Ralph Grizzle: Hi. I’m Ralph Grizzle with River Cruise Advisor, and we’re launching a new podcast and I’m going to call it River Cruise Advisor Unscripted because we haven’t scripted it. We’re going to talk about what we did during month of January on River Cruise Advisor. Articles that we have posted, and changes that we think will be beneficial to our readers, and what’s ahead. A little bit of what’s ahead, but mainly what we covered in January. With me is that favorite Canadian of mine, Mr. Aaron Saunders. Welcome to the show, Aaron.
Aaron Saunders: Thanks so much, Ralph. How are you doing over there in nice, beautiful, sunny Sweden?
Ralph Grizzle: I’m doing great in Sweden. I love it here. Love Europe, love Europe. It’s in the news a lot, but you know, come on over. It’s great here. It’s like living in a fairy tale. Why don’t we start this with going back to the very beginning of the year when we ran a survey and had a whole lot of people respond, and I want to just say I love this. I love that we have such engagement with our readers. We’ve got … every time we ask a question, every time we run a survey, people respond in big numbers. This last survey was no exception. We asked what can we do for you, where do you want us to take this site in 2016. One of the responses was that they want more inclusiveness. They want us to include more river cruise lines. Some of the ones that come up a lot are Grand Circle and Vantage and there are a few other river cruise lines.
We try to be … there are two of us, and Laurie Wakefield who also helps us out on the site, but there’s a whole lot of content to produce. We try to be as inclusive as we can. Somebody suggested that we … We operate on a sponsorship model. Somebody suggested that we change that to a subscription fee. I couldn’t imagine selling enough subscriptions to even pay for the hosting and maintenance and all that on the site. It’s an expensive proposition to run, as you know Aaron. It’s a lot of work.
Aaron Saunders: It is, it’s lot of work and when it comes to doing this sites … The suggestion of the subscription model was an interesting one, but I think as every newspaper chain in the world is finding out, trying to get people to pay for content is not really a model that’s working very well. You see a lot of websites like New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, if you want to read more than a couple articles they want to charge you. That hasn’t worked out so well for them. For us, as Ralph said, when you’re running a site like this, especially a river cruise site, because things are changing so quickly and ships are coming online all the time … Basically there’s two of us. We can only be at so many places at once. Ideally, we’d like to try every single river cruise ship in every part of the world, which is why we’ve done a lot of these recent voyages to different parts, not just Europe, we’ve also done voyages along the Mekong, we’ve been to Myanmar recently and upcoming, I’m going to be going to Russia in July with Viking because we’re really focused on trying to provide people with a better overview of all the different kinds of cruises and destinations out there.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah. Exactly. I just want to be clear that the mission for this site is we’re a consumer advocate and our goal is to help people make informed river cruise travel decisions, or vacation decisions, however you want to say that. I want to go back to the sponsorship for just a moment because we operate a little bit like National Public Radio does in the United states. What we’ve done is gone out to all the river cruise companies and said look, we’re reporting on your industry, support us, we need funding to run this site. Most of them have come in with some amount of funding to keep the site running and going. That could create editorial bias, so we’re always working to balance that. What we’re looking out for is the reader and in that vein we’re hoping to launch community this year, forums, so you’re not just hearing it from us, you’re hearing these conversations from other people who have been on the river cruise itineraries.
Aaron Saunders: Exactly.
Ralph Grizzle: What do you think of the forum idea?
Aaron Saunders: I love the forum idea. I think it’s a fantastic idea and certainly readers have been telling us for a while now that they’d like to have forums. Interestingly, readers have been very, very adamant about one point if we take on forums. They want it to be a friendly cooperative place. They do not want it to be this den of sniping and aggression and cyber attacks on different people. They want this to be so they can find out the questions they have about river cruising and actually get answers. When we do implement forums, we’re going to be working very hard to make sure it is a congenial experience and not a whiny, gripey and snipey experience. If you want that, there’s other places you can go.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah, it’s come up time and again. There have been so many comments saying that, not only on River Cruise Advisor but on Avid Cruiser as well. We had a funny one, one person asked us if we could convert to all the currencies so when we mention a price, US$2000, I guess we’d also have Canadian, Australian, British pounds, the Euro, perhaps the Swedish crown. I just told them to keep a calculator handy because that’s something we’re probably not going to change.
