Archive for the ‘river cruises’ Category

France Cruises Offers Free Land Tour with Purchase off Cruise and Hotel

November 23, 2013
A guided walking tour of Dijon brings me up to the tower atop the magnificent  Palais de Ducs for the fabulous view of the historic city © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A guided walking tour of Dijon brings me up to the tower atop the magnificent Palais de Ducs for the fabulous view of the historic city © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

For a limited time, France Cruises is offering guests a free land tour with purchase of a cruise and hotel. The free full-day land tour is available in Paris, Carcassonne, Dijon, Avignon, Tours, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nice.

A France Cruises booking agent will assist either you or your travel agent in arranging all of the trip’s details. Once you have chosen your cruise and land tour, France Cruises will also help recommend and book a hotel for your pre or post cruise excursion.

For more information, call 877-579-7447 or visit http://www.FranceCruises.com.

See our series, Barging through Burgundy on France Cruises:

Barging through Burgundy: A visit to Chagny Market and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 2: Chateau de Rully and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 3: Hotel-Dieu, Beaune and slideshow

Barging Through Burgundy, Day 4: Clos de Vougeot, ‘mother church’ of wine and slideshow

Barging through Burgundy, Day 5-6: Walking Tour of Dijon’s Old City and slideshow

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Save up to 50% on Victoria Cruises Winter ‘Three Gorges Highlights’ Yangtze River Sailings in China

November 19, 2013
Victoria Cruises sails the Yangtze River in China.

Victoria Cruises sails the Yangtze River in China.

Victoria Cruises is offering steep winter discounts on its popular four- and five-day Three Gorges Highlights program, throughout January and February 2014. Reduced rates start at $470 per person, based on double occupancy, for a superior stateroom with private balcony – a savings of $510 per person.

Executive Suites, which feature upgraded accommodations and ship placement along with VIP amenities such as “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, enhanced dining privileges, shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment, start at $870 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $720 per person.

For the ultimate experience, guests can book the Shangri-La Suite and enjoy even more spacious accommodations with VIP Executive Amenities from $1,510 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $1,050 per person.

Executive Amenities are also offered to passengers traveling in standard cabins at a reduced rate of $670 per person, based on double occupancy – a savings of $510 per person.

Victoria Cruises’ steeply-discounted Three Gorges Highlights winter special sails upstream from Yichang to Chongqing (five days/four nights) as well as downstream from Chongqing to Yichang (four days/three nights) on Victoria Cruises’ lavish five-star vessels.

In addition to spectacular views of centuries-old pagodas nestled along the Yangtze and a scenic passage through the famous Three Gorges, a one-time shore excursion fee of $90 per person (inclusive of all standard excursions) provides travelers with additional experiences including an educational visit to the impressive Three Gorges Dam, a sampan experience along one of the Yangtze’s tranquil tributaries and unforgettable sightseeing in the “Ghost City” of Fengdu.

Passengers can also participate in exciting onboard activities such as Tai Chilessons, demonstrations of acupuncture/acupressure and discussions on the Yangtze’s history. Nightly entertainment options include traditional Chinese dance and musical performances.

All prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplements are available. Itineraries are subject to change based on river conditions.

For more information or to book, or for a list of tour operators which include the Yangtze River in their value-priced winter programs, contact Victoria Cruises toll-free at 800-348-8084 or visit www.VictoriaCruises.com.

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France Cruises Introduces ‘Signature CruiseTour’ All-Inclusive Packages

September 11, 2013
France Cruses barge-hotel, Caprice, sails up the canal in Burgundy © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

France Cruses barge-hotel, Caprice, sails up a canal in Burgundy © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

France Cruises, is introducing “Signature CruiseTour Packages”, offering riverboat or barge travelers a more complete, all-inclusive vacation plan in any destination they choose throughout France.

“Signature CruiseTour Packages” will provide France Cruises travelers an extensive variety of concierge-like amenities including: land tours, airport/train transfers, traditional hotel, meal and destination reservations and more.

“We are now able to coordinate every detail to offer the ultimate convenience for our clients,” France Cruises President Jean-Francois Dabrowski said. “With France Cruises ‘Signature CruiseTour Packages,’ travelers can now experience their ideal French vacation both on the water and on land.”

In addition to creating custom packages, tailored specifically to the vacation desires of each individual client, “Signature CruiseTour Packages” by France Cruises will also offer reduced, ready-made tour packages that are discounted, and available for a limited time. “12 Days in Paris & Bordeaux CruiseTour” is currently offered as part of this launch.

