River cruising is the fastest growing segment of vacation travel. Curious to learn more? Join us on November 10, 2015 11 AM to 1 PM, at our office conference room at 5466 Holiday Terrace in Kalamazoo (our office is the first brick building off 11th Street on the Holiday Inn West driveway.)
Nancy Paredes, Avalon Waterways Cruise Director, will present the river cruise experience with destination highlights, cultural traditions, insider tips and special offers. Nancy loves river cruising and cannot imagine a better way to explore Europe. The luxury of unpacking once, the intimacy of a small number of people on the ships, not to mention the history and culture on the rivers of Europe.
Each year Cruise Critic’s international team of editors announce Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards based on the lines and ships they feel best represent excellence in each of the designated categories. This is the first year Cruise Critic’s editors have selected a full list of winners exclusively for river cruise lines. Here is a list of “Best” voted in key categories.
Best River Cruise Line Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
What does Cruise Critic love most about Uniworld? “With the launch of S.S. Maria Theresa, following 2014’s S.S. Catherine, Uniworld has proven its new-builds are the most beautiful and lavish in river cruising. Each of the line’s ships is unique — not just in decor and style but in features and layout. Uniworld also forges new itineraries, adding Bordeaux last year and India’s Ganges in 2016, and its shore adventures are always innovative.”
Why? “Named for royalty, Uniworld’s S.S. Maria Theresa is regal in its opulent 18th-century decor, a floating homage to the former Austrian empress. The onboard experience incorporates Champagne with breakfast, a tiled pool with floral mosaic backsplash and the floating notes of a Viennese waltz with afternoon tea service. Besides indulgent dining and an elegant atmosphere, this is one of the prettiest ships out there.”
Best River Cruise Line Shore Excursions Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Rationale? “Uniworld takes this category for the breadth of its shore excursions. Besides offering complimentary tours at a variety of activity levels, the line also gives passengers the opportunity for special behind-the-scenes tours and experiences, such as truffle hunting in France or an after-hours illumination of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.”
Best River Cruise Line for Dining AmaWaterways Reason voted best? “A member of the prestigious La Chaine des Rotisseurs, AmaWaterways is distinct in that — no matter what the meal, from casual breakfasts and sun deck grill parties to elaborate, multicourse dinners — quality is consistent. Culinary styles reflect modern trends, and there’s an emphasis on fresh ingredients and menus that reflect the region where you’re cruising.
Best River Cruise Line for Active Cruisers AmaWaterways Explanation: “AmaWaterways has always been at the forefront of offering higher-energy excursions; they were among the first to have bicycles onboard for passengers to use in port. The line, which partnered with travel company Backroads in March 2015, has since added more immersive, active itinerary experiences, such as expert-curated road biking, as well as hiking and walking tours for every pace.”
Best River Cruise Line Cabins Avalon Waterways
With unique Open-Air Balcony® you’ll be able to open the giant wall-to-wall windows and invite the outside in, any time of the day or night, come rain or come shine. Watch:
Best River Cruise Line Itineraries Viking River Cruises Cruise Critic says, “With its Longships, Viking River Cruises has long been a force on major rivers like the Danube and Rhine, but the line also offers an array of itineraries in Asia, Egypt and lesser-known parts of Europe. Standout destinations include Myanmar, Portugal and Bordeaux. We especially love the unique, complimentary tours, such as chocolate fondue-making and Tai Chi lessons.”
Best River Cruise Line for Value
Explanation: “Available in Europe, Emerald Waterways packs a lot of inclusions, such as complimentary shore excursions and transfers, prepaid gratuities and free beverages (including wine and beer at lunch and dinner) at a lower price. Other innovations include an indoor pool, which transforms into a movie theater at night and, in some cabins, a floor-to-ceiling window that drops down halfway.”
Which river cruise line should you book? Give us a call and we’ll match you to the line that best suits your preferences. If you are considering a river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.
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