Q – We have been told by our agent that river boats sell out a year in advance. We can travel in September or early October but nothing we would want appears to be available. If there is a shortage of boats, why don’t they just build more?
A – Construction involves paying in Euros and currency rates figure prominently in any new shipbuilding negotiations. Now that the dollar is quite strong against the Euro, we are seeing some major commitments from the river boat lines to significantly increase current capacity.
Here is a fact that says it all: This year, 2015, the major cruise lines will launch a total of seven new cruise ships. At the same time, the major river lines will launch 41 new vessels this year.
The implications of this fact are staggering. From our perspective, we are already seeing river boats having to tie-up to other boats in port because if a severe shortage of proper berthing facilities. . We are seeing major sites like the Abbey in Melk, inundated with visitors from the river cruise fleet. So we will soon be asking the question – “How much is too much” when it comes to Europe’s major waterways? It will be interesting to see if new river boat berth building can keep pace with the new arrivals. From reports we are seeing, we seriously doubt it.
So, yes, they are building boats. But if they build them, will you come?