- Go behind the scenes on the set of our TV advert, shot in Cologne
- Staring real-life experts and local specialities
- Take a closer look at the MS Jane Austen
- See the luxury of our 5-star ships
The piercing alarm went off at 5am on a Monday morning – we had to be on film location at 6am sharp. Who said that making TV adverts was glamorous? 60 minutes and a generous cup of coffee later, we were gathered in the square outside the architectural masterpiece that is the Cologne Cathedral. This was our first film location for the new Riviera Travel television advertisement, featuring our luxury river cruises.
Also assembled were the cast and crew, including Angelique, who was astonishingly animated for such an early hour, but as a real-life tour guide, it’s an essential quality. Authenticity is a key ingredient of the Riviera Travel experience, which is why Angelique isn’t an actress hired to play a role – she is an actual tour guide who knows all of Cologne’s best-kept secrets that lie off the beaten track.
Before long we were off to the next location, a local bakery, where the owner, Frau Ritter, had local speciality biscuits freshly made, especially for us. It was here that we met charming Sophia, another real-life character and the hotel manager on the MS Jane Austen, the Riviera Travel luxury river cruise ship that features in the TV ad.
Sophia knew this little bakery well, as she frequents it to buy pastries and local breads that are then served on the ship. Sourcing and using local produce is an important aspect of the Riviera Travel experience. After all, how can you fully enjoy a destination if you don’t get to savour the local cuisine, right? We’re pleased to confirm that Frau Ritter’s biscuits were delightfully delicious.
Next we moved on to the MS Jane Austen. It was vital that our five-star river cruiser looked its best, which was not too difficult because the vessel is simply stunning and the weather was on our side! To make sure we did it justice, plenty of thought went into setting up each shot – we had to find just the right angle and the right lighting.
For most of the film crew, it was the first time that they’d been on a river cruise ship, and they were surprised at just how spacious the MS Jane Austen is. It was just as well, really, with our crew, the cast, and all our equipment – lights, cameras, cables, and boxes of who-knows-what.
Our cast were then dressed for dinner, as the next shot captured them enjoying a sumptuous four-course dinner at the Captain’s Table. Everyone really looked like they were enjoying themselves, and why wouldn’t they – that was real wine in those glasses!
The last shot of the day saw our cast on the upper deck, enjoying the sunshine we’d been blessed with. After 12 productive hours of inspired film-making, it was just after 7pm, and as they say, it was “a wrap”. We caught the late flight back to London, where the day’s worth of fantastic footage was condensed into 30 seconds, a true feat in itself. Then came the voiceover and sound mix, and our final cut was all ready to go on air on the 4th of September, 2016.