Aaron Saunders: I think that’s a fair thing. I mean, I’m Canadian, but most of our readers are from the United States. You know, for me as a Canadian, it’s not so uncommon for me to see a price in US dollars and have to convert it to Canadian dollars. It’s very easy to do that with Google or with anything, so really I think it helps us to standardize the pricing to US dollars because that’s what much of these trips are going to be priced at anyways. It also gets into the issue of regional pricing. Sometimes different countries have different price schemes. It’s a lot like an iPhone. An iPhone in Canada will cost different than in Canada.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah.
Aaron Saunders: Or in Great Britain. We try to keep things standardized, we try to keep things based on the US imperial system as well which, even for me that as difficult because I tend to think in terms of things like meters and kilometers and things like that. It just helps us to standardize all that information into one thing that does favor the majority of our readership.
Ralph Grizzle: Readers have said one of the things they would like to see moving forward is, and we’ve done a lot of this in the past, too, is they want more information about pricing on river cruises. One interesting sort of segue on this is solo pricing. This is a big issue in the travel industry, in the river cruise industry especially. We’re going to figure out how to tackle it, we’re going to look for strategies for single travelers, we’re going to editorialize a little bit and plead with the river cruise companies to come up with some good single supplement programs where the average American who’s single can afford this rather pricey product.
Aaron Saunders: Well, that’s the thing, and I think, too, to be fair to the river cruise lines, I actually don’t think that they went into this expecting a lot of solo travelers. I think that they really thought they this would be couples, 55 plus, maybe semi-retired and or retired. I really don’t think they expected the amount of demand from solo travelers that they’re seeing. Now you’ve got some lines that are putting on dedicated solo staterooms onto their newest ships. You’ve got a lot of lines that are trying different programs to waive or reduce a supplement, but as of right now there’s no cohesive strategy amongst any of the lines as to what they want to do. Some lines prefer to do solo staterooms and no discounting, and some lines prefer to do discounting because they don’t have a solo stateroom. We’re, as Ralph said, trying to do a lot of different editorials on this because this is a subject that comes up from us from readers, time and time again. For us, I used to travel all the time. Traveling solo and avoiding the single supplement was a gigantic problem.
Ralph Grizzle: I’d like to see more people have the opportunity to experience this great product that’s primarily through the heart of Europe, although you can do it in Asia and the Amazon and other places in the world. Just to float through the heart of Europe, it’s a really beautiful thing. We do have some price comparisons on this site, people love our comparisons, whether it’s comparing the cruise lines, comparing the ships, comparing the prices, comparing the rivers, whatever, we’re going to be doing more of that because you voted and you want more and more of these.
Let’s see, also Tauck is doing something interest. Aaron, you reported on that yesterday as a matter of fact.
Aaron Saunders: I did. What they’re doing is a really interesting thing. They are going to be, beginning in 2017, they’re going to be refitting their first five river cruise vessels, what they call their Jewel Class ships. This is like Swiss jewel, Swiss Emerald, and Swiss Treasures and a couple other ships. What they’re going to do to them is they are going to actually rip out a lot of the accommodations on board. Rather than putting more accommodations in, they’re going to put fewer. They’re going to increase the size of these …
Ralph Grizzle: So we had a little interruption there, a little technical difficulty. Aaron, you were saying Tauck is going to increase the size, and we lost you there.
