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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  • Rhine River Must-See Sites

    Viking River Cruises’ captivating Rhine Getaway itinerary is a popular choice for first-time river cruisers. Between Amsterdam’s colorful canals and Basel’s majestic Swiss Alps, this 7-night/8-day journey uncovers the heart of the celebrated Rhine River. It’s one of Europe’s legendary rivers, from imposing cathedrals and ancient hilltop castles to noteworthy cities and medieval villages to the Black Forest.

    Take a look at the highlights:

    Karine Hagen, Senior Vice President, Viking Cruises, comments, “Every time I visit Cologne, Germany, the striking profile of the city’s enormous Cologne Cathedral takes my breath away. This towering structure is one of the Rhine’s greatest treasures, and I was recently invited to its rooftop to go behind the scenes—or perhaps I should say “into the rafters”—to witness the constant attention given to its continual restoration. There, high above the city, Assistant Architect Jörg Sperner and I explored a world invisible from the ground: a forest of magnificently carved spires, hidden sculptures, fantastic gargoyles and imposing flying buttresses. Inside, doorways normally off-limits led to a narrow passage with breathtaking views of the cavernous nave below and stunning stained glass windows. I’m happy to let you know that Jörg and his team of architects have invited Viking guests to experience this very same vantage point of the Cologne Cathedral, an exclusive experience. Should your clients join one of our most enlightening itineraries, the 8-day Rhine Getaway, I hope they do as I did and enjoy a safe, bird’s eye view of one of Germany’s most beloved religious structures, the venerable Cologne Cathedral.”

    Explore the history of this ornate architectural masterpiece. Towering over the Rhine, the majestic Cologne Cathedral has been a beacon for pilgrims from around the world for centuries.

    Another stop along the Rhine Getaway itinerary is the iconic Marksburg Castle. Meticulously chiseled into the slate bedrock of a mountain peak, Marksburg has long stood as one of Germany’s most imposing castles. Step back into the Middle Ages with Karine as she explores the core of this prominent stronghold.

    Appealing? Want to plan a Rhine 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

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  • Danube River Cruise Highlights

    Many of you have never taken a river cruise, are curious to try one, and ask me which itinerary is best for first-timers. Of course, I’ve loved them all but I often suggest the one I started with in Europe: the Danube River. Clients who love history, architecture, art, and diverse cultures are going to love a cruise down the Danube. Blending Eastern and Western Europe, you can look forward to seeing ancient cities and Roman ruins, enjoy outstanding cuisine, wine and beer, and encountering eclectic experiences.

    Take a virtual tour of iconic sites and unique opportunities with Viking River Cruises.
    Then contact us to plan the ideal river cruise for you.

    Embark on a Journey of Discovery - 3 - TastefulJourneys

    Romantic Danube Itinerary from Viking River Cruises
    During this 8-day journey, encounter the grand cities and quaint villages along the celebrated Danube River. Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital, traditional, hilly Buda and cosmopolitan Pest. Witness Vienna’s imperial architecture and tour medieval towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley. Savor the tastes of authentic dishes, learn about local legends and understand why Strauss immortalized the “Blue Danube” in his waltz.


    Cafe Demel, Vienna’s famed coffeehouse
    While visiting Vienna with Viking River Cruises, enjoy a leisurely stop at one of the city’s famed coffeehouses. The Demel has been creating delicious treats for over 200 years; choose from cream cakes, tea scones, apple strudels, Sacher tortes and cakes. Sip your coffee, enjoy a sweet treat, and indulge in the company of great friends and a beautiful café!


    Vienna’s Famed Lipizzaner Stallions
    Go backstage at Vienna’s famous Spanish riding school and discovers a world of elegance, discipline and remarkable skill. It’s the world of the Lipizzaner Stallions!


    Nuremberg Trials
    In 1945 at Nuremberg’s Hall of Justice, allied powers gathered seeking accountability. Today Courtroom 600 is one of the most visited sites in the city. Learn about the historic war crimes tribunals that took place here as the entire world looked on —and consider seeing Courtroom 600 for yourself.


    Explore More: Budapest, Hungary
    Budapest, once hidden behind the iron curtain, is a delight for the senses. Known as the “Pearl of the Danube”, the city of Budapest is renowned for its beauty. Highlighting five of Budapest’s most popular attractions, take a quick tour through this magnificent city.


