The Voice of the Cruise Industry

River focus: How to sell the Moselle in 2024

Scenic Japer, Moselle Valley

Famed for its wine and medieval towns, a cruise along the Moselle is to encounter Europe’s most spectacular countryside, says Nicole Carmichael

Charting a course through some of the most stunning sites in France, Luxembourg and Germany, the Moselle River flows from its source in the French Vosges mountains, meandering along 545km until it meets with the Rhine in Koblenz in western Germany.

While the Rhine gets most of the plaudits, many seasoned river cruisers will say the Moselle is perhaps the prettiest river in Europe. Flanked by verdant hills and mountains, and fringed with vineyards that slope down to its calm waters, it’s more peaceful than its larger counterpart.

And although it doesn’t pass through as many other countries as the Danube, it holds a unique charm of its own. “There is no more enjoyable setting in which to enjoy a crisp glass of Riesling wine,” says Brad Bennetts, head of sales and business development for APT & Travelmarvel.

“We include a section of the Moselle on our seasonal Travelmarvel Rhine & Moselle Christmas Markets cruise. “Our guests glide from the Rhine towards the idyllic town of Cochem, nestled in the heart of the Moselle Valley.”

Here, Bennetts continues, guests can explore a “patchwork” of narrow alleyways and their striking, half-timbered houses. “An included experience, and one not to be missed, is a visit to Cochem’s magnificent castle. Perched on a hill overlooking the beautiful Moselle as it unwinds below, the castle could have been lifted straight off the pages of a fairytale.”

What to see along the Moselle

Many tales are often told about the region and, as well as getting a taste for some of the fine wines of the Moselle, visitors will also come away with plenty of stories.

There are legends of the mysterious healing properties of Bernkastel wine, produced in what is said to be one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany.

There’s a plethora of picture-perfect towns to discover and the pace of life is slower than whistle-stop tours in other regions, plus there’s a variety of activities designed to appeal to a mix of travellers.

“Our Active and Discovery cruises are perfect for those who want the peace, tranquility, great food, and of course amazing destinations of a river cruise but also want to raise their heart rate or try something different at times,” says Phil Shipman, director of sales for Avalon Waterways.

The line’s Active & Discovery on the Moselle sailing allows guests to take their pick and enjoy everything from wine tasting in the Moselle Valley to a tour of a 214-year-old mustard mill. Emerald Cruises also encourages clients to see the Moselle from a different perspective.

“For those wanting a slower pace, we offer a canal boat tour of Utrecht and wine tasting at Schloss Johannisberg, the castle and winery in the Rheingau wine-growing region of Germany,” says Nichola Absalom, managing director, sales and marketing for Scenic & Emerald Cruises.

Slower-paced sailings appealing to UK customers

Riviera Travel, meanwhile, tailors its Moselle cruises for passengers who are seeking a blend of explorative learning and relaxation. “We ensure the schedule has a balanced mix of port visits and leisurely scenic sailing,” says Will Sarson, head of product at Riviera Travel.

“This slower-paced journey appeals to UK passengers in particular, as well as those who want to experience a more immersive style of travel.”

CroisiEurope’s USPs are value for money, longevity and experience, having been operating for 47 years. Cruises are very relaxed and informal and may interest customers who enjoy a more contemporary ambience than the more traditional river cruise ships.

It offers a selection of sailings on the Moselle, including a seven-day cruise on the Neckar, Rhine, Moselle and Saar and a seven-day cruise on the Rhine, Moselle and Main.

Moselle River
Slower paced journeys are appealing more to UK customers

“For many years, A-Rosa has been shaking off the formal image of river cruising to create a fun, relaxed and refreshingly different way for all ages to sail Europe’s stunning rivers,” says Lucia Rowe, managing director at A-Rosa River Cruises UK & Ireland.

“A-Rosa‘s river cruises all have something reassuringly in common: a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, an emphasis on independent exploration and a generous premium all-inclusive package, wrapping up everything from quality drinks to pampering.”

For 2024, two additional ships will join the fleet, A-Rosa Alea and A-Rosa Clea. These smaller, more intimate vessels promise the amenities of bigger river ships, on a truly boutique scale.

Moselle a ‘great choice’ for wine lovers

The Romans conquered the Moselle region around 50BC and 30 years later founded Trier, Germany’s oldest town, which later became one of the capitals of the Roman Empire.

Originally, they imported their wine from Galle and Italy before beginning to grow wine along the banks of the river. Moselle is now Germany’s fifth largest area of wine production.

Its annual temperature of around 10ºC, its unique positioning and rich slate soil are the perfect ingredients to produce amazing wine. The river itself has an important role to play, too, reflecting heat and light while moderating the temperatures to protect the vines from extremes such as frost.

“The Moselle is a great choice for wine lovers, with plenty of vineyards in which to learn about the Gewürztraminer and Riesling wines,” says Andrea Stafford, sales director UK and Europe for AmaWaterways.

“Guests joining one of our wine cruises on the Moselle will enjoy panoramic views of the vineyards from a gondola, can hike among the grapes in Rüdesheim and explore the city of Cochem. Each dedicated wine cruise is also accompanied by an expert who will arrange a series of tastings along the way, both on land and while on-board. It’s a great way to learn more about the region.”

AmaMagna, AmaWaterways
AmaWaterways has added a new Moselle-focussed training scheme

AmaWaterways backs Moselle with new trade training programme

AmaWaterways has also recently launched a new training programme, highlighting a selection of its most popular European itineraries which complements the Course 2 learning module which focused on Danube itineraries.

Newcomers will have the chance to earn £75 in reward gift cards by completing all three courses and making three reservations within 90 days of each course’s completion. Emerald also offers Moselle-focused training.

“We are committed to ensuring our agent partners are equipped with comprehensive offers, support and training via our 24/7 e-learning platform, Agent Academy,” says Absalom.

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