To learn more about France Cruises, and the new “Signature CruiseTour Packages” visit http://www.francecruises.com or call 866-498-3920.

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Greene County Offers Hudson River Tours, Moonlit Paddles and New York’s #1 Water Park

August 20, 2013
Hiking the Hudson River Art School Trail in the northern Catskills Taking in the spectacular view along the hike to Sunset Rock, one of eight Hudson River School Art Trail sites in New York's northern Catskills © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Hiking the Hudson River Art School Trail in the northern Catskills Taking in the spectacular view along the hike to Sunset Rock, one of eight Hudson River School Art Trail sites in New York’s northern Catskills © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Great Northern Catskills of Greene County offer adventure all summer long – from sightseeing tours on the legendary Hudson River, to moonlit paddling excursions and hiking trails that wind to panoramic vistas with 360-degree views. Beat the back-to-school blues in Greene County and cool off in the Adventure Capital of the Catskills.

Cruises along Catskill Waterways

Sail along the Hudson River and explore Catskill Creek, one of the river’s most scenic tributaries, offering access to Greene County’s waterfront communities, restaurants, shops and scenic parks. The Great Northern Catskill’s Waterfront Guide offers invaluable information for boaters, including the locations of full-service marinas, restaurants, shopping districts and nearby attractions. Just download, print and set sail along one of North America’s most scenic and historic rivers.

Hudson Cruises Inc. offers sightseeing boat tours along the river on select weekends, and invites visitors to climb aboard the Little Spirit of the Hudson for day or evening excursions, complete with an on-board murder mystery show, or just in time to relax with friends and enjoy the view. This Saturday, August 10, join in one of three guided excursions to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse and discover the fascinating history of the lighthouse keeper as told by his daughter, Emily Brunner. Tours leave from the Athens Riverfront Park every hour from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Reservations are suggested and tickets cost $25 for adults, $5 for children. Lighthouse excursions are also scheduled for September 14 and October 12.

Great Northern Catskills Paddling Adventures

Paddlehead Boards in Athens, NY sponsors paddling events and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) excursions, as well as providing canoe, kayak and SUP rentals. On August 20, join the Paddle Club for an evening of excitement, refreshments and full moon fun with a SUP trip around the Hudson River. Perfect your SUP skills and paddle like a pro on the legendary river as the sun sets and the full moon rises. The group will depart from Paddlhead Board’s storefront at 6 pm. Admission is $60 and includes a paddleboard rental, food and refreshments. For more information about this and other paddling events, visit www.greatnortherncatskills.com.

Starting from the banks of the Hudson River, travel into the mountains for family-friendly fun at Greene County’s premier lakeside destination – North-South Lake State Park. Situated within a few steps of many popular Catskills hiking trails, North-South Lake offers the ideal mountain getaway. Enjoy easy access to popular Catskill hiking trails, paddle the scenic lakeshore and enjoy a Catskills camping trip at one of the 200 campsites available throughout the park.

Don’t miss New York’s #1 Water Park, the Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham, offering family-friendly fun and relaxation, with water attractions, games and more. Experience the thrill of shooting down waterslides bearing names like the “Black Vortex,” or spend an afternoon by the Lazy River with a good book. Open through Labor Day, the Zoom Flume caters to families and groups looking to beat the back-to-school blues by making a splash.

For ticket information, canoe and kayak rentals and lodging packages, visit: www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com.

About Greene County:                

Greene County is located in the Great Northern Catskill Mountains and the verdant Hudson River Valley.  The region is home to five of the 10 highest Catskill Peaks and the Catskill State Park and is known as the nation’s first wilderness. Renowned as the home of Thomas Cole’s Hudson River School and the inspiration for Washington Irving’s literary legend, Rip Van Winkle, the Catskills are a haven for outdoor recreation and artistic inspiration.

Now through October 13, visitors can share their own legendary adventures through the Adventure Passport Contest. Log on to: passport.GreatNorthernCatskills.com/contest for details and the chance to win a grand prize seasonal getaway to Greene County. Discover the Catskills and Awaken to Adventure at www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com.

