Is it a boat or a ship? I’m still actually not quite sure, but the name of it “The A” certainly reflects it’s class.
I decided to take a U River Cruise in Germany, starting in Frankfurt and finishing at Regensberg. If you think River Cruises are for the older generation or the retired, you need to think again. U River Cruise is aimed at the younger more affluent traveler (I just about made that category).
Having just recently returned from Hong Kong, our trip started with an early flight with Aer Lingus to Frankfurt and a short 15-minute taxi ride to the dockside in Frankfurt. You can also take the tram from the airport to the dockside which would be cheaper.
We decided to board our sleek black trendy ‘A Ship’ to drop off our bags and check out the city of Frankfurt for the day. Upon boarding, we received a warm welcome from our hosts on the ship and nothing seemed to be an issue given the early embarkation. What I liked instantly about the ship was it’s cool décor, funky art (works from various artists including Tracy Emin) and was really aimed at the younger market. We headed off for the day into rainy Frankfurt but found lots to do and lots of shopping before we re-embarked at 4 pm, later that day.
Our fab cabins on the ship were a decent size with a nice bathroom and a balcony sliding door. The bed was super comfy and the room also included a flatscreen tv with the latest movies etc. I would definitely recommend getting the cabins upstairs with the balcony or even a suite as there is definitely more space and with the balcony door it just feels more open and spacious. Important for the younger traveler, there is also free wifi on board the ship.
Our welcome drinks and muster call commenced before we sailed at 6 pm and it gave us time to meet some of the cruisers. I was surprised at the mix in the age of people ranging from the early twenties and thirties up to the late sixties. Even though the ship was aimed at the younger market some of the older cruisers seemed to like the younger activities on offer, not to mention the cool décor.
Meals were offered twice a day, at breakfast and evening meal. I have to say the cuisine onboard was superb and the service in the dining room was superb. There was a selection of local fare on board as well as comfort food, vegan and healthy options (which I didn’t go for too much). There are chefs on hand to cook your food to your liking or something different to cater for all. We also took the drinks package with our cruise which I would highly recommend. This includes high-end spirits, wines & beers, not to mention the fabulous cocktails which are offered each day in the bar by the wonderful friendly bar staff, especially Marinela.
What I also liked about ‘The A Ship’ was that each evening around 6 pm, it would sail to its different destination so you can have your dining experience while you enjoyed the views of the riverside. Unlike cruising on the sea, the rivers are very calm and the only indication you were cruising was if you entered a lock to reach the next level of the river.
So, what’s different about U River Cruises? Well, the activities and entertainment are some of the big differences. Each day as you arrive in each city or town there are different activities you can partake in.
Most activities are very enjoyable and not overly strenuous. Some of the activities that we participated in included 10km Guided Bike tour (bikes are stored on the ship), Yoga Classes, Massage, Painting with wine (I really liked this), Kayaking, Hiking, Pretzel making, Foosball competition, Mixology classes (Cocktail making ) and city tours including breweries. What’s nice about this is that none of the activities or tours are being forced upon anyone. You also have the option to sunbathe on the upper deck at any time if you feel like staying on the ship. ‘The A Ship’ also has a small gym with various machines and free weights, so before or after your big breakfast there is no excuse.
The amazing hosts on our trip were Mik and Karina who made everyone feel so welcome at all events. The hosts are also so important to your weekly nightly entertainment which includes Silent Discos, DJ Parties, 70s night, Eurovision parties and cocktail nights all included for free.
I was definitely surprised at how much I enjoyed ‘The A Ship’. I really can’t wait to travel again on U River Cruises, maybe next time from Amsterdam to Frankfurt!!
Ciaran Mulligan a.k.a. The Fabulous Traveller travelled on this cruise with U River Cruises, Germany’s finest itinerary travels from Frankfurt to Regensburg and includes seven-nights in a Waterview Stateroom, 3 meals daily, 6 days of onshore excursions and various onboard activities such as rooftop yoga and mixology classes.
Bookings must be made by phone 1800 98 98 98 or at your local travel agent. For more information about U River Cruises, please visit www.ubyuniworld.com.