River Cruise Possibilities

River cruising has become wildly popular in recent years. For good reasons. Here are just a few.

• Intimate ship size. Typically under 200 passengers on board.
• Unpack just once. Even though you may visit a different town or village each day, you needn’t pack again until the end of the trip.
• Very little motion. Rivers are intrinsically calm with a nearly level surface, eliminating any anxiety about seasickness.
• Port Proximity. Ocean cruise ports may be hours away from points of interest, most river ports are immediately in the heart of the city.
• Included excursions. Typically, these are basic overview walking tours. Others may be offered, some for additional fees.

Because of the popularity, the river cruise lines seek to distinguish themselves from each other by offering special interest themes, off-the-beaten-path itineraries, and deluxe onboard amenities. Take a look.

From Avalon Waterways
Hike, bike and explore your way through the picturesque and historic marvels of the world. On these interactive and dynamic cruises, Avalon gives you opportunities to spend time with locals to learn about local customs and the traditions with hands-on activities.

From Crystal River Cruises
Crystal Cruises has inaugurated the second Rhine-class riverboat to its Crystal River Cruises brand. The Crystal Mahler was christened by American volleyball star and godmother Lauren Barfield in Germany.
The christening took place during a handover ceremony at the MV WERFTEN shipyard also attended by cruise line executives, local dignitaries, and Crystal parent company Genting Hong Kong guests. Barfield—who is currently playing for Genting-sponsored SSC Palmberg Schwerin—blessed the ship and broke a bottle of champagne over its bow.
The Crystal Mahler will embark on seven-, eleven- and 16-day sailings on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. It will visit ports in the European countries of Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Netherlands, and Hungary.
The Rhine-class ships will carry 106 guests in all-suite, all-balcony accommodations featuring an unrivaled crew-to-guest ratio.
Amenities include suites with walk-in closets and dual vanity bathrooms, butler service for every guest, ETRO robes and slippers, iPad use, 42-inch HD TVs with streaming films, free Wi-Fi and Nespresso machines. Other features are a spa and fitness center, the signature Palm Court and Michelin-inspired dining in the Waterside Restaurant, Bistro Café, and Vintage Room.

From Viking River Cruises
This 8-day cruise from Avignon to Lyon (or the reverse) highlights the most celebrated regions of France, exploring the Roman ruins of Arles, the fabled Beaujolais vineyards, the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Lyon and more.

New and popular themes from AmaWaterways

Wellness

Wine

From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Journey through the “cradle of civilization.” Uniworld’s boutique river cruise and tour in India showcases astonishing sights along the country’s most acclaimed river, as well as must-see destinations in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur—the “Golden Triangle”—one of the most culturally-rich areas of the subcontinent. From New Delhi to Kolkota, this 13-day itinerary is a stage for unforgettable cultural experiences. Meet the proud, generous and good-natured Indian people. Taste their amazingly complex and delicious cuisine. Discover India’s Islamic and colonial heritage in Delhi, and pay tribute to the legacies of Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Experience the spectacle of Jaipur’s color-saturated bazaars, and gaze in awe at the resplendent Taj Mahal. Quintessential India, delivered in Uniworld’s incomparable style. Take a look at Uniworld’s newest destination video—a alluring peep at the adventures that await in India!

From CroisiEurope
A unique river cruise itinerary. South of Spain : the Guadalquivir and Guadiana rivers with Altantic Ocean connection

Appealing? Want to plan a river cruise for 2017 or 2018? I would love to make this happen for you.

Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

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  • River Cruises For Vegans

    Vegan Entree

    When it comes to preparing meals for guests who have eschewed all animal products in support of a vegan lifestyle, ocean cruise lines are well equipped to handle the task. But, river cruise vessels have very small kitchens and until recently have not focused on accommodating special diet requests unless they are required for medical reasons. There are no industry standards when it comes to specialized meal offerings.

    With any special request, including dietary, it is important to alert the cruise line of the need at the time of booking. And, once onboard, follow-up with the head waiter and restaurant staff to make sure your preference is noted.

    Here are the best river cruise lines in Europe for vegans.

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
    Uniworld Chef

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s chefs on company-owned ships are educated in vegetarian and vegan cuisine workshops including at the Hiltl in Zurich, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Included are choices such as vegan margarine, cookies, cakes, bread, and tofu (smoked or silk), tempeh, eggless pasta, quinoa and products made without yeast. Buckwheat, amaranth, bulgur and couscous are used to craft selections from bread to pancakes. Each dinner has a distinct four-course vegetarian menu while six or seven vegetarian courses are offered for formal dinners.