Aaron Saunders: Yeah, they’re going to increase the size of their staterooms. What they’re going to to do is, they’re going to be ripping out 30 existing staterooms. Right now they’re 150 square feet. They’re going to replace them with 20 staterooms that are 225 square feet each, and what that’s going to do, the really interesting thing, is that is going to take the total guest capacity from 118, which is already very low for ships of this size, and it’s going to dump it down to just 98 people per ship. This is huge that they’re going to have a ship that is essential 361 feet long, and they’re going just have 98 people on that. Nowadays, in this age, as everyone probably knows if you’ve taken a flight recently, everything in the transportation industry now is about how do we fit more people in here, how do we cram more people on, because they call it economy of scale. The more people you put on, the less it costs you person to operate that flight or run that ship.
What Tauck is doing is very revolutionary because they say hey, we operate a premium product. We want to give our passengers the greatest amount of space possible. Ninety eight people for these ships is just phenomenal.
Ralph Grizzle: Okay, so Tauck, Scenic, Uniworld, they all have one thing in common, and that is prepaid gratuities. That’s where you’re not going to dig into your pocket once you get on your cruise, you’re not going to tip for guides or drivers, you’re going to get coins to go to the toilets In Europe.
Aaron Saunders: Yeah.
Ralph Grizzle: We did a survey about gratuities. We just wanted to find out what people preferred, whether it’s prepaid, discretionary, or no gratuities, which is basically prepaid if the cruise line’s paying a good salary to its employees, which I understand they are. The majority of people said they prefer the prepaid gratuities. Did that surprise you at all, Aaron?
Aaron Saunders: It actually surprised me a lot, because a lot of the respondents write in … A lot of our respondents are from the United States, and the US is of course a very tipping friendly culture where 18 to 20 percent tip, that’s not uncommon. What fascinated me is that people wanted this rolled in, especially with river cruises. That could be an issue with currency, perhaps they don’t want to go to the trouble to extract Euros from the ATM, because on almost all river cruise ships, if not all, the on board currency is always the Euro, or they want to be able to put it on their credit card. They’re saying, hey, we’re paying X amount for these voyages anyways. These cruises don’t go cheaply. They’re saying we would like to have this just rolled in. That actually really surprised me, because that’s actually very different from the ocean cruise industry where people are constantly wanting things unbundled, you know. I don’t use this, why should I pay for this. It was a really interesting revelation.
Ralph Grizzle: Right. It was, and that article is on the site. It’s just called cruise gratuities. Also, at the bottom of that article we have some tips on how much to tip. We did an article at the beginning of the year about six exceptional cruise values for 2016 river cruising. I did a piece on my favorite river cruises as well. We looked at kid friendly river cruises and we heard from … we also did a piece on Crystal’s river yacht deck plans. We took at look at those. Those were really interesting, weren’t they? They’re going to have some huge suites.
Aaron Saunders: Crystal’s going to have some gigantic suites. They’re even going to manage to smoke past Viking, which up until this point has pretty much been the king of the suite for the two massive explorer suites that are found at the stern of the Viking long ships. Crystal’s not only going to do something like that, they’re going to make it even bigger. This is approaching suite level on a luxury ocean liner. Crystal’s also rethinking their deck plans substantially to where they’re not going to go with the traditional river cruise method deck plan. They’re going to do something that looks a lot something like an ocean liner. You’re going to have an entire deck of public rooms that goes stem to stern. Within that you’re going to have a galley that’s, at least on the deck plan, substantially larger than your average river ship galley, and that makes me very interesting to what sort of culinary offerings they’re going to whip up in that extra space.
Ralph Grizzle: Exactly. Well, we have a lot of great content. We’ve got a lot of great content coming during the month of February. I’ll be on the Viking LongShips inaugural at the end of the month in Amsterdam and see what they’ve got new and improved. What do you have next on the river cruise lines segment?
