Schliessen
Schliessen

Customised ship chartering

A concert of In Extremo onboard.
When bagpipes play rock while the bass booms, 1,200 people stamp rhythmically on the floor and MS RheinEnergie glides calmly over the water – this is perhaps not as unusual as it appears at first glance. Because the KD ships set sail for many different events – from the dream wedding or company party to a concert by the well-known medieval rock band In Extremo.

Bagpipes, shawm, hurdy-gurdy and harp combinedwith rock guitar and gravelly voice – that is the combination of sounds which has become the hallmark of the medieval hard rock band In Extremo over the last 20 years and has earned the group an enormous fan base. For their 20th anniversary in 2015, the band wanted to offer their fans a really special event. Consequently the lead singer Michael Robert Rhein – stagename: “das letzte Einhorn” (the Last Unicorn)– and his colleagues decided to launch their anniversary tour far away from the customary concert halls and do it instead on the Rhine, at the foot of the Loreley. The band certainly has aconnection to water and to the legendary rockon the Middle Rhine, with two of its numbers bearing the titles “Störtebeker” and “Loreley”.

Rock the ship

A floating location which satised all the band’s wishes was soon found in the shape of MS RheinFantasie, the most modern event ship in the KD fleet: room for up to 1,000 fans, a spacious stage and state-of-the-art light and sound systems. In Extremo had to make a few concessions in the pyrotechnical effects, which were actually a permanent feature in the stage show, but that in no way detracted from the atmosphere on board. The gig on the Rhine not only sold out in record time – the atmosphere at the concert was so fantastic that one thing was soon clear: Everybody wanted more of it! And as a result, in late 2016, to mark the launch of the anniversary CD “Quid pro Quo”, the second and third In Extremo concerts took place on the river –on both occasions in Cologne and on board MS RheinEnergie, and in each case every last one of the approximately 1,200 tickets was sold. “In the last 20 years, we’ve performed a lot of live shows,” says Michael Rhein as he looks back at the band’s history, “but these appearances on the Rhine were denitely something extra special – for us and also for our fans.”

“ The band certainly has a connection to water & to the legendary rock on the Middle Rhine ...“

“My ship” for a day

Just like In Extremo, each year hundreds o fevent organisers – both companies and private individuals – decide to charter a KD ship for their event. With a fleet of twelve ships available, they can be sure that they will find the suitable floating location for every type and size of event. A round birthday or wedding is catered for ideally on board the sleek MS Palladium or the cosy MS Warsteiner. New product presentations find the perfect modern surroundings on MS RheinFantasie, and an anniversary party of a long-established firm could find no more appropriate setting than MS Loreley. The range of potential events is matched by the variety of the ships, from an elegant river cruise ship to a state-of-the-art event ship.

The team for the ship

But it is not just the ships which can be booked through the KD Charter Department. The offering includes – when required – comprehensive support of the planned event. The charter specialists function as event managers and take care of every detail, however minor, from the floral decoration to the stage programme. Both private and corporate events profit from the experience the KD Charter Team has gathered from thousands of events and the broad network of suppliers, artists and other contacts who can transform any ship’s excursion into a unique experience.

All the vessels can be equipped precisely as required for the envisaged purpose, with everything from ultra-modern presentation systems to decoration fit for a gala. The KD culinary oerings are equally varied. The highly professional kitchen and service crews can handle a four-course gala set meal for 600 passengers as expertly as a relaxed stand-up reception with culinary specialities from Cologne or a live cookingevent. Or would you prefer a Caribbean cocktailbar next to a barbecue area on deck, a burger buffet or finger food, ice cream specialities or Asian delicacies? “We love challenges,” says Jennifer Boitz from the KD Charter Team, putting her department’s attitude in a nutshell. “And there is really nothing which we can’t make happen onboard.” The staff of Cologne’s register office, for example, are frequent guests when a KD ship is once again chosen as the setting for a particularly romantic wedding. Because where else can you marry with a view of the Cologne Cathedral?

Celebrating everywhere

One of the invaluable advantages of a floating event location is that it can be brought to where you want it – provided, of course, that the location can be reached by ship. And this means that you can select not only the location itself, but also the backdrop, plus the river cruise. Should the event begin as part of the supporting programme for a trade fair in stylish Düsseldorf, would you like a short trip on dry land through Cologne’s old town, or would the corporate guests from the Far East like to get to know the picturesquely romantic Middle Rhine? By theway: Although the name “Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt” – which is the fullname of KD – might suggest that KD vessels only sail in these two major cities on the Rhine, that is certainly not the case: they also travel to Rüdesheim and Mainz, and KD’s fleet is represented in Frankfurt, too. So In Extremo will be spoilt for choice when it comes to organising their next concert, because one thing is clear: The band and their fans have by no means had enough of rocking on the river, and singer Michael Rhein and his colleagues are already contemplating river concert number four.