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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963
  • How’s The Food?

    That’s one of the first questions our clients ask when we discuss a new-to-them river cruise line. Some clients are worried that there will only be “foreign” foods with too many sauces. Others are concerned that the selections will not be authentic regional dishes. Happily, the menus satisfy most guests. There will be a variety of choices but if they won’t suit, passengers can opt for one of the “always available” entrees which may include a fish, poultry or beef dinner.

    To give you an idea of the food served, here are recipes from popular river cruise lines.

    From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises:

    Manhattan Transfer
    From summer through fall, Bucharest’s markets present a parade of seasonal fruits. None is more Romanian than the sour cherry. The tasty berry garnishes this classic Manhattan made with rye whiskey and vermouth. You might try it in an Old Fashioned, too. Find this cocktail onboard the River Duchess on the Highlights of Eastern Europe itinerary or make it at home!

    Manhattan

    INGREDIENTS:
    • 6cl (2.03 fl oz) straight rye whiskey
    • 3cl (1.01 fl oz) sweet vermouth
    • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
    • 1 sour cherry
    PREPARATION:
    Build over ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a sour cherry.

    From AmaWaterways:

    One of the most delicious aspects of traveling is to indulge in the incredible cuisine of the places you visit. Inspired by French velouté soups, this rich and flavorful cream of Chardonnay soup is made and paired with Chardonnay, of course. Leeks at the peak of their freshness and the bright sweetness of white grapes combine with butter and cream to create the perfect springtime comfort food. You can serve it as an appetizer or make it the star of the meal, served along with rustic French bread. Chardonnay Soup

    CREAM OF CHARDONNAY SOUP

    Try this recipe for Cream of Chardonnay Soup that’s often served onboard AmaWaterways ships. Chardonnay contributes the most richness of any dry white wine commonly used for cooking. For rich, creamy soups, wine can provide a welcome note of freshness and contrast – almost like a squeeze of lemon or an extra layer of flavor. The creamier a soup is, the more full-bodied a wine it can take.
    INGREDIENTS:
    3½ tablespoons of unsalted butter
    ½ cup onions, chopped
    ½ cup white leeks, chopped
    1 cup white flour (or wheat flour)
    2 cups Chardonnay
    10 ½ cups vegetable stock
    1 ½ cups of heavy cream
    1 ½ cups of white grapes
    ½ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
    Salt to taste
    Pepper to taste

    PREPARATION METHOD
    • Wash produce thoroughly
    • Chop onions and leeks into small cubes and set aside
    • Peel white grapes, remove seeds and slice
    • Wash parsley, chop and pat dry

    Use a large pot on medium heat to sautéed onions and leeks with butter until golden, then gradually add in the flour to thicken. Pour 1 cup of Chardonnay and all of the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain soup through a mesh cloth and add in the rest of the Chardonnay. Add heavy cream to soup. Garnish with warm grapes and parsley before serving.

    Makes 10 servings.

    From Viking River Cruises:

    French Gougères Cheese Appetizers

    Gougères are among the most popular hors d’oeuvres in France. A traditional specialty of the Burgundy region, gougères are often made with Gruyère cheese. You can also use other cheeses (such as parmesan) to add an extra depth. Enjoy these with a glass (or two) of good French wine.
    Ingredients
    • 1½ C water
    • ½ C unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    • 1 tsp (5 g) salt, divided
    • 1½ C flour
    • 6 lg eggs
    • 1 C (130 g) grated Gruyère cheese, packed
    • ½ C (90 g) good quality parmesan cheese, packed
    • ½ tsp (2 g) fresh ground pepper
    • ½ tsp (2.5 g) salt
    Directions
    Place one oven rack in top third and a second rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F (204°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with lightly greased parchment paper. In a 3- or 4-qt saucepan over medium heat, bring water, butter, and half the salt to a simmer, stirring until butter melts. Add flour all at once, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste with no lumps. Remove pan from heat; allow mixture to cool until it feels just warm. Using a hand-held mixer, beat in one egg at a time until all are incorporated. Stir in cheese, pepper and remaining salt. Drop spoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until dough is puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes, swapping the position of baking pans halfway through.
    • Prep time: 16 minutes.
    • Cook time: 30 minutes.
    • Makes 10 servings.

    Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten

    Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten might not exactly roll off your tongue, but it will melt in your mouth. The name, pronounced VEE-ner TZVEE-bell-roast-brotten, literally means “Viennese roast beef with onions.” Very popular in Austria and Bavaria, this recipe enhances the beef flavor of the sirloin steaks through slow oven braising with that staple of Viennese cuisine, beef stock.

    Ingredients
    • 4 T butter
    • 2 med onions, peeled & thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp (2⅖ g) sweet Hungarian paprika
    • 6 8-oz boneless beef sirloin steaks, pounded ¼-inch thick
    • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 3 T(44 ml) vegetable oil
    • 4 C (946 ml) beef stock or consommé, fresh or canned, boiled down to 2 C (473 g)
    • ½ C (60 g) sour cream
    Directions
    Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until light brown, stirring often; add paprika; cook another minute. Remove onions from pan; set aside. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add vegetable oil to same skillet and add steaks; brown on both sides. Turn off heat, add beef stock to skillet, arrange onions on top and cover. Bake until tender, about 2-2½ hours. To serve, place steaks on a pre-warmed serving platter with onions arranged on top. Cover loosely to keep warm. Return skillet with remaining liquid to high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in sour cream; immediately remove from heat and pour over steaks. Serve immediately.
    Serving Suggestion
    This dish is traditionally served with roast potatoes or buttered parsley potatoes; you can garnish with crispy fried onions if you like.
    • Cook time: 2-2 1/2 hours
    • Makes 6 servings.

    From Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: Uniworld Desserts

    Mrs. Tollman’s Signature Honeycomb Ice Cream

    1 cup corn syrup
    8 oz granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    1-quart premium vanilla ice cream

    Dissolve the syrup, sugar, and vinegar over a medium heat. Turn the heat up high and boil until the syrup turns to a light caramel.
    Take the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda, then pour the mix into a high-sided baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and greased with butter. Leave to cool and harden: do not refrigerate!
    Once hardened, this brittle, crunchy slab becomes your honeycomb base.
    Slightly soften the vanilla ice cream in a chilled ceramic bowl. Carefully break the honeycomb slab into various sizes, none more than 2cm square, and quickly fold half into the ice cream.
    Pour the ice cream into a desired ice cream mold or back into the original ice cream container and freeze again.
    Keep the remaining honeycomb in an air tight container for topping when serving.

    Sound 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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963
  • 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:

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • How To Take Your Wine Tasting Club To The Next Level

    You and your friends have organized a successful wine tasting club. You’ve done everything right for each monthly meeting:

    Red Wine

  • Decided on a formal or informal format
  • Created a theme such as “Wines of Chile,” “The Best of the California Cabernets,” or “Favorite Holiday Wines”
  • Secured appropriate wine tasting supplies and accessories such as glasses, rinse pitchers, dump buckets, drinking water, bland bread or crackers, and a tasting evaluation form for each member
  • Allocated time for enrichment from research shared by members or an outside presenter such as a wine merchant or local winery vintner
  • Focused on food and wine pairing with the meeting theme
  • Mailed a newsletter or sent an enewsletter with the next meeting’s location, agenda, theme, and other details as well as a review of the last meeting’s tastings, upcoming community wine-related events, etc.

    You’ve done well. Membership has grown and your group of like-minded individuals are now the best of friends. Where can you go from here? Plan a tour for your group to a wine region! Start with a short trip, perhaps a three or four-day cruise in Napa Valley. After one or two successful wine holidays, plan more extensive travel to wine regions of France, Germany, South Africa or even Australia and New Zealand.

    Wine appreciation themed river cruises add an exceptional epicurean dimension to European river cruises. A distinguished wine authority leads interesting discussions onboard and expert chefs pair fine regional wines with superb cuisine. You’ll visit wine villages where vintners and growers will walk you through the winemaking process and taste some of their special varieties. AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection offer themed cruises on select itineraries and dates. AmaWaterways Wine Tasting


    Is your wine club ready to step up to a European river cruise? If you are considering an wine-theme 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 – 269-372-1963 | 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

  • Uniworld’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is amplifying its award winning excursions in 2017 with a generous menu of meticulously planned and expertly guided cultural experiences.