    AmaWaterways AmaPrima Cooking Class
    AmaWaterways has built a complete menu for vegan passengers. Known for its culinary offerings, AmaWaterways vegan selections range from lentil salad, marinated salad, vegetable soups, stir-fry with glass noodles, eggless pasta, and grilled tofu to fresh fruits and sorbets.

    Avalon Waterways Avalon Fresh
    This year, Avalon introduced Avalon Fresh which they’ve dubbed, ” A New Menu of Guiltless Indulgence.” The menus were designed by Chefs Karl and Leo Wrenkh, two brothers raised in the first high-quality vegetarian restaurant in Austria. “Avalon Fresh allows our guests to guiltlessly indulge in creative dishes that combine surprising flavors with a dash of innovation. With the philosophy of procuring the freshest ingredients to create inspired vegetarian and vegan dishes, Avalon Fresh brings the passing landscape to your plate for a fulfilling and healthful dining experience.” There are Avalon Fresh healthy cuisine options and vegetarian options at every meal, as well as vegan and allergy-free selections. Avalon Fresh

    Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The menus in the dining rooms are usually clearly labeled as dairy, nuts, gluten, meat, etc., but the description cards in the breakfast and lunch buffet often are not. You can assume that vegetables are prepared with butter, but find a restaurant crew member to request a plain serving made-to-order just for you.

    Vegan Entree

    Appealing? Want to plan a river cruise for 2017 or 2018? I would love to make this happen for you.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

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  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • What’s New With AmaWaterways?

    AmaWaterways, designated Best River Cruise Line of 2016 by Cruise Critic, continues to set the standards for ingenuity and flair in the river cruise industry year after year. New additions for 2017 feature multi-generational travel, more alternative ways to explore and more included choices. AmaWaterways has effectively attracted new passengers to river cruising, and they continue to fine-tune the onboard experience with alternative restaurants and new cabin designs. Take a look at the latest features below.

    ► NEW! River Cruise Ship, AmaKristina
    AmaWaterways Lobby Set to debut on April 1, 2017, the AmaKristina is the 21st member of AmaWaterways fleet, named after Godmother, Kristin Karst. The 158-passenger vessel features connecting staterooms and triple accommodations, designed specifically to target the multi-generational group and family travel markets.

    ► NEW! Africa Safari & Wildlife Cruise Itinerary
    Experience the thrill of daily game drives and exceptional amenities, service and cuisine aboard the Zambezi Queen on the new Wildlife and the Falls itinerary. 1 night Johannesburg, a 4-night African river safari, 2 nights in Victoria Falls, 2 nights in Johannesburg & 3 nights at a luxury safari lodge in greater Kruger National Park
    Game Viewing On The Chobe12 Nights – Travel to Johannesburg and return from Johannesburg



    ► More Wine Cruises in 2017
    AmaWaterways‘ award-winning wine theme cruises have grown significantly to nearly 50 departures in 2017. These are exclusive wine cruises that showcase the acclaimed wine regions along Europe’s Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine Rivers. These exceptional sailings are hosted by leading wine experts and feature complimentary lectures, wine tastings, superb cuisine with paired wines, and excursions to historic vineyards and wine cellars. Durnstein Wine Tasting Guests learn about centuries-old wine traditions, sample one-of-a-kind vintages and enjoy private wine-themed excursions. Other highlights include: music and newly pressed wine at a rustic Austrian tavern; Alsatian wines in Colmar, the French “Capital of Alsatian Wine”; and a German “Oktoberfest” in the village of Vilshofen, held year-round exclusively for our guests. Love wine? These are the perfect cruises for you!

    ► More Ways to Discover
    Recently awarded Cruise Critic’s 2016 Best River Cruise Line for Active Cruisers, AmaWaterways offers travelers a new degree of adventure including a selection of biking, hiking, and multiple-paced walking tours. Castelo Rodrigo Portugal



    ► Backroads Partnership
    Biking On The Danube AmaWaterways and Backroads have amplified their partnership, doubling active river cruise options for 2017, with over 100 departures to choose from.

    ► Adventures By Disney Partnership
    Following the successful inauguration of the partnership, Adventures by Disney has expanded its lineup of family-oriented river cruises with AmaWaterways in 2017, now featuring itineraries on both the Danube and Rhine rivers. Family Vacation



    If you are considering an AmaWaterways river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • Jewish Heritage-themed River Cruises

    As the new Jewish year, 5777, launches, families and friends will gather to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. Jewish Rosh Hashanah Those interested in delving deeply into Central Europe’ s rich Jewish history will be pleased to know that two river cruise lines will offer Jewish Heritage specialty themed departures. (NOTE: Kosher foods are not included.)