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American Cruise Lines Fall Offerings feature Columbia & Snake, Mississippi, Hudson, Puget Sound & San Juan Islands

June 7, 2013
American River Cruises is offering fall cruises up New York's Hudson River

American River Cruises is offering fall cruises up New York’s Hudson River

American Cruise Lines (www.americancruiselines.com), operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, just launched its Fall Cruise Collection, a selection of cruises handpicked to showcase the beautiful 2013 fall season. Cruise itineraries include the Columbia & Snake Rivers, the Upper Mississippi River, Hudson River, and American Cruise Lines’ newly launched itinerary, Puget Sound & San Juan Islands.

Columbia & Snake Rivers: In October of 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery paddled down the Columbia River on the famous expedition into the West. Today, the autumn colors and migratory wildlife that Meriwether Lewis described in his famous journal are much the same aboard Queen of the West, as it follows their exact route. Autumn is the perfect time to relive the historic expedition and experience the Northwest’s rich tapestry of landscapes and fascinating human endeavors. Featured Dates: October 12, 26

Upper Mississippi River: Autumn time cruising on the Mississippi River is a spectacular time to experience the American Heartland. The upper portion of the river features stunning scenery and quaint historic rivertowns. Guests will take a relaxing journey aboard the elegant Queen of the Mississippi, their minds wandering back in time on this authentic riverboat, as they glide by the colorful display of changing foliage and take in the breathtaking views around every bend of the river. Featured Dates: October 19, 26

Hudson River Fall Foliage: Surrounded by the Catskill Mountains on the western shore and the Taconic and Berkshire Hills to the east, the Hudson is rich in both history and beauty. This popular cruise showcases the bright changing colors and towering mountains for which the Hudson River Valley is so well known. The cities and towns along the way feature some of the most magnificent architecture in America. Featured Dates: October 19, 25

Puget Sound & San Juan Islands: Guests will leave relaxed and rejuvenated after eight days enjoying the delicious crisp autumn air of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. In autumn, clear skies and sparkling water offer a powerful contrast with the colorful coast where nestled between Canada’s Vancouver Island and the U.S. mainland are hundreds of islands that are home to a diverse natural wonderland filled with wildlife. Featured Dates: October 12, 19

“The fall season is one of the best times to experience small ship cruising with American Cruise Lines,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “This cruise collection showcases one of the most beautiful and anticipated seasons in America with various sailings offered during peak foliage. Each cruise offers an experience unlike any other.”

American Cruise Lines operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships in the industry and offers more than 35 itineraries along the rivers and inland waterways of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River and the U.S. East Coast, from Maine to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit www.americancruiselines.com or call 800-814-6880, www.facebook.com/americancruiselines or follow at twitter.com/american_cruise.

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Victoria Cruises Partners with Ritz Tours on 10-Nite ‘Yangtze Essence’ China Tour Priced From $1999

February 1, 2013
Ritz Tours' 10-night 'Yangtze Essence' China package includes a three-night luxury cruise along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang on Victoria Cruises.

Ritz Tours’ 10-night ‘Yangtze Essence’ China package includes a three-night luxury cruise along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang on Victoria Cruises.

Victoria Cruises (www.victoriacruises.com/) has partnered with Ritz Tours (www.ritztours.com/) to offer a 10-night Yangtze Essence program combining a luxurious three-night Yangtze River cruise in a private-balcony Executive Suite on the five-star Victoria Anna with tours of Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. With land-only pricing from $1,999 per person, based on double occupancy, the China itinerary provides value with five-star hotel and cruise accommodations, superb dining and authentic cultural entertainment

Travelers can save an additional $100 per person by booking the Yangtze Essence program with Ritz Tours by Feb. 28, 2013.

The program begins with three nights in Beijing where guests will observe the tombs of the Ming Dynasty Emperors and other historical treasures such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace. A morning excursion to the Temple of Heaven is often enhanced by the countless local tai chi practitioners who assemble in the courtyards to practice and train (weather permitting).

In Xi’an, guests will visit the Ming Dynasty City Wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda as well as the Terracotta Warriors exhibit – the city’s star attraction – buried for more than 2,000 years until its accidental discovery in 1974. The Xi’an experience culminates with an Imperial Dumpling Dinner and Tang Dynasty Show.

Next, guests will depart for a three-night luxury cruise along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Yichang, enjoying private-balcony Executive Suite accommodations with enhanced ship placement and other VIP services and amenities offered through Victoria Cruises’ Executive Program on the five-star Victoria Anna. Amenities include personalized “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, a la carte dining privileges, complimentary laundry (up to four items per day), shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment.

