Listener Javier asks what happens during the busy season in Europe when there are so many river cruise vessels. Do ships dock side-by-side, and if so, how do you get ashore? Click play in the player above.
Ralph: Hi, I’m Ralph Grizzle and welcome to session number two of the Ask River Cruise Advisor podcast. I’m here to answer your questions about river cruising and today we have a question from Javier.
Javier: Since there are so many multiple river cruises going when we are, how do the ships dock? Does one have to cross one ship to get to the land? I mean May is a busy time around the Danube area, so did they all go side by side by side? I’m just curious how one gets to land with all these ships being there. Thanks for your input.
Ralph: Thanks so much for your question Javier, and you are correct, during the summer months the rivers in Europe can get busy with river cruise traffic, and what you see is in some of the cities you’ll see a lot of ships there and they may not have a place to dock up next to the dock, so what they’ll do is tie up to a ship that’s beside the dock, so you can see sometimes two, three, sometimes four vessels side by side.
Now if you’re on the outside vessel you have to walk through those other vessels to get to land. Sometimes that’s a straight shot through the lobbies of those ships and sometimes it’s not. Now when it’s not what that means, that you’ll go up over their sundeck and over to those stairs and down and so it can be a good way to get some exercise, let’s put it that way. It does cause issues at time for people who are mobility impaired.I’ve seen families who transport a foldable wheel chair up and down the stairwells and across the sundeck and of course you can get help from crew members as well, but you know sometimes that situation does cause a little bit of an additional challenge.
The other thing you want to look out for is if you do go out on your own into the city and you come back, your ship may not be where it was when you left it. It will be nearby but what may have happened in the interim while you were out is that the ship or one of the ships on the inside, they had to leave, they had to continue their itinerary, so all of the ships have to move away. That ship on the inside, it pulls away and goes about its merry way and then the other ships re-position.
One thing I recommend is just definitely keeping when you leave a ship, you know make sure you get the contact information so that you always have that with you. I always carry that with me. I take a picture of it with my iPhone so that I have the phone number to the ship. The other thing is just look for your ship and look for the name on the ship, because a lot of ships look alike that belong to the same company. Like the Viking Longships, all of those look pretty much alike from the outside.
Yes it does get busy and you may be docked next to one, two, three other ships. Just check … Don’t come out of the shower and walk out to you balcony with no clothes on. Your neighbor might be in for a big surprise if you do that. Yeah, it’s one of the things about river cruising and the busy season in Europe, but it’s still a wonderful time to go and more and more cruise lines are finding different ports of call where there’s not a lot of other river cruise vessels. They are solving that problem, but there are times you will run in to it as well.
Thanks so much for your question Javier.
If you have a question that you’d like to ask go to rivercruiseadvisor.com/askrca. Thanks so much for listening.