Aaron Saunders: Next up for me on the river cruise lines segment, I’m going to be on the inaugural voyage of the MS Elbe Princess and that is CroisiEurope’s new river cruise vessel that’s going to be sailing from Berlin in the heart of Prague. This ship is really interesting for a couple of reasons, number one, it’s propelled by two stern paddle wheels. The other area that’s interesting with this brand new ship is it has a draft, meaning the amount that’s below the water line, of just three feet. That’s because the Elbe is notoriously shallow, it’s a very difficult river to sail on, certainly fluctuating water levels don’t make it any easier. With just three feet below the water line, this is a ship that can actually ride some of those problems out and actually provide a really interesting cruise experience on the Elbe. I’m really looking forward to seeing that, so that would be in April.
Ralph Grizzle: I like this company a lot. I met them in Strasbourg, which is their family owned company from Strasbourg. They have 40-plus ships. They’ve got this … coastal cruisers as well. They’re very … They build some very innovative ships. I was on the Loire Princesse, as you know, earlier last year, and also with the paddle wheelers, and that was a great cruise as well. I really like what they’re doing. They are the value oriented sort of … they’re the price leaders, I guess. We’ve got an article about an offer that they have, I think it’s $1,499 or something like that.
Aaron Saunders: Yeah.
Ralph Grizzle: There we go back to that solo discussion, and I don’t want to digress too much about CroisiEurope, because I want to come back to them, but back to that solo discussion, CroisiEurope may be a good cruise line to look to for a good value.
Aaron Saunders: Well, the impressive thing about that offer that they’re doing right now, this is just the one sailing they’re offering for $1,499 is in October. That’s not so unique. What is unique is even their high season sailings are going for $1800 and change. These are sailings that include excursion options ashore. They’re giving you all your drinks, all your beverages, of course spirits, beers and wines. Of course, being French, you know the wine is good. Really, you know, when you think about it, for under $2000 a person, that’s kind of what you’d pay for an Alaska cruise in a balcony stateroom. That’s actually very good. Yeah, like Ralph said, they are the price leader, they’re doing a lot of interesting stuff, they’re family owned and really they have been in business for decades. They just celebrated 40 years, 45 years, something like that.
Ralph Grizzle: I think it was … yeah, exactly.
Aaron Saunders: Yeah.
Ralph Grizzle: We did a great cruise with them in Paris where I think they’re the only cruise operator that’s allowed to get under the bridges an into the heart of Paris. We sailed right by Notre Dame and at night and back by the Eiffel Tower, it was absolutely beautiful. Also, I think them and Scenic are the only ones who can get into Honfleur, and to the center of Honfleur.
Aaron Saunders: They are.
Ralph Grizzle: Which is a beautiful little town not far from Le Havre and Rouen. To be right in the heart there is something special. They’re going a great job. CroisiEurope is doing a great job.
Aaron Saunders: Yeah. I think so, too, and they’re really … they’re a nice company, they’re really just trying to attract North Americans really quite heavily for the first time in the last few years. They still aren’t as well known in North America yet, as maybe Vikine is or Uniworld is, but they are trying really hard to appeal to people that want to take a river cruise but want to do it very affordably and very economically.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah. On the flip side we’ve got one of the higher priced cruise lines. We talk about Tauck, but then we’ve got Scenic from down in Australia, and they started off as a tour operator down there, and they’ve come to Europe and built their own ships. Beautiful ships. They strive to be the most all inclusive. They include absolutely everything, laundry, mini bar, butler service. They’ve got multiple restaurants on this ship. I’m not even sure how many they have. There’s the River Café, there’s another one up front, there are two down stairs, and they’ve got these electric-assist bikes that are very popular. We rode those between Melk and Durnstein last year, which was a great experience.