Passengers will discover cultural and scenic gems along the Yangtze including an excursion to the “Ghost City” of Fengdu and passage through the mist-shrouded Three Gorges, as well as a small boat experience through one of the Yangtze’s tranquil tributaries (Daning River or Shennong Stream, based on weather conditions). Travelers will also enjoy an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam site, the largest hydroelectric dam project in the world.

The Yangtze Essence program culminates with a visit to Shanghai, where guests will have an opportunity to stroll the elegant waterfront boulevard known as The Bund, shop for designer luxury items on Nanjing Road and visit the peaceful Yu Garden, a classical garden right in the center of the bustling city. The tour ends with an exciting Chinese Acrobatic performance.

Land-only departures for Ritz Tours’ Yangtze Essence itinerary start at $1,999 per person, based on double occupancy. The program features all intra-China land and air transportation, Executive Suite accommodations with private balcony and VIP amenities aboard the five-star Victoria Anna, five-star hotel accommodations in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, meals and excursions as specified in the itinerary, English-speaking guides and applicable taxes/fees. International airfare is not included but can be booked with Ritz Tours at competitive rates.

Consult your local travel agent for more information or to book, or contact Ritz Tours at 888-345-7489 or www.ritztours.com.

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Virgin Vacations Has 2-For-1 Offer on November Danube River Cruises Booked by Sept 26

September 11, 2012

Virgin Vacations has slashed prices on its November Danube River Cruises, with a close-out sale offering two for the price of one when booked by September 26 © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Virgin Vacations has slashed prices on its November Danube River Cruises, with a close-out sale offering two for the price of one when booked by September 26.

Depending on cabin class, prices begin at $799 per person – half off the regular $1,599 per person price on November departures– for an 8 day Nuremberg– Vienna cruise in an upgraded C category outside cabin, or $999 in A Category with French balcony, regularly priced at $1,999 for November.

Travelers can choose from 9 different cruise and land itineraries, ranging from 8 – to 12-days. Longer itineraries also include a stay in Prague and/or Budapest and are priced up to $1,399 ($2,799 regular). Cruises sail between Vienna and either Regensburg or Nuremberg, visiting the small towns and cities situated along the famous Danube River.

Departure dates range from November 8 to 18, depending on itinerary. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy and availability. Air fare is additional.

For details and to book a cruise, visit http://www.virgin-vacations.com/promo/deals/river-cruises/.

 

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Victoria Cruises, Travcoa Offer Exclusive ‘Legendary China’ Journey on Yangtze River

July 3, 2012

Cruising aboard Victoria Cruises affords a spectacular view of centuries-old pagodas and temples nestled along the mist-shrouded Yangtze River.

Victoria Cruises (www.victoriacruises.com) and Travcoa (www.travcoa.com) partner to offer an exclusive 12-night Legendary China itinerary, which includes stays in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, in addition to two other itineraries featuring Yangtze River cruises throughout 2012.

The extensive Legendary China journey includes a luxurious three-night cruise with Executive Deck accommodations aboard the five-star Victoria Jenna, the newest and largest ship in the Victoria Cruises’ fleet. The trip also includes nine nights in five-star deluxe hotels throughout China. Also included are airport transfers, three a la carte meals per day, captivating sightseeing with an experienced English-speaking guide and TRAVCOA travel director plus the TravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance.

The Executive Deck program on Victoria Cruises’ ships features a variety of services, including enhanced ship placement, access to exclusive VIP areas, complimentary beverages including morning coffee and tea service, exclusive shore excursions for groups of six or more, enhanced dining privileges, exclusive happy hour and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access in the Executive Lounge and lobby areas, with computers available for passenger use.

The program also now includes a welcome fruit basket, complimentary laundry (up to four items per day), shoe shine service, complimentary diet soda and wine and beer with dinner, nightly turn down service, and reserved seating for evening entertainment (must be pre-reserved with cruise director).

“This itinerary encompasses the greatest wonders of China, all while staying in upscale accommodations,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises. “Unsurpassed luxury, a hassle-free experience and peace of mind are what people expect from Travcoa and Victoria Cruises – and our exclusive ‘Legendary China’ program delivers.”

The deluxe 12-night Legendary China itinerary includes the following escorted sightseeing experiences:

Beijing

An excursion to the extraordinary 2,000-year-old Great Wall of China, one of the most spectacular structures ever built by man.

A visit to Tiananmen Square and nearby Forbidden City, an impressive architectural masterpiece, with special access to the Chong Hua Palace.

Explore the hutongs – narrow streets of “Old China” – by rickshaw.

