• Stephan Busch

River Cruises are coming back! Welcome to the crew!

After a time of no jobs – no income and worse – no certainty when or if a job will be still there the first ships are getting ready to start cruising the European rivers.

Arosa was the first to announce their sailing, Scylla seems to be ready and Universal are preparing and Nicko announced their first cruise for 6th of June.

Hope on the horizon!

I have actually seen a Nicko ship and a Vantage yesterday passing by the shipyard here in Holland. So believe me – they are moving! Viking suspended all travel until September 1st but in the last message from Torstein Hagen he didn’t say anything about river cruises. The American and all markets outside the EU will most properly not return this year. But who knows? I hope I am wrong!

Most companies plan for July so hopefully the rivers and our crew will see some action and needed income soon. From my perspective the worst result of the Corona panic was to see all this young, eager, ready to work crew come over in March - get training and then send home without knowing when they might return. The sad truth is not all will be hired back this year. The season is almost over and if each company gets 50% of their ships on the river it will be already a success. Unfortunately not for all of us.

The crew is our backbone!

In river cruising we rely to 90% on seasonal staff. They are our backbone! The cruise industry can’t exist without them! It’s a hard job and the pay is not really exiting. But for young people a great start – for the more seasoned ones a great place to move up. Everybody decides what he wants - what he likes. But we all need a chance to start.

After a long winter break for the crew it is double hard to suddenly realize there is no income – and worse – you don’t know for how long. They have to support families, pay rent & loans and need to fullfil their dreams.

With the first ships moving my wish is to see all of our crew back on board – get the job done perfectly as always – make money – and enjoy being back in live! The rivers need you! We miss you! Looking forward to see you soon!

We will be back? We are – almost - back!

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.

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© 2017 by Stephan Busch