Label this one “Problems facing the River Industry”

Officials from several River Cruising organizations all throughout Europe assembled for their panel. Here are some of the highlights:

  • On most rivers, the infrastructure close to its capacity limits. Experts cited the Moselle River as a bad situation in terms of congestion.
  • Crew Issues. There’s just a lack of crew. Work visa’s and work permits are incredibly difficult to obtain. Those who are non-EU crew pose the greatest issues.
  • The inconsistency of the above work permits pose a problem as well. Those that are used and accepted in one country are refused in another.
  • Taxes. The complexity and inability to streamline the VAT regulations pose a problem. The different rates for different countries create a headache. Officials also point to the vast amount of work they have to do in order to understand, interpret, and levee the tax takes up valuable time.
  • Germany’s plans on increasing the VAT on river cruises from 7% to 19% in 2012.
  • Environmental rules also differ from one EU country to another.

Arnulf Hader released the seventh edition of his River Cruise Fleet Handbook.

Despite the above, the experts were optimistic about the future. There were many new ideas brought to the table including catering to US families, a line catering to dog owners where they could bring their dogs.

They emphasized the potential 10 ships per year. And ability to call at many, many new ports.

I think this finally concludes the River Cruise info from here.

If anything breaks, I’ll post.