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will offer “Rhine-Main Discovery & Munich,” a 10-day cruise-tour between Munich and Cologne. The sailing will feature onboard Signature Lectures highlighting an in-depth exploration of the fascinating history of Jewish people in Europe.

    Dachau Konzentrationslager
    Dachau Konzentrationslager
    Tailored shoreside excursions will range from visits to the Dachau concentration camp and Courtroom 600, where the Nuremberg trials took place to the archaeological traces of the Frankfurt ghetto and the Rothschild family. Two sailings in July 2017, are designated award-winning Generations Family Programs providing wonderful opportunities for families to discover their cultural heritage.

    Avalon Waterways theme cruise is on the “Blue Danube Discovery and Jewish Heritage” itinerary in August 2017. Distinguished experts will present enlightening lectures about the sites and events that played roles in Central Europe’s Jewish heritage. Budapest Holocaust ShoesIn Budapest, visit the world’s second-largest synagogue. Visit the Stadttempel in Vienna, whose extraordinary location saved it from devastation during the Kristallnacht in 1938.

    Vienna Jewish Cemetary
    Vienna Jewish Cemetary
    Delve into the Document Neupfarrplatz museum in Regensburg with its vestiges of a medieval Jewish ghetto and ancient synagogue. In Prague, explore the city’s Jewish Museum and cemetery, then travel to Terezin, one of Czechoslovakia’s largest concentration camps. Hear chilling stories about the daily lives of the Jews imprisoned there, and visit the poignant memorial.
    Prague Synagogue
    Prague Synagogue

    We help culturally curious travelers to plan an amazing vacation that offers enrichment and a chance to explore a special interest such as ancestral or religious heritage, photography, wellness, gardening, literature. It’s our goal to create personalized vacation experiences and lasting memories for travelers who not only want to see the world but to appreciate it with all their senses.

    If you are considering a Jewish Heritage-themed river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • Top 10 Reasons To Take A Christmas Markets River Cruise

    In late fall and early winter, river cruise lines end their annual season by delivering the magical yuletide traditions and pageantry of the famous Christmas markets of Europe. A totally different experience than the same itineraries in the peak summer season, the villages and hamlets along the rivers take on a festive atmosphere as cruisers meander through time-honored marketplaces originally developed hundreds of years ago to celebrate the beginning of Advent.

    AmaWaterways Christmas Markets
    AmaWaterways Christmas Markets

    Even though the weather is cooler, there are compelling reasons to take a holiday markets river cruise:

    1. Commemorate All Things Christmas
    Embrace the holiday spirit in Europe with the smells of freshly baked gingerbread, trees radiant with twinkling lights, and a warm mug of mulled glühwein in hand as you wander quaint booths filled with distinctive gifts.

    Gingerbread Houses are a cornerstone of Christmas festivities. Watch the creation of a perfect Gingerbread house for your holiday with Viking‘s pastry chef, Joanna Hajn.

    2. Reminiscing Memories
    Experience the sparkle and spectacle of timeless traditions. Recapture all the joy of your most cherished childhood memories in towns where many holiday traditions originated. AmaWaterways Christmas Markets

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    Châteaux, Rivers & Wine


    Viking River Cruises Special Offers - 2 -TastefulJourneys

    If you’ve got a passion for outstanding travel experiences and unforgettable wines, why not make 2015 the year you visit some of Europe’s most famous wine regions? On Viking River Cruises Châteaux, Rivers & Wine cruise explore incomparable Bordeaux, arguably the most famous wine region in the world.

    The Châteaux, Rivers & Wine itinerary explores the region’s opulent culture including its 18th-century merchant mansions, Gothic churches, celebrated Quarter Saint-Pierre and, of course, France’s largest controlled wine region with its Médoc, Saint-Ėmilion and Graves collections.

    The Wine Regions of Bordeaux

    Bordeaux, France is home to the world’s most prized wines. Learn about its many different regions and appellations with Karine Hagen of Viking.


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    WORLD OF VIKING: A CULINARY JOURNEY


    Viking River Cruises Special Offers

    While river cruising is still relatively new to the U.S. market, it has become one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry. Viking River Cruises has grown its market share to a whopping 45% of the river cruise lines promoted to North Americans.
    Their advertising in print media, through direct mail and most notably through PBS Masterpiece® sponsorship during Downton Abbey has stimulated awareness of river cruising and its opportunities for unique cultural experiences that reveal the history, culinary traditions and character of each destination.

