The Danube’s great cities cruise with Shearings Holidays – Part 1

Does the thought of the large cruise ships leave you feeling seasick? The thought of flying is frustrating? Well never fear, Shearings Holidays are here! This award-winning company has combined their successful coach travel with wonderful river cruises to see some beautiful cities throughout Europe. Shearings Holidays have brought river cruising to everyone by keeping the cost at affordable prices, but giving amazing value for money.  

Shearings Holidays’ solution to seeing the greatest cities in Europe is to go by coach from the UK to the Danube and then join one of their river cruise ships.

Shearings Coaches Shearings coaches pick up throughout Britain and get you from your hometown in style. Home Connect is also an option – a door-to-door service which is available for approximately £44 per person or free with some river cruise ships.

The coach tour is the start of your holiday adventure as you meet your fellow travellers who become your friends and companions for the tour. The comfortable coaches with the experienced Shearings Holidays drivers take you through the Channel Tunnel on to Liege in France for your first evening stop. An early start then sets you off for your final leg of the coach journey to the River Danube to your chosen Shearings river cruise ship.  

Shearings Holidays do offer an alternative to the coach tour; you can fly from your chosen airport or go by train – three of our party had come over on the train from St Pancras to Frankfurt where they stayed overnight at a hotel, then another train down to Passau where they joined the ship. Just contact Shearings Holidays with your preference and they will organise your travel arrangements.

If you have any disabilities, then contact the well-trained staff at Shearings Holidays to explain your disability and they will ensure that the river cruise and tours fit in with your needs. The experienced staff will work hard to give you a solution so you can get the most out of your holiday. 

Glynis on the deck having fun! Glyn’s Tip: Sometimes the ships will moor side by side, so access to the shore is through other ships and may involve going up and down steps, which could cause problems if you have limited mobility. 

Some cruise ships do have lifts that take you to the lounge and dining room and your cabin floor, and some have a chair lift to take disabled passengers up to the top sun deck so that they do not miss any of the beautiful scenery that unfolds before them. (check the facilities on the ship before you book your cruise).

A very warm welcome is waiting for you as you reach your destination. Your Cruise Manager will be there to greet you and answer any questions you may have.

Shearings Holidays on the Danube feature many ships, and a long-standing favourite is the MV Esmerelda. She sails from May to September and offers great value for those wanting a three-star option. Onboard, the ships restaurants serve a hot and cold buffet breakfast three course lunch and four-course evening meal. And for an extra treat there is a gala dinner on one evening.

Shearings River Cruises For those who want more luxury, Shearings Holidays has partnered with Amadeus Cruises for 2020. Four five-star ships are featured – Amadeus Silver 11, Amadeus Star, Amadeus Silver 111 and Amadeus Imperial and these cruises are available by air or rail.

These luxurious ships boast staterooms with French balcony or drop-down panoramic windows, gourmet dining with all meals included, free flowing wines with every dinner on board, entertainment including lectures, cooking demonstrations and music performances plus complimentary use of bicycles and a fitness room.

Shearings Holidays cruises vary from ship to ship from 3-star to 5-star.  The A-Rosa River Cruises cater for the four-star market with two ships on the Danube, the A-Rosa Donna and A-Rosa Silva featured in the Shearings Holidays programme for 2020. These premium ships offer a range of facilities with a choice of cabin types, outdoor pool or whirlpool and a full-service spa. They are available on an all-inclusive basis, which includes gourmet buffet meals with live cooking stations and free drinks both soft and alcoholic.

Trevor enjoying life on board The atmosphere on a Shearings Holidays river cruise ship is excellent. The guests are mainly British, and fun and laughter are the order of the day. People get to know one another on the coach at the start of their holiday or they sit together at dinner or in the lovely lounge area where most people retire to each evening. If you want to keep fit on holiday, most river cruise ships have a small gym and a sauna.

To wake up with a view of the river is a delight and very relaxing. But if you prefer something a little more active, after the excellent food, the cruise manager organises a walk around the ship ten times which equates to a mile – so that will work off some of the calories!

We are sorry to advise that the Specialist Leisure Group, which includes Shearings, entered administration on 22 May 2020. If you have booked a holiday with Shearings, or you have any questions please visit the Shearings website.

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Glynis Sullivan

Traveller and writer for Silver Travel Advisor

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