River Cruise Itinerary Update

River cruise lines make changes in 2011 that appeal to repeat visitors as well as first-timers By: Marilyn Green
Treasures of Prague is a new offering for 2011 by Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection // © 2010 Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Treasures of Prague is a new offering for 2011 by Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection // © 2010 Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

As the client base for river cruising grows with a high repeat factor, river cruise lines are arranging new combinations and experiences for their guests. These itineraries are also including more overnights in major cities so guests can use the ships as elegant floating hotels, docked in convenient locations. Here are some of the most recent itinerary announcements from the major lines.

Many of AMAWaterways’ itineraries are specially configured to take advantage of Germany’s spectacular Koblenz Flower Show, taking place from April to October of 2011. New for 2011 is the 21-night From the North Sea to the Black Sea cruise from Amsterdam to Rousse, Bulgaria, which includes a night in Bulgaria and three nights in Istanbul, and Melodies of the Danube, a seven-night cruise from Budapest to Vishofen, Germany, followed by a three-night stay in Munich.

Avalon Waterways
Avalon Waterways brought in five new itineraries this year. Next year, the line will introduce the eight-day Art & Impressionist cruise roundtrip from Paris. Guests visit Paris’ Musee d’Orsay with a local expert, explore Claude Monet’s Giverny home and see Rouen’s extraordinary cathedral in the light that made it a preferred subject for the painter. Also included is a visit to the Musee des Beaux-Arts Andre Malraux in Le Havre, along with special onboard art lectures.

Scenic Tours
Scenic Tours is adding the 14-day Romantic Rhine and Moselle itinerary, which travels from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, and one departure of Tulip Time, an eight-day cruise that sails roundtrip from Amsterdam.

Tauck is adding two new itineraries in France and increasing departures by more than 30 percent next year. Its two new Rhone River itineraries are the 10-day French Waterways & Vineyards and the 14-day French Escapade: Monte-Carlo to Paris. French Waterways & Vineyards begins with an included two-night stay in Paris followed by a trip on the high-speed TGV train to Lyon, France, to begin a seven-day cruise. The French Escapade begins with a guided exploration of Monte Carlo and Nice during a two-night stay, then embarking from Arles on a nine-day cruise on the Rhone and Saone rivers, ending with two nights in Paris.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s new itineraries include the Treasures of Prague, the Rhine & Main, a 10-day cruise from Prague, Czech Republic, to Nuremberg, Germany; the 15-day Imperial Capitals of Europe from Istanbul to Vienna; the 27-day Grand European River Voyage from Amsterdam to Istanbul; the 31-day Grand European Odyssey from Paris to Istanbul; and Imperial Waterways of Russia, a 13-day journey from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

Victoria Cruises
As part of its program in China, Victoria Cruises’ 2010 Yangtze River brochure introduced the White Emperor City as an optional excursion as well as a visit to a 12-level wooden pagoda at Shibaozhai, which is also a paid optional excursion.

Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises is adding the 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary which includes an eight-day Danube River cruise with hotel nights in Budapest and Bucharest, Romania. The 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids cruise-tour has hotel nights in Cairo plus a four-night Nile River cruise and a three-night Lake Nasser cruise. The 15-day Southeast Asia Magnificent Mekong itinerary includes two nights Hanoi, Vietnam, three nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia, an eight-day Mekong River cruise and two nights in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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