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Meta: Major update 2012

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Home >> Meta: Major update 2012

After nearly one year, the site is going through a major update. This was nessessary for several reasons. For the first version, I was just reaching a bit too far, wanted to get everything included. But it turned out, it was much more complicated than expected.

While you'll just see the changes on the interface, there were several major changes done to the database. I had to deal with them first, in order to make everything else work smoothly again.

Just to give you an example: Usually one thinks that ONE cruise has ONE ship. Wrong. There are several cruises (mainly in France), where you'll cruise a week on the Seine, then swap ships, cruise a second week on the Rhone / Saone. As I just had one ship assigned, these cruises were not displayed properly (and the search did only run across the data of ship no. 1). That was just one of the major problems, all of them together (and me working full season) caused the site to be nearly completely outdated for a year.

But now all issues are solved, here is a list of the changes, that you'll get an idea why it took so long:

All Pages
- Tabs installed to prevent a lot of scrolling, organize and split informations up into small pieces. Keep everything short and simple. Some typos have been corrected as well ;)
- Search friendly and human readable URLs: Instead of Numbers like /9 it now reads /countries /rivers and so on.

Cruise Lines
- Extra Information on social media.
- On the 'Cruises' tab you'll don't just have the Cruise Name and the Length of the cruise, but the countries and rivers displayed as well

- Cruise Itineraries are now available for both directions, not only one.
- 'More Information' tab: You'll see which currencies youll need, which vaccinations are recommended by the CDC for all the countries you'll cruise through.

- I run extensive research, online and offline to complete the entries as far as possible. Now the database includes 260 ships cruising the European Rivers. From different sources (boards, webpages, information offered by investment groups) I managed to get some valuable information: Draft, Height of the ships. All ships entries included in the departure list are 100% complete.
- Food information had been removed: It was nearly impossible to gather these information.

- 'Cruise Info' tab. Gives you a brief overview who actually cruises through this particular country.

- 'Cruise Info' tab. Gives you a brief overview who actually cruises on a particular river. Some new rivers have been included as well: The Po in Northern Italy, the Gironde estuary (for the 2014 season).

- A lot of new cities have been added, now the database contains information on est. 400 cities that are listed as ports of call by the river cruise operators.

- Ajax included: While the old search just had a little number shown if you there are cruises fitting your choice, the new search drops invalid entries via Ajax. So there won't be any emtpy search result pages any more.

Less Cruise Lines
For the relaunch you'll notice, there are fewer companies included for 2013. Don't worry, I am going to reinclude them for the next year. But I decided to include 'only' the 10 major cruise lines (who own about 40% of all ships) for the relaunch. When the 2014 data are published, I am going to include them again.

And there is more to come, so stay tuned.