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German river cruise line A-Rosa is launching itself to Aussies with two remarkable marketing pitches.

The line, which has recently launched a twelfth vessel, welcomes children at a time when so many – like Viking -advertise so strongly that they are “adults only”.

Second, you can drink all day.  Yes, you heard right.  All day, all inclusive. When so many give you drinks with meals but sell you packages to cover the rest, or charge a huge premium for what they call “top shelf” liquor, it can be a blessing.

The A-Rosa Aqua

River Cruise Passenger spoke exclusively with Birgit Eisbrenner, A-Rosa’s Regional Director for Australia & New Zealand and were told they’re hoping to be a good option for Aussie families seeking an alternative to ocean cruising.

It’s a river line that has been well known among the European market for some time, but Ms Eisbrenner claims that “after realising that many of our passengers in recent years have been Australian families, A-Rosa have decided to spread the word here on home shores.”

Pools and whirlpools on the sundecks

What’s the A-Rosa difference:

They’re affordable

While it’s not uncommon for ocean cruise lines to offer family incentives and deals, it’s still relatively rare to see river lines do the same thing. A-Rosa’s Ms Eisbrenner says; “We encourage children on board…children  15 years and under are free when accompanied by an adult.”

“Our price point is very competitive as a premium river line. We offer many elements that are all inclusive, including the drinks on board which are complimentary all day, including alcohol for the adults.”

Prices range from $467 per person, premium, all inclusive for a 3 night Danube Mini Cruise itinerary… through to $4,519 per person, premium, all inclusive for 14 nights with the Rhone Route Intensive itinerary.

Some of the features in the all-inclusive offers are free wifi, spa discounts, all on board entertainment and facilities, travel cancellation insurance, ship transfers, breakfast buffet and all-day drinks.

A-ROSA is also offering a half price discount across selected 7-night Danube, Rhine and Seine sailings, with the second passenger receiving a 50% reduction off the cruise fare. This offer can also be combined with A-ROSA’s Early-Booking-Discounts, which have been extended until the end of March.

Onboard facilities

For kids onboard, A-Rosa offers some specific kids activities, as well as having an onboard kids club.

Some activities on offer include:

  • Design their own T-shirt
  • Creative studio
  • Pop-Up cards
  • Ship treasure hunts
  • Face-painting
  • Theme days, such as pirate day
  • Children/youth show
  • Board games
  • Painting and crafting
  • Sports and fun
  • Photo and movie activities

Fun and games for the kids onboard

The specific program always depends on the local conditions; e.g. weather, space available and the number, age and interests of the children.

Their family cabin is a decent 28 sqm (available for the Rhine trip).

Every vessel offers either a whirlpool or plunge pool on the sundeck – with the more recent additions to the fleet featuring both – and all vessels offer the traditionally German unisex sauna.

An average total number of guests onboard an A-Rosa cruise is 150-240 guests, meaning Ms Eisbrenner says there’s still plenty of space for roaming.

Plenty of room for the kids

Easy dining

Not everyone loves buffet-style dining, but with A-Rosa, Ms Eisbrenner claims there are several benefits to their buffet breakfast and lunch (no tablecloths) dining on board – for families who prefer to dine without set meal times.

Eisbrenner also recounts a personal moment when she recently cruised and her group “decided to have a really early casual dinner onboard and then head out into the town for some drinks and to explore by night. We remember walking past another river cruise ship that was full of diners, all seated in a formal dining room, staring out the window. We felt lucky to have that flexibility.”

The destinations

A-Rosa offers itineraries throughout the Seine, Duoro, Danube, Rhone and Rhine rivers. Itineraries range from as short as 3 nights to 16 night cruises.

Ms Eisbrenner says; “Whilst we are a very German line, all our ships are Bilingual with our staff. We attract a very multicultural group of guests, so people love to mingle with different nationalities and make new friends,” Ms Eisbrenner added.

Activities

A-Rosa offer the traditional theme cruises that many other lines already offer, such as Christmas Markets – but they also some unique onboard activities. For example, in partnership with Germany’s Rolling Stone Magazine A-Rosa hosts onboard singer song writer contests where young up and coming artists can present themselves to guests.

Ms Eisbrenner says that A-Rosa “encourages independent guests on board. We are better suited for the active types of travellers. That’s why we offer shore excursions for all activity levels, or we love it when you want freedom to just do your own thing.”

Fun awaits onshore also

They’re seeking a younger crowd

While the average age of guests on board is typically younger in school holidays sailings, Ms Eisbrenner says “It’s not uncommon to see couples in their late 20’s on A-Rosa ships…wanting relaxation and easy access to city tours without all the moving around.”

There’s more on the way

A thirteenth A-Rosa vessel is currently being built and will launch in May 2021. The new boat will be wider, and with 140 cabins.

For more details on A-Rosa’s fleet, visit www.arosa-cruises.com