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Cruise Ports & Destinations - Captain's Choice

Captain

The eight-day Captain's Choice cruise has proved so popular that there will now be six sailings through his Dutch homeland to little-known gems including the Dutch Lake District of Roermond; Nijmegen, the country's oldest city; the star-shaped town of Heusden and historic Dordrecht for a tour or the Royal Delft Pottery. Capt Arts says he is delighted by the response.

He said: "There are many more modern ships operating on the rivers, offering luxurious experiences that arc quite different to the cosy atmosphere we offer aboard the Lady Anne but we find that passengers keep coming back to us." Capt Arts was born on the rivers in the Netherlands' and says he was interested in ships from a young age.

He said: "My family always had various boats and I had my first small boat at the age of six. It was inevitable that my career would be somehow linked to ships." However; he had not originally planned to be a ship's captain and studied shipbuilding.

He said: "I found I didn't like having to work inside and didn't enjoy jobs such as welding so eluting my free time I helped on a neighbour's clay boat. From there I moved to working on river cruise ships but my shipbuilding studies have always been useful in understanding the mechanics involved work as a first officer and after sitting his exams he was handed the job as captain on the 106 passenger Lady Anne.

Capt Arts, 44, said: "Lady Anne was originally called Avanti. She was built in 1903 as a cargo vessel and was converted for passenger use in 1964. She is one of the oldest vessels on the river."

Capt Arts also has another lady in his life, Jana, who he married last year. They honeymooned on the Greek island of Santorini and it was one of the only times he has taken a holiday during the sailing season.

He said: "There are 19 crew, including me, and the River Cruise Line passengers particularly like the atmosphere we create on board. They are almost always very happy and there are a lot of repeat clients. On other ships there can be many different nationalities travelling together but with the River Cruise Line, the passengers are all British and for us it works very smoothly. British clients are happy to brave all weathers and travel most of the year; we have one of the longest sailing seasons, starting in March on the Dutch Waterways and running through to Christmas and New Year on the Rhine."

The Captain's Choice cruise departs in June and July 2016, price from £749 includes return travel from the UK (by coach, rail or air as appropriate), transfers and services of a cruise director.


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