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The Christmas markets river cruising season for 2018 has drawn to a close, but there’s still the opportunity to plan for this upcoming year. And if clients have any extra gift money to spend, there are plenty of other exciting itineraries to consider for 2019 and 2020, as well. Here are some to look forward to from several river cruise lines.
AmaWaterwaysAmaWaterways hasn’t even launched its new AmaMagna yet, but it’s already plotting the vessel’s 2020 course. Fresh for the riverboat will be a seven-night Gems of Southeast Europe itinerary along the lower Danube River from Budapest to Giurgiu, Romania. Featured along the way will not only be Hungary and Romania but also Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria. Points of interest include Bulgaria’s Belogradchik Rocks and the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also in 2020, the AmaDante will set sail on two new routes. The seven-night Treasures of the Main & Rhine will cruise between Nuremberg, Germany, and Amsterdam through the locks of the Main-Danube Canal. Guests also have the opportunity to visit Prague on an optional three-night pre-cruise land extension.
The ship’s seven-night Vineyards of the Rhine & Moselle itinerary will then head from Amsterdam to Luxembourg with the option to stay in the Netherlands capital for an additional two nights. The cruise will showcase Rudesheim, Cochem and Bernkastel, Germany, before finishing with an optional three nights in Paris.
Beyond Cruises by Group ISTThose interested in taking an intimate barge voyage in southeastern France have a new circuit to book with Beyond Cruises by Group IST. The seven-day Romantic Provence itinerary onboard the Anne-Marie Barge will sail along the Rhone River from Arles, France, to Sete, France, in 2019. Future departures are scheduled for July, August and October.
Passengers will have the chance to discover Arles’ Roman ruins and culinary culture before heading to France’s Gallican, Aigues-Mortes and Palavas-Les-Flots — cities that offer fascinating churches, salt marshes and museums, spas and more. In Sete, cruisers will have a chance to sample the famed shellfish of Etang De Thau.
CosmosSister brand to Avalon Waterways, Cosmos is also unveiling new itineraries in 2019, one of which includes a cruise along the Yangtze River. The extensive 13-day Spirit of China & the Yangtze River route will feature a four-night river cruise which will traverse the Three Gorges. tour the enormous Three Gorges Dam Site and visit Shibaozhai.
CroisiEuropeCroisiEurope is set to roll down the Rhone in 2019 with a fresh seven-day culinary cruise roundtrip from Lyon, France. The new Rhone Princess will serve the best of France so guests can devour the food and wine of Arles, Avignon, Viviers and Tain L’Hermitage. Guests have the option of dining at Abbaye de Collonges, a restaurant helmed by renowned French chef Paul Bocuse. Dates can be booked from April through October.
Beyond river cruising, the line will offer an eight-day coastal ocean voyage onboard La Belle de l’Adriatique. The Adriatic itinerary will travel to Croatia, Greece, Albania and Montenegro.
Crystal River CruisesA relative newcomer to inland waterways, Crystal River Cruises continues to make a splash with enticing new routes of its own. In 2019, a 10-day Enchanting Moselle itinerary will be added as the Crystal Bach will sail roundtrip from Amsterdam (overnight) to Germany and the Netherlands. Ports of call in the popular wine region will include Bernkastel, Trier (overnight), Cochem, Bonn, Dusseldorf and Koblenz, Germany, as well as Arnhem, Netherlands.
Also new in 2019 will be the seven-day Wonders of the Danube from Linz, Austria to Budapest or the reverse on Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel with stops in Bratislava, Vienna (overnight), Krems and Melk, Austria. The two riverboats will further embark a seven-day Danube Dreams & Discoveries roundtrip from Vienna (overnight) to Esztergom, Hungary (overnight); Bratislava; Melk; Spitz, Austria (overnight); and Krems.
What’s more, the Mahler will feature the seven-day Magnificent Christmas Markets from Passau to Budapest and vice versa, with longer stays in Linz and overnights in Passau, Germany, Vienna and Budapest. The ship will also embark on a one-time 11-day Grand Danube Celebration from Budapest to Nuremberg for the holiday, visiting Budapest (double overnight); Regensburg, Germany; Bratislava; Vienna (overnight); Krems; Melk; Linz; Passau; and Nuremberg (overnight).
European WaterwaysBarging into 2019 is European Waterways with new wine appreciation cruises onboard the 20-guest La Bella Vita. Departures will sail the Venetian Lagoon and through the Po Valley, and passengers will be able to taste their way through the region as they go to Sant’Erasmo, Villa Widmann Borletti and Soave. Besides wine-focused outings, the trips will visit Chioggia and Ferrara.
TauckTauck’s trio of new 2019 itineraries include its eight-day Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise from Vienna to Munich on Savor or Munich to Budapest on Joy. Ideal for multiple generations will be stops at Oberndorf, which is known for the song “Silent Night;” Passau for a treat workshop; Vienna for an exclusive “Imperial Evening” in a palace; and Bratislava for medieval games and a scavenger hunt. Other excursions will head for Durnstein, Melk and Krems, and a Christmas feast will be featured onboard.
Similarly celebrating the holidays will be the line’s maiden 10-day Autumn Along the Rhine: Munich’s Oktoberfest itinerary. More adult in nature, beer aficionados will appreciate the famed festival with a whole day scheduled on site, complete with reserved brewery-tent seating, a three-course meal, live Bavarian music and the provision of traditional lederhosen and dirndl attire.
Also for adults will be the new eight-day Impressions from the Seine: Paris to Normandy France cruise, abbreviated to facilitate younger travelers’ shortened vacation time. It will feature active tours, onboard stretching classes and healthy menu choices. Featured destinations along the way will be Paris, Rouen, Normandy, Les Andelys, Vernon and Giverny.