I suppose you’ve noticed that my last entry, about this year’s new cruise ships, focused on the sea-faring vessels, but the large ocean liners are not the only ships new to the water this year- the river cruise lines are adding new ships, as well. I’ve noticed a real trend in interest and popularity of these wonderful cruises. So here’s the scoop on some new river boats launching in 2010:
AMAWaterway’s AMAbella will be joining the AMA fleet in May 2010. This river cruising line has chartered this newest addition to the Australian market for 2010, providing accommodations to 148 passengers. The cabins will be a spacious 170-square feet, and most (80%) will offer a French balcony to enjoy the passing scenery. AMAWaterways also boasts an impressive new Infotainment System:
“Today’s travelers expect a full array of Internet and entertainment options and do not want to pay extra for them. Our new, enhanced complimentary Infotainment System is the best offering in cruising today and adds value to the guest’s experience on AMAWATERWAYS. Exciting no-charge features such as the latest hit movies and high-speed Internet access in each stateroom, plus Wi-Fi throughout all areas of the ship continue to set AMAWATERWAYS apart as the true innovator in the world of river cruising,” said AMAWATERWAYS President, Rudi Schreiner.
Avalon Waterways is premiering two ships in 2010, the Avalon Felicity (March 2010) and the Avalon Luminary (August 2010). Both ships will cruise the European river market, and hold 138 passengers. The ships will feature Wi-Fi hotspots, onboard lectures, activities & nightly piano music. Most staterooms will have floor-to-ceiling sliding doors onto the French balconies, flat screen TV’s and private bathrooms with showers.
River cruises offer many amenities as their open sea counterparts, with a few extra special additions. Read on for 10 great reasons to take a river cruise this summer:
1. Immerse yourself in culture: Activities on river cruise ships typically reflect the cruising region’s interests; also expect to see cuisine, entertainment, and music that mirror the local traditions. Lines also may feature lecturers that speak to the history and customs of the area. River cruise lines often offer signature lectures to expand your knowledge.
2. Get an insider’s view: Experience Paris via the Seine, or Budapest via the Danube…both rivers wind their way through the heart these cities. At night, from the river, these cities are magnificent; lights emphasize the beauty of structures like the Budapest’s Chain Bridge and Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral.
3. River cruise lines are all-inclusive and include all meals plus items such as Champagne with breakfast and free flowing wine and soft drinks at dinner, destination tours in every port, nightly entertainment, bicycles to explore charming towns, internet access in your stateroom and Wi-Fi connections in the lounges plus Hollywood feature films, classic films and destination movies shown in your cabin.
4. Have your cake (and cuisine, and wine), and eat it too: Dining on a river cruise line is superb; fine local wines are selected and paired with the daily cuisine. If the onboard experience isn’t enough, hop off the river cruise ship in port and visit some of the offerings in the cities along the way. River cruising line AMAWATERWAYS offers a river cruise through Provence, a chance for wine lovers and connoisseurs to enjoy the vineyards and tastings made famous by this area.
5. River cruise ships are much smaller than their sea-faring equivalents. This translates into a cozier experience; you’ll become acquainted with your sailing companions over more intimate activities and dinners, and you’ll get to know the staff (and vice versa) much more quickly than on a large vessel.
6. Experience Adventure: River cruise ships move at a relaxed pace. Shore excursions bring out the adventurer in everyone. See the Egyptian Sphinx, visit the Great Wall of China, or fly to the Gobi desert…the options are endless.
7. Exquisite river ships include spacious staterooms with hotel-style beds, fine linens and marble-appointed bathrooms with spa-quality toiletries. And many other features such as in-room hair dryer, safe, terry bathrobes individually controlled air-conditioning and ample closet space. And what better way to enjoy the ride than to let in the fresh air from your French balcony?
8. Avoid seasickness: River cruisers report that the ride on these ships is exceedingly smooth; even for those who suffer on board the sea-faring ships seem to have little or no trouble on the river cruises. Maybe it’s the oh-so-slow movement of the boat; most move about 10 miles an hour.
9. Unpack Bags Once: On a river cruise you only have to unpack your bags once. What could be better? Every day a different port is visited and the comfort of your ship and stateroom make traveling a treat.
10. River cruise ships are spacious, comfortable and have wonderful amenities within walking distance. Taking a river cruise means that you avoid all the highway congestion.
With all these benefits, a river cruise is sounding better than ever! For more information on how to book a cruise on one of these outstanding new vessels, please visit CruiseCompete.com.