Aaron Saunders: They’ve even got something called our Scenic Free Choice, which is GPS enabled iPhone or iPad, basically. You take this thing with you, it works in a number of cities. It offers preprogrammed GPS enabled tillers, so that if you were in Vienna, let’s say you don’t want to do the whole group thing, but you still want to tour Vienna and you still want to get all the history that the guide offers. This Scenic Free Choice thing will help you do that, because you pop the headphones in and it actually gives you a voice over of a guide, and the guide’s voice over’s triggered by your location, so matter where you are, if you took a stroll through Vienna, it will actually pick up all the relevant information around you and give you specifics on what you’re looking at, which is really quite an incredible option.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah, very innovative. They also have something, and I apologize to Scenic if I have this wrong, I believe it’s called the Scenic Sundowner, and the idea is that once per voyage they want to take you to some special place where you just kind of celebrate the end of the day with a glass of wine or a beer or whatever. They took us to a castle in Melk in the Wachau Valley, and we were up on the top of this mountain at this old castle ruin, and people were dressed in medieval costumes. That wasn’t Scenic’s doing that, it just happened that it coincided with our visit up there. Just a wonderful concept. I guess that’s the way the Australians think, I’m not quite sure.
Aaron Saunders: Well yeah, there’s another interesting thing just quickly about Scenic which is, you know, they started in Australia, the next place they came after Australia was Canada. They’re very well known here in Canada to the point where you can go into any travel agency and you can get brochures for the river cruises. What they’re trying to do now though is really become very well known to the American audience. They’ve started trying to do that, and I think the people in the States are really going to like and enjoy the product they have to offer because it is extremely inclusive and they’re taking things one step further. In 2017, I think, by building their own dedicated ocean going expedition yacht called the Scenic Eclipse. They’re pulling a Viking river cruises and they’re going to go out and do ocean cruises as well. That sort of points to how successful they’ve been with their river product and what they feel they can do with it in the future.
Ralph Grizzle: Okay, let’s see. We have Crystal going to river cruise.
Aaron Saunders: Yep.
Ralph Grizzle: We had Viking going to ocean cruise, and now we have Scenic going to ocean cruise.
Aaron Saunders: Yep.
Ralph Grizzle: They’re all crossing over.
Aaron Saunders: Scenic is now going to ocean cruise, too.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah.
Aaron Saunders: The lines with the river cruise industry are blurring massively because everybody that’s not in river cruising right now is trying to figure out how do we get a slice of this pie. All these river cruise lines are going, boy we do this pretty well. How can we go out and build an ocean going ship? There’s this really fascinating crossover, and I think we did a piece on that near the end of December. It was the blurring line of ocean cruising and river cruises. Really, in many cases now, if you have a favorite ocean cruise line or a favorite river cruise line, you maybe able to take those somewhere else, too.
Ralph Grizzle: Now, we sailed on AmaWaterways over the New Year’s Eve holiday and I’m really impressed with that company. I’ve known this company for quite some time, for about ten years or so, and but I’m impressed with how they’ve evolved. They take sort of a slow growth approach. They’re not Viking, at the fast pace. They take a slow growth approach and I’m impressed with what they’ve done with their ships. They’re strong in quite a lot of areas. First of all, they have this highly active sort of cruise with this partnership they have with Backroads Bicycling, and Backroads is this tour organization based in North America that just focuses on bicycle tours, upscale bicycle tours. They’ve also got … of course they have their own fleet of bikes on the ship as well, on every sailing. They have a program with Disney called Adventures by Disney, and it’s going to be family cruises that begin this year, 2016. I’ve seen some of the adjoining staterooms, too, where families are going to be able to essentially stay together in the same stateroom. They are … I think they are leaders in the group cruises, especially their wine cruises.
It’s a good cruise line to work with if you’ve got a handful of friends that you’d like to take on a cruise and have something like a wine themed cruise or any sort of thing. They’re also very good with culinary as well. I like this new restaurant that they had at the back of their ships called The Chef’s Table. It’s reservation only, but no additional cost. Just a wonderful upscale dining experience. The other thing I like is that they’re able to cater to any lifestyle except for strict kosher. They can do anything else, gluten free, you name it, they can handle that. All of the food on the ship has gotten healthier, less salt, less sugars. I talked to the executive chef and they’ve done some remarkable things. They even have a gluten free corner now, and they also have detox water at the bar. Of course, I’m more tempted by the champagne that’s also up there at the bar.