    With the increased popularity of river cruising, Viking has responded to the culinary demand for fine-dining experiences, local specialties, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings and cuisine focused shore experiences.

    Viking River Cruises premieres “Episode 5 – A Culinary Journey” on Downton Abbey on Masterpiece® with this introduction:

    “It’s been said that the best way to know a culture is through food. Food and wine are the windows into the traditions that form the essence of a country. It’s a way to experience the heart of faraway lands. And, it’s Viking’s privilege to share the world’s food stories with you. Viking Cruises proud sponsor of Masterpiece®.”

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    Downton Abbey Fiction into Fact

    You’ve watched every episode of Downton Abbey and may even own boxed sets of each series. On the April 13th and 20th 2014 departures aboard hotel barge Magna Carta, you will be able to relive some of your favorite moments through a visit to Highclere Castle, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The massively imposing Victorian castle is situated on a 1,000 acre estate. This is the iconic home of the fictional Crawley family on the program, and where you will find the recognizable state rooms that the drama between Matthew and Mary plays out. You will have an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Lord or Lady Grantham as you explore the stunning parkland with its secret gardens and woodland walks.

    The “real” Downton Abbey has been owned by the Carnarvon family since 1679, where Lord and Lady Carnarvon still reside today. While visiting, it is also worth a stop at the Egyptian exhibition. This showcases many of the treasures from the ancient tomb of Tutankhamun, which was discovered by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, an ancestor of the current countess and owner of Highclere.

    Luxury All-inclusive Hotel Barge Cruises on the Beautiful Canals and Waterways of Europe from Hotel Barging on Vimeo.

    Cruising along the legendary River Thames in England, passengers aboard hotel barge Magna Carta will not only spend a week in Downton Abbey’s world but will also enjoy “royal” views and excursions to magnificent castles, palaces and cathedrals. Magna Carta‘s itinerary features a private tour of Dorney Court, a remarkable Tudor home on the banks of the Thames, where “Elizabeth”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, and Agatha Christie’s series “Poirot” were all filmed. The cruise concludes with a tour of Christ Church, one of the most prestigious colleges at the University of Oxford and one of the settings for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.

    What better way to see England than to be “on location” with like-minded passengers who share your fascination and enthusiasm? If you are considering a Downton Abbey special interest hotel barge cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.

    Need more information? We service many of our clients entirely through email:

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  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

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  • Norway Coastal Voyage Photo Tour

    A client recently returned from the classic roundtrip voyage aboard Hurtigruten’s vessel the ms Trollfjord and sent us some fabulous pictures to share. From Norway’s cultural center of Bergen to the voyage turning point of Kirkenes and back, the ultimate 12-day journey follows in the wake of the Vikings who ventured from here to the Shetland Islands and beyond.

    Hurtigruten's ms Trollfjord
    ms Trollfjord on a Norwegian Coastal Voyage

    The Norwegian coastline is a visual feast. Passengers visit up to 34 charming ports and picturesque harbors.

    Norwegian Coastal Community
    Norwegian Coastal Community

    Charming Norwegian fishing community
    Charming Norwegian fishing community
    Quaint Norwegian fishing village
    Quaint fishing villages surrounded by majestic mountains

    Norway’s culinary traditions like the scenery of her coastline is always fresh, distinctive and loaded with variety. Menus aboard the ship are inspired and planned around seasonal ingredients from the ports visited.

    Norwegian fish market
    Norwegian fish market

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    The Rising Tide In Hotel Barge Cruising

    As the river cruise market continues to explode, some of our clients are looking for an even more intimate, small-ship alternative on Europe’s inland waterways. That’s when we suggest a hotel barge. These vessels designed to accommodate between six and twenty guests as opposed to the 100-200 passenger ships that ply the larger rivers such as the Rhine, Danube, Main and Seine. Typical crew include a captain, chef, tour guide and housekeeping staff. The experience is much different than river cruising.

    A mellow sailing on a hotel barge is the ideal way to uncover the very heart of Europe, exploring its charming countryside and bygone riches and meeting the locals. Detached from the hustle and bustle of urban life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the stress of packing and unpacking, all the while enjoying a balanced intermingling of daily excursions and captivating cruising.

    Luxury All-inclusive Hotel Barge Cruises on the Beautiful Canals and Waterways of Europe from Hotel Barging on Vimeo.

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