RIVER RHINE CRUISE (with Newmarket Holidays on the MV Olympia) We were coached from our home town at 03.15 to catch the 08.15 Seafrance ferry to Calais. We do not advise the use of Seafrance ,the food on both the outward and inward journeys was expensive and poor quality....the fish served as a main meal on the return appeared top be chopped and formed fish meat. The journey in a new coach to Cologne was a little tedious , made even more so by a coach drivers smoking at every stop and followed by coughing on board afterwards. The MV Olympia is a 1984 vessel, but although dated is fairly comfortable. The Representative of Newmarket Travel Mary, was efficient and affable but appeared to have problems in dealing with the vessels Captain The eastern european waiting and bar staff were excellent ,however the sailing crew seemed to have difficulty in understanding the Dutch Captain. Food was adequate and it was necessary to choose both lunchtime and evening meal main courses at breakfast. This certainly avoided waste. The cruise past the Loreley and the Rhine gorge were in most pleasant weather with a clear commentary given. However once past Mainz the river becomes canalised with a number of large locks. This continued as far as our destination of Basle. Included trips ,using the coaches which had brought us from the UK were all fine, including a visit to Frieburg, Lake Tittisee, Luzerne and the Spectacular Rhine Falls. We retraced our steps back to Oberwesel to see the 'Rhine in Flames' which lived up to the billing with the musical firework spectacular and backgroundof the illuminated city walls and towers of Oberwesel The most unfortunate aspect was that the noisy engines of the boat started at about 04.30 each morning and sailing commenced at that time. We were told that the sailing times for the river were restricted to 14 hours per day and this meant unavoidable early starts in order to keep to the itinerary. We would certainly cruise the Rhine and Moselle again, but not the long tedious stretch from Mainz to Basle. However , it did allow for some restful times.