    Golf Club and Ball Is golf your game? Uniworld is adding new golf excursions to its Paris & Normandy itinerary in 2017 aboard the new Joie de Vivre, debuting in March 2017. Uniworld passengers will be able to hit the links during an eight-day river cruise throughout France at two of Europe’s top courses: Golf de Rouen Mont-Saint-Aignan in Rouen and Golf d’Etretat, which overlooks the coastline of Étretat. All golf equipment for men and women is available onboard.

    Explore Europe by river and by bike, via an exclusive partnership with award-winning tour operator Butterfield & Robinson on the Danube River. Cycling routes that showcase Europe’s spectacular old-world scenery. Customized bicycles, detailed maps, support vehicle and expert bike guides. Biking Excursions

    After-Hours Visit Inside St. Mark’s Basilica
    Uniworld guests have an exceptionally rare opportunity to observe a private after-hours lighting ceremony inside St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. St. Marks Basilica The lights serve to enhance the elaborately adorned interior of this beautiful church, a sight that’s especially resplendent when viewed after the daytime crowds have departed. Experience it on these itineraries: Gems of Northern Italy and Splendors of Italy.

    Guided Kayaking on the Gardon River
    “Go Active” as you paddle your own kayak on a guided excursion along the tranquil Gardon River. This is a delightful opportunity to view the UNESCO-listed, millennia-old Pont du Gard from a fresh, fun and truly unforgettable perspective.Kayaks Experience it on “Burgundy & Provence” (May through September departures only).

    Morning with the Masters
    Venture inside the acclaimed Kunsthistorisches (Art History) Museum in Vienna for a special early opening and private tour. After viewing the Habsburg’s imperial treasures and works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Titian and Tintoretto, enjoy a Bellini cocktail on the museum’s stunning cupola terrace. Experience it on “Enchanting Danube”. Vienna Art

    Doktorenhof Vinegar Estate Visit & Tasting
    Discover the complex, elegant and unexpectedly flavorful aperitifs made with premium wine vinegars at this unique estate’s atmospheric tasting room. Holzfigur Monk The hooded monks’ robes, candlelit cellars and fascinating vinegar-inspired lore all contribute to a most memorable excursion in Germany. Experience it on these itineraries: Castles Along the Rhine and Legendary Rhine and Moselle

    Artisanal Wine-Pairing Lunch at Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve
    We treat our guests to a delectable wine-pairing lunch at Château de Cazeneuve, an 85-acre estate where local experts are happy to share their knowledge of Sauternes—the highly prized, golden-hued sweet wine that takes its name from the region. French Sauternes Experience it on these itineraries: “Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux,” “A Portrait of Majestic France,” and ” Ultimate France.”

    Concert, Dinner & Royal Ballroom Dancing in a Viennese Palace
    Danube Holiday MarketThere’s no better way to celebrate the holidays and the “City of Waltzes” than to spend a perfectly choreographed evening in a sumptuous Viennese palace. Enjoy a private concert of classical music by Austrian composers, a gourmet meal with fine wines and after-dinner dancing in an opulent Royal Ballroom. Experience it on select sailings of “Grand Christmas & New Year’s Cruise”.

    If you are considering an European 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

  • The Best Second Marriage Honeymoon

    Honeymoon Champagne

    Looking for second marriage honeymoon ideas? If you’ve both traveled a bit, you are probably interested in a more sophisticated, authentic experience than a Caribbean beach resort. For a memorable trip of discovery, we recommend a river cruise. Here’s why:

      Romantic Destinations. Fairytale castles, charming hamlets and villages, and world-class cities can all be included on one river cruise itinerary.
      Uniworld Germany Rhine Valley

      Uniworld

      Adult Ambiance Onboard activities and shore excursions on most departures are geared to adult passengers.

