financially with no 2nd and 3rd parties with 'squibs' based more in wishes...ifs...possibly...maybe, wishful thinking. Let's get the right news from the right people directly involved for the right reasons.

With an exemption, followed by an extensive list of needed repairs, upgrades, modernizations to a pretty penny, anybody thinking [Coast Guard and insurance underwriters sniffing around with 'red pencils' in hand] the 'new' DQ cruise tariffs $$ a return to the old days we all knew just not going to happen. Her future rates will be right up there close to the other guys. Her present possible passenger compliment lower than the AQ, ACL vessels and that usually means higher per head rates with high operating arguments on that. That's all I know and hope things work out. CHEERS!

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

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