KD Line (Viking Cruises)
Specifications of MS RheinGalaxie Eventschiff
|Year built||2020 new ship|
|Builder||Shipyard De Hoop BV (Lobith, Holland)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Cologne (Koln)-Dusseldorf|
|Building cost||EUR 13 million (USD 14,5 million)|
|Owner||Viking Flusskreuzfahrten AG (Viking River Cruises)|
|Operator||KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH|
|Length (LOA)||85 m / 279 ft|
|Beam (width)||14 m / 46 ft|
|Decks with cabins||1|
MS RheinGalaxie Eventschiff Review
Review of MS RheinGalaxie Eventschiff
MS RheinGalaxie Eventschiff is KD's newest and most modern event ship scheduled for inauguration in 2020 (May). The riverboat is currently under construction at Scheepswerf De Hoop Shipyard (in Lobith, Netherlands). This new "floating party" ship has the staggering for a riverboat passenger capacity of 1000 (max guests in addition to the staff/crew). The ship is planned for private charters and cruises leaving from homeports Cologne (Koln) and Dusseldorf.
The shipowner (KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH) is a subsidiary company of Koln-Dusseldorfer (aka KD Cruises, owned by parent company Viking Cruises). KD Line is an 1826-founded, Cologne-based company with a fleet of 14 cruise vessels deployed on the rivers Moselle, Rhine and Main. In 2000, Koln-Dusseldorfer was acquired by Viking Flusskreuzfahrten AG (Viking River Cruises) - world's largest river cruise ship company.
RheinGalaxie's best-known fleetmate is the 2004-built RheinEnergie Eventschiff (ENI 04803020). RheinEnergie is an event ship and KD's only catamaran. By usable onboard space (2000 m2 / 21530 ft2) RheinEnergie is currently Europe's largest river cruise ship. The boat operates mainly on regularly scheduled cruises between homeports Cologne and Bad Honningen, and (when privately chartered) between Mainz and Dusseldorf. RheinEnergie gained worldwide popularity on August 18, 2005, when in Cologne the ship was boarded by Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger). KD Line's current fleet includes the boats (homeports):
- (Cologne) MS RheinGalaxie, MS RheinEnergie, MS RheinFantasie, MS Asbach, MS Jan von Werth, MS Moselprinz, MS Loreley, RMS Goethe (1913-built, paddle steamer)
- (Dusseldorf) MS RheinPoesie, MS RheinKrone, MS RheinGalaxie
- (Bonn) MS Stolzenfels, (Mainz) MS Godesburg (Frankfurt) MS Palladium (Rudesheim) MS Boppard
The ship RheinGalaxie was specifically designed to hosts large-group events, including corporate meetings, business and academic conferences, company presentations and incentives, musical and theatrical performances, parties (themed, private, DJ, concerts, special occasions - anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, celebrations, etc), holiday fairs, art exhibitions, themed cruises (brunch, dinner, culinary, culture, etc). However, unlike the rest of KD Cruises fleet, RheinGalaxie is not used for regularly scheduled cruises but mainly for private charters.
The vessel was designed by the Dutch company Rene Van der Velden Design BV, which specializes mainly in luxury yachts. The ship's superstructure features clear lines and large open spaces (inside and outside). Interior spaces receive plenty of daylight via floor-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows. All staff-crew cabins are located on Lower Deck and have small, round-shaped Porthole windows. Also on Lower Deck (aft) are the ship's machinery rooms (engines, propulsion, fuel tanks, sewage treatment plant, AC Room) and storage rooms (food, beverages). The interior decor is marked by huge LED screens, light and dark woods, while subtle colours are used for the walls and furniture's upholsteries.
A distinctive ship design feature is the hull's rectilinear / pointed bow (like on classic Transatlantic liners) - in comparison to the traditional for European riverboats curved bows. The boat also has an innovative outside lighting system that makes it unmistakable during the nights too.
As signature facilities, the ship has 3 passenger-accessible decks, 2 Salons (Forward and Aft), large midship Lobby area (Atrium with grand staircase), Bar Lounge, Sundeck (outdoor deck / party area) with Star Rock (Gallery) and Skywalk (VIP viewing platform located above Sundeck), Open-air Star Rock Gallery (sized 85 m2 / 915 ft2) serves as an outdoor disco nightclub (with dance floor, raised stage for live performances, DJ booth).
All KD Line vessels are Malta-flagged (registered in Valletta). KD's ship-charter service is offered the whole year-round, on 12 riverboats and to 40 different locations on 3 rivers (Moselle, Rhine, Main). Charter deals are for passenger (guest) capacity between 65 and 1600. Charter prices (per person) start from EUR 100 pp (Bronze Package, 5-hour ship rent) and go up to EUR 130 pp (Silver Package, 6-hour rent), EUR 160 pp (Gold Package, 6-hour rent) and up to EUR 200 pp (Platinum Package, 10-hour rent). Depending on the selected package, pricing is inclusive of buffet dining, snacks and beverages, Sparkling Wine / Cocktail Reception, live DJ programming (media, lights).
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The ship was constructed by assembling in Lobith of large sections (hull and superstructure) pre-fabricated at the shipyard of NMC Special Products BV (in Nieuw-Lekkerland, approx 20 km / 13 mi from Rotterdam) since June 2019. In the KD RheinGalaxie project participated (besides the shipbuilders and the designer) also the company Schiffstechnik Buchloh GmbH und Co KG (Bruchhausen-based) which specializes in marine engineering and shipbuilding supervision.
In December 2019, the Dutch shipbuilder Scheepswerf De Hoop contracted two companies - Alewijnse Marine (Galati, Romania) and Droste Elektro BV (Rijnwaarden, Netherlands) to deliver and install all the ship's Nav-Com equipment (marine electronics, navigation, communications) and electrical systems.
- Alewijnse Marine was contracted for the ship's power and lighting, communications, automation, cabling, nautical equipment, Navigation Bridge (Wheelhouse) systems, detection and alarm systems (CCTVs, searchlights, etc), audio-video and IT systems (IP network).
- Droste Elektro was contracted for the ship's electrical engineering and installations, electrical distribution system, emergency and shoreside-power connectivity switchboards, fire suppression system, data bus control (devices status report) system.
The cruise ship is powered by three marine diesel engines with combined power output 1,3 MW. RheinGalaxie is scheduled for launch (float-out from drydock at Scheepswerf De Hoop) in December 2019. Then follows the vessel's wetdock outfitting - Wheelhouse, machinery (engines, propulsion, fuel tanks, water tanks, sewage treatment plant), furniture, galley (kitchen) equipment, cold stores, bathrooms, stairs and elevators, hull painting and livery.
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