    Cooking: Goulash with Agnes
    Gather fresh ingredients in the Budapest Great Market Hall and then prepare a traditional Hungarian dish, hearty goulash.


    Cooking: Wienerschnitzel with Toni Morwald
    Master chef Toni Mörwald is Austria’s most recognized chef. He learned from numerous grand chefs around the world, and at the age of 22 was awarded his first Gaultet Millau toque. Chef Mörwald is the proprietor of Michelin-starred restaurants, hotels and a catering business. He has dedicated himself to the training of more than 300 professional chefs, many of whom who hold the top jobs in some of the world’s finest restaurants. Watch as he shares his kitchen with Viking Cruises® Sr. Vice President Karine Hagen and shows how to prepare wiener schnitzel, the national dish of Austria. He begins by slicing the veal and lightly pounding veal cutlets flat. He then adds salt, pepper and sunflower oil. The cutlets are dusted with flour, dipped in egg, placed in breadcrumbs and browned to perfection. Chef Mörwald adds parsley-buttered potatoes and a lemon slice to complete the presentation. In the hands of a master chef, the signature specialty of Viennese cuisine is ready to be enjoyed in just five minutes. Viking Cruises itineraries are thoughtfully developed to immerse you in the cuisine of each destination so you can learn about different cultures through food. And Viking Cruises chefs feature regional cuisine and always available American classics in multi-course meals.


    Cooking: Bratwurst with Tom Schmechtig
    Learn about the variety of German cuisine including sausages, pretzels and more.


    If you are considering an Danube 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

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  • 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

    Continue reading Top 10 Reasons To Take A Christmas Markets River Cruise

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    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

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    Savor The Holidays

    This holiday season, we’ve gathered traditional recipes together from Viking River Cruises for your family to enjoy. Almost every culture has its own festive foods to celebrate the holidays. These treasured favorites are passed from generation to generation.

    LEBKUCHEN

    LEBKUCHEN
    LEBKUCHEN, traditional German Christmas cookies

    Spiced and nutty in flavor, these traditional German Christmas cookies taste like soft gingerbread. The best-known are Nürnberger Lebkuchen, which are often presented in ornately decorated tins or boxes. Sometimes, Lebkuchen are baked and decorated as ornaments.

    INGREDIENTS
    Cookies:
    1/2 C honey
    1/2 C molasses
    3/4 C brown sugar, packed
    1 egg
    1 T lemon juice
    1 tsp lemon zest
    2 3/4 C flour, additional for dusting
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground allspice
    1 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/3 C candied citron, diced
    1/3 C hazelnuts, chopped

    Icing:
    1 C sugar
    1/2 C water or milk
    1/4 C confectioner’s sugar

    GARNISH
    Almonds, slivered
    Candied citron
    Melted chocolate

    DIRECTIONS
    Cookies:
    Combine honey and molasses in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and all spices. Add the molasses mixture and mix well. Stir in citron and hazelnuts. Cover and chill overnight.

    Preheat oven to 350°F (167°C). Dust flour on a hard surface, roll out a small amount of the chilled dough to 1/4-inch thickness. If dough is sticky, use more flour when rolling. Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut round cookies out and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. While baking, make icing. Place baked cookies on a cooling rack and brush with icing while still hot. You can decorate with slivers of nuts or candied citron or other dried fruit. Or if you prefer, you can drizzle with melted chocolate. Store in a sealed container with a wedge of apple or orange to retain moistness.

    Icing:
    Heat sugar and water or milk with vanilla in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in confectioner’s sugar. If icing becomes crystallized, reheat and add water or milk as needed.

    Cook time: 10-12 minutes.
    Makes 8-10 servings.

    Continue reading Savor The Holidays

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    River Cruising ~ What’s included?

    Sticker-shock is often the reaction to a European river cruise price quote. That is, until it’s made clear all that is included in the price. But, while most river cruise lines tout their inclusiveness, there are differences that should be considered to determine the best value for you.