      Explore Special Interests Photography, art, beer tasting, golf, culinary, Jewish heritage, music, history, wellness, and wine appreciation river cruises let couples deep-dive into activities with onboard presentations and hands-on experiences in port while on specially designated theme cruises.
    AMA Waterways In Celebration of Wine
    AMA Waterways In Celebration of Wine Theme Cruises

    AmaWaterways

      No Packing Up, No Driving, No Stress Unpack once on day one, and there are very few other responsibilities except to relax and enjoy each other. Luggage
      Scenic Cruises Chef
      Fine Dining Regional specialties and complimentary wine and beer with dinner.
      Great Views Even from your cabin. Unlike an ocean cruise, there is always something to see. Avalon-Panorama-Suite

      Avalon Waterways

      Need another reason?

        Great Value and Inclusive Pricing Plan and budget the honeymoon and know upfront your costs. Start your new life together with confidence and peace of mind.

        If you are considering a river cruise honeymoon, 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:

      1. Click Here To Email Us

      2. or by phone – 800-372-1963

    And The Winner Is. . .

    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.”
    Uniworld River Cruise Specialist

    Best New River Cruise Ship
    S.S. Maria Theresa, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
    ss Maria Theresa Lobby

    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. ss Maria Theresa Concierge Desk 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
    Uniworld Guided Excursion 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
    AmaWaterways River Cruise SpecialistReason 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. AmaWaterways Cooking Class 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
    AmaWaterways Bicycle Excursion 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
    Viking River Cruises Asia 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
    Emerald Waterways

    Emerald Sky
    Emerald Waterways®
    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.

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

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 800-372-1963

  • FREE Travel Presentations In Kalamazoo, MI

    Is your club or organization looking for a presentation that can inform and inspire? The Cruise Center, Inc. offers a program for those interested in learning about the fastest growing segment of vacation travel ~ river cruising. We’ll offer attendees insights on what river cruising is all about, how to select the right river cruise line to meet expectations, and the questions to ask before booking.

    AmaCello in Melk Austria
    AmaCello in Melk Austria

    With so many options and variables, even those who work in the industry sometimes feel overwhelmed. So, we’ll answer the following:

      Who takes a river cruise and who should not take a river cruise.
      Why is river cruising so popular, the reasons travelers of all ages choose a river cruise vacation.
      What can you expect onboard and in port.
      Where do first time river cruisers typically go.
      When is the best time to take a river cruise and when is the best time to book.

    Avalon-Specialist

    The program will offer helpful insider tips to get the most from the vacation. Typical clubs and organizations that may enjoy the presentation include:

  • Gourmet and Beer/Wine Tasting clubs
  • Garden clubs
  • Heritage and Ethnic organizations
  • Condominium Associations
  • Golf leagues
  • Retired Military groups
  • Religious groups
  • As well as civic, fraternal, and association organizations.
  • cert-mcc

    With river cruises increasing in popularity, The Cruise Center, Inc. of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has inaugurated a division specializing in this vacation genre. On staff are fully trained cruise travel professionals available to provide expert advice on itineraries, ports of call, river cruise lines, ships, accommodations and other important cruise planning details. Completed the specialist training programs from five of the leading river cruise lines include: Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, Scenic Cruises, Viking River Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, as well as, the Sell River Cruises specialist certification from Travel Agent Academy.

    specialist diploma

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

  • Click Here To Email Us

  • or by phone – 269-372-1963

  • River Cruises 2015 Berth Announcements

    2015 brings with it new ships, new destinations, and new opportunities for those hooked on river cruising. Here’s what’s new.

    Avalon Waterways
    March 24, 2015, in France marks the christening of the Avalon Tapestry II She’ll be the first “Suite Ship” to sail the popular Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches itinerary. In April, the Avalon Tranquility II will debut sailing on the Rhine and Rhone Rivers. In Asia, the Avalon Myanmar with just 36 passengers will sail the Irrawaddy River.

    Avalon Waterways Panorama Suite

    AmaWaterways
    Spring 2015 brings two new vessels, the AmaSerena and AmaVista to AmaWaterways fleet. Each will offer family and group-friendly connecting staterooms and will feature the line’s signature Twin Balconies, one French-style, the other step-out as well as salon and massage services, fitness rooms, and heated swimming pools with swim-up bars.

    Continue reading River Cruises 2015 Berth Announcements