Aaron Saunders: Well, you know, it’s interesting, I thought I’d mention really quickly just on the subject of AmaWaterways, which, by the way, I agree with everything Ralph has just said. They are a fantastic company. One of the things that makes a huge impression on me, it’s kind of an industry thing, but Ralph and I always go to these conferences that are put on every year like Cruise Shipping or Seatrade, and when you go to these, every time there’s an AmaWaterways booth, Kristin Karst and Rudi Schreiner are always working the booth. These are the guys that own the company. They’re cofounders of this company and they still work their booth. I think that really says a lot about the mentality of the company. They’ve grown to the point now where they don’t really need to do that anymore, but they still operate very much as a family run company. I think that that has created a lot of their success because like Ralph said, they take a very measured approach, and I think a cautious approach isn’t a bad way to do things either.
One of the things I wanted to mention just on the subject of dietary things was I have an allergy to nuts, and a lot of people have allergies or dietary requirements these days. For people who are on a river cruise, this can be a real source of worry, can they take care of my dietary needs. I went to Myanmar with Viking River Cruises back in November. Myanmar of course, like Thailand and many southeast Asian countries, they use a lot of peanuts and peanut oils and things like that.
When I got on board the Viking Mandalay, the hotel manager came over and talked to me and this is how seriously they took my allergy. They actually normally always cook with peanut oil on that ship, and not only did they replace it with vegetable oil, they removed every single bin, pail, gallon, whatever, they took it completely off of the ship just so nobody would make a mistake accidentally. So even though this ship is very tiny, it has a very small galley, you would think that their hands might be tied with a lot of this stuff, river cruise lines take dietary concerns very seriously and I know certainly Ama does, Viking does and I would say every river cruise operator out there would do their absolute best to make sure that you’re taken care of. I always think that’s worth mentioning, too, is that even for AmaWaterways to do gluten free cruises, that’s incredible.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah, I would say that they are … they can cater pretty well to any lifestyle and it’s a good trend to see. We have a lot of interest on the site, people want to know what the dietary sort of … how they can be catered to on these cruises and just in general, I think almost any lifestyle can be catered to on a river cruise. There’s a lot to report on river cruising. It’s a very exciting segment of the industry, I love river cruising, I know you do, too, Aaron.
Aaron Saunders: I do too.
Ralph Grizzle: There’s so many parts of the world. I mean, if you just look at Europe alone, it’s incredible what’s offered here. I don’t think anybody knows that there’s a river cruise in Sweden that goes from Stockholm to Gothenburg on a little canal on what I hear is the world’s oldest passenger ship, I don’t know if that’s true. It’s called the Juno. I was on that ship, I went with my daughter a few years ago. We started in Stockholm. Beautiful, sailing past the old town, Gamla Stan, and then we started down this canal, and the captain, he got all of us … just a little narrow ship with bunk beds, it feels like a train compartment. My daughter was sleeping on the top bunk bed, I was on the bottom. Whenever I got up I had to get out of the room so that she could get up. The captain got us all into the restaurant, which was small and he greeted us and had a welcome glass of champagne and he said, I just want to tell you that the Swedish government has guaranteed to dredge this canal to one meter. Okay, or maybe it was two meters, I forget the number. Then he said, our draft is 1.2 meters. A lady raised her hand and she said, will we run aground? And the captain said, oh yes, many times. And we did.
It just goes to show there’s just so much … Douro River. Just talking within Europe, the cruise that you’re doing on the Elbe, there’s just so much that can be done in Europe.
Aaron Saunders: Yep.