    Here is a breakdown of inclusions for the most popular river cruise lines:

    AmaWaterways

    AmaCello in Melk Austria
    AmaCello in Melk Austria

    According to Ama, “Your inclusive vacation provides incredible, value from the champagne breakfast and free-flowing hand-selected European wines with lunch and dinner to a fleet of bicycles, free Internet access, included sightseeing excursions and live cultural entertainment onboard.”
    The port charges, gratuities, and bar tab are extra. A variety of shore excursions are included in the price and a selection of excursions are offered at an additional cost.

    A-Rosa Cruises
    A-Rosa Cruises bills itself as “Truly All-Inclusive” with complimentary beverages including wine, beer, and spirits all day long, pre-paid onboard gratuities, complimentary shore tours, complimentary use of bicycles, complimentary transfers, prepaid port taxes and fees, and free WiFi. Note that gratuities for the guides and drivers on shore excursions are not included. In 2015, transfers will not be included and there will be a shore excursion allowance included in the cost. Once the allowance is reached, there will be an additional charge.

    Avalon Waterways
    Avalon Vista
    Avalon’s slogan is “INCLUDED…is the name of the game.” Expect “Special touches, like regional wines and beer at every onboard dinner selected by a professional sommelier-included. Each à la carte meal includes a variety of options for each course. Plus, enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and juices with breakfast, soft drinks with lunch. Complimentary Wi-Fi access-included. The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides-included. VIP entrance into the must-see sites-included. Unique Local Favoritessm designed to bring your destination to life-included. We even provide Nordic walking sticks for active guests looking for an extra spring in their step. Port charges and gratuities are not included in the price.
    Continue reading River Cruising ~ What’s included?

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    Portugal’s Wine Country With Viking River Cruises


    Viking River Cruises Special Offers

    In 1756, Portugal’s Douro Valley was established as the world’s first protected wine-producing region, and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even though less than 20 percent of the land is farmable, there are 155 different grape varieties grown in Portugal. Join Karine Hagen of Viking River Cruises for a video tour through the country’s rich viticultural heritage.

    History of Port Wines
    Watch and learn about Port Wines as local experts in Porto, Portugal describe the history and production of Portugal’s famous Port wines. This fortified sweet red wine, produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, is most often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in a dry, semi-dry and Muscat varieties. It has a long history dating back to the early 18th century when the British, at war with France at the time, needed a new source of wine. Port wine is enormously popular in Britain and around the world and is still used today as the official wine to toast the Queen at formal dinners.

    Continue reading Portugal’s Wine Country With Viking River Cruises

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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®.”

    Continue reading WORLD OF VIKING: A CULINARY JOURNEY

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    River Cruise List

    As river cruising continues to make waves in the travel industry, the rising tide of this popular vacation choice is on a roll. There are a multitude of river cruise lines but only a few focus on the North American market with an English-speaking crew and shore excursion guides. The most popular of these sail on rivers throughout Europe and have expanded to other parts of the globe.

    specialist diploma

    AMAWATERWAYS
    Sailing in Vietnam and Cambodia, Russia and in Europe with unique offerings in Africa, AmaWaterways has introduced two new vessels this year: the AmaPrima and the
    AmaVida. Two more are slated for 2014: the AmaSonata and AmaReina.

    Avalon Waterways Specialist

    AVALON WATERWAYS
    Sailing in Europe, Asia, Egypt, the Galapagos, and the Mississippi River, this Globus Family of Brands member has introduce two new ships, the Avalon Expression and the Avalon Artistry II in 2013. 2014 brings the Avalon Poetry II, the Avalon Illumination and the Avalon Impression to European rivers.

    Uniworld's China River Cruises

    UNIWORLD BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISES
    Uniworld offers itineraries on rivers in Europe, Russia, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia with three new vessels introduced in 2013. 2014 marks all-inclusive packaging of gratuities onboard and onshore, unlimited beverages onboard including wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee, tea and bottled water, all onboard meals, airport transfers, use of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks, along with the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry.

    CatherinePalaceRussia

    VIKING RIVER CRUISES
    The largest river cruise line marketed in North America, Viking sails in Europe, Russia and the Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. The trademark Viking Longships, which debuted in 2012 with six vessels, eight in 2013, will expand to twelve more to be christened in 2014.

    Time to get onboard? If you are considering a river cruise anywhere in the world, 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

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