This week, Travel Editor and river cruising novice Winston Aldworth is sailing down the Rhine on the maiden voyage of Avalon Imagery II. The brand new ship is 110m long and can carry up to 128 passengers. On this 'christening cruise', the passengers are travel-industry types and travel writers - they're joined by Judy Bailey, who's doing the christening duties. Winston will file updates throughout the cruise.
8am, Saturday - Basel, Switzerland
Overnight, we sailed across the Swiss border. We say our farewells and head for the airport. It's been a cracking week. I've done a few ocean cruises and the thing that's different - and great - about river cruising is the business of getting off the boat and exploring the countryside.
10am, Friday - Colmar
It's Easter market time in the gorgeous city of Colmar, in the Alsace region of France. In these parts, the river marks the border, so hopping off the ship we step into Germany, before crossing over a bridge and emerging in France.
The town itself and the region around it has swapped between the two countries over the years depending on the vagaries of dictators and peace settlements.
We wander around Colmar, gawping at beautiful old buildings and scoffing decadent pastries. The sausage rolls are next level and the pain au choclat is heartbreakingly good.
2pm, Friday - Breisach am Rhein
Again, the passengers split into two groups for afternoon tours, with a handful scooting away to do their own thing. One group heads off for a wine tasting; the other goes for a more wholesome bike ride. Unable to face another drop of Riesling, I opt for the bike.
10pm, Friday - The Rhine
As we're tucking into our final dinner on board, the ship is still making its way through a series of impressive locks. Some of us still find this pretty exciting so we race upstairs for each lock.
2.30pm (local time), Thursday - Strasbourg
We're in France! Passengers are leaving the ship and taking a coach to Strasbourg, giving us the chance to explore the most German of French cities before the ship catches up tonight. A bunch of us are making plans to find a bistro for dinner.
Midday (local time), Thursday - the Rhine
Captain Nico van den Boom takes the ship through a massive lock. We are raised 16m to meet the higher level of the rest of the river. It's a remarkable piece of engineering. Watch the video above to see.
11.30am (local time), Thursday- the Rhine
The rematch of Trivial Pursuits was played in better spirits. We lost.
10am (local time), Thursday- the Rhine
Avalon Waterways boss Patrick Clark tells us where he thinks the future of river cruising is going.
1am (local time), Thursday - The Rhine
A bloody and ruthless game of Trivial Pursuits was concluded before bedtime. Happy to report, my team won.
6pm (local time), Wednesday, the Rhine
Avalon Waterways New Zealand manager Troy Ackerman talks about what it is that attracts Kiwi travellers to river cruising.
4pm (local time), Wednesday - Ruedesheim
Later in town, I found that rarest of things: A hat big enough to fit my massive skull. It's felt, brown and wide brimmed. For $40, it seemed a bargain.
Happy with my purchase, I settled in for a stein with the local tourism guy. I put it to him: "This is a very German-style of hat, yes?"
"Looks more Australian to me," he replied.
For a famously humourless nation, the Germans have a knack for nailing great one-liners.
2pm (local time) Wednesday - Ruedesheim
After a couple of hours of watching stunning castles go by in the famed Rhine Gorge, we pull up at the bustling little riverside town of Ruedesheim. In answer to Francis' earlier question about feeling the motion of the vessel - yes, once we're underway, I definitely felt a slight sense of the ship's movement on the water, but nothing at all like you get on an ocean cruise.