Ralph Grizzle: Then you’ve got the rest of the world, too.
Aaron Saunders: I mean, that’s the thing, you can literally go back … One of my favorite rivers is called the Danube and of course the Danube is the one that everybody knows. Literally, on the Danube there are so many different possible combinations of ports of call that I’m still taking cruises along the Danube and I’ve probably done that six or seven times now. I’m still finding new ports I’ve never been to. And too, you’re sailing past little tiny beautiful towns all day that in many cases you can cycle back to if you feel adventurous, you can take a cab over to if you’ve got time. And yeah, the Douro, the Rhine, the Elbe … there’s almost a … Uniworld even sails Italy’s Po River, which is notoriously difficult to navigate. They even do a very good itinerary there that begins in Venice.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah. That … if we haven’t said it enough, I mentioned … I think we put Tauck, Uniworld and Scenic in the same category and there’s lot of … they all do a great job. I know we talked a little bit more about Scenic and Tauck, but Uniworld, I don’t want to leave them out. Wonderful experience. I’ve been on both the Catherine and the Maria Theresa. I know you’ve been on the Maria Theresa as well.
Aaron Saunders: Yeah.
Ralph Grizzle: Really great product, just exceptional service. It feels like the Seabourn of the rivers. I just love, and I know I’m going to get to this before you do, Aaron. Your favorite bar, the Leopard Bar …
Aaron Saunders: I love the Leopard Bar.
Ralph Grizzle: [crosstalk 00:30:46] SS Catherine, too, just a great, great bar.
Aaron Saunders: It’s one of those spaces that you come into and you walk through, it’s kind of tucked away and you could literally spend a couple days on this ship before you ever find it. It’s all the way to the stern, and you just come into this beautiful little bar. It is just gorgeous and it is surrounded by windows on three sides, there’s even a swimming pool that they’ve got off to one side on the Maria Theresa. I just went back there every day for a cocktail. It was just this nice place to relax with a book, or to write, I kind of turned it into my little office when I was on the christening cruise. I loved it. I thought it was wonderful. It’s … Uniworld’s full of tiny little things like that that you wouldn’t expect on their ships. This year they’re branching out and they just started river cruises along India’s Ganges River.
Ralph Grizzle: Wonderful, yeah. Maybe we can share a room on that one. I would love to go on that one. I can imagine there’s high demand and …
Aaron Saunders: From what I hear, demand from that … and that’s interesting too, because from what I hear, demand for that is very high for those, because that is, really when you’re talking about seeing India, you know, if you’re kind of put off by the idea of doing it on your own or trying to do it [inaudible 00:31:56], the river cruise is a great way to see it, because you know they’ve taken care of all the details, the ship is good. That’s another important point I think to stress with river cruising, is really, river cruises tend to start at this point that’s very high up. There’s no Holiday Inn of river cruising. There’s no … not that there’s anything wrong with that, there’s nothing wrong with the Holiday Inn or Best Western, or maybe Carnival Cruise Lines. River cruising starts at this point that is much higher than ocean cruises, much higher than hotels. There’s really no lower level. Everybody kind of starts at this very upper premium Viking, AmaWaterways, this is a very premium experience, I think.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah. I would … I would put CroisiEurope’s newer ships in there as well. They’re very innovative. Just a lot of great product, a lot of great destinations. We’ve got a lot to cover in 2016 and our readers have told us what they want, and we’re going to give it to them. Of course one big topic is low water. We’re not going to go into that now, but we have a fair amount of low water sort of articles and information on the site and we’ll be doing a lot more this year.
Aaron Saunders: Definitely.
Ralph Grizzle: Yeah. Well, thanks a lot, Aaron. This has been fun. It’s got me excited. I want to go book a river cruise now.
Aaron Saunders: I do too. I actually really do.
Ralph Grizzle: Okay. Thanks.
Aaron Saunders: Thanks very much, Ralph. Take care.