A visit to the fabled Summer Palace, resort of the Empress Dowager.

A special Peking Duck dinner.

A visit to the home of a local family for a cup of tea.

Xi’an

See the extraordinary life-sized Terry Cotta Army, along with their horses and chariots entombed with the Emperor.

A trip to the Shaanxi Historical Museum to learn about Xi’an’s buried past.

A visit to the Wild Goose Pagoda.

Yangtze River

Explore the streets and museums of Chongqing before boarding the five-star Victoria Jenna cruise ship.

A spectacular view of centuries-old pagodas and temples nestled along the mist-shrouded Yangtze River.

Many onboard activities including a host of nightly entertainment options.

An excursion to the impressive Three Gorges Dam Site in Sandouping, an extraordinary feat of engineering and major highlight of the river cruise.

An incredible sailing experience through the Shennong Stream – one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries.

Shanghai

A visit to the classical Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai’s Old Town.

Explore the extraordinary collection of ancient Chinese art at the Shanghai Museum.

A spectacular dinner followed by a dazzling Acrobatics Show.

The deluxe Legendary China itinerary is priced from $5,475 per person, based on double occupancy, with departures scheduled throughout 2012. International airfare is not included. To travel with Travcoa, call your travel agent, or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1.800.992.2003, email info@travcoa.com or visit www.travcoa.com.

Travcoa

For more than a half-century, Travcoa has ensured that guests travel in the utmost comfort and style to the most exceptional places in the world. A leading luxury tour operator since 1954, Travcoa is renowned for crafting unique journeys that feature meaningful cultural encounters without sacrificing sophistication, style or luxury. Your journey is enriched through the people you meet and the epicurean delights, events and places experienced along the way.

Travcoa offers three styles of luxury travel experiences: discover worldwide destinations in a small-group averaging 12 like-minded guests with an Escorted Journeys; travel privately on a pre-set itinerary for two people, or as many as you wish with an Independent Journey; or have one of our Custom Journey Planners handcraft a Tailor-Made Journey to your exacting specifications. Each style includes private transportation, superior accommodations, expert local guides, privileged access to local treasures and natural wonders, and either the company of one of our renowned Travcoa Travel Directors or on-call assistance from TravcoAssist throughout your journey.

Whichever way you prefer to travel, Travcoa pledges the highest level of personal service with unparalleled attention to detail and value.

To travel with Travcoa, call your travel agent, or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1.800.992.2003, email info@travcoa.com or visit www.travcoa.com.

Victoria Cruises

Based in New York, Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Since that time, Victoria Cruises has achieved tremendous success by introducing the majesty of the Yangtze River to travelers worldwide. A true pioneer and innovator, Victoria Cruises delivers an unrivaled and unsurpassed Yangtze River experience. An American-managed company, Victoria Cruises operates the largest fleet of vessels with the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises offers a variety of itineraries varying from four to nine days including Grand Yangtze Discovery, Three Gorges Highlights, and Three Gorges Explorer.

Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years and has most recently received the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna.Travel Weekly also recently selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 57-08 39th Avenue, Woodside, NY 11377; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. Send e-mail to contact@victoriacruises.com or visit www.victoriacruises.com.

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AmaWaterways Introduces New Paris & Normandy Itineraries on the Seine River

June 13, 2012

AmaWaterways has just iintroduced the new 164-passenger AmaCerto in Europe, joining the AmaVerde and AmaBella in offering an exclusive Twin Balcony design in the majority of staterooms; multiple dining venues; complimentary Internet and Infotainment system, a heated swimming pool or whirlpool on the Sun Deck plus many more unique design elements.

Celebrating the land of Claude Monet, Victor Hugo and Napoleon Bonaparte, AmaWaterways invites guests to explore the rich history and culture of France with two new 2013 itineraries: Paris & Normandy and The Jewels of France. The Francophile cruises will visit classic French landmarks, enchanting towns and famous wine regions.

“These itineraries take our guests through the heart of France,” said AmaWaterways Founder Rudi Schreiner. “From the design of the French Balconies onboard our ships to the locally-sourced ingredients, menus selections and wines, AmaWaterways combines old-world French charm with a luxury travel experience.”

AmaWaterways’ French cruises highlight the charm of the Seine and Rhone Rivers with visits to Paris, Vernon, Giverny, Rouen, Les Andelys, Conflans, Barcelona, Perpignan, Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Vienne, Tréveux and Lyon. The itineraries include shore excursions through Roman ruins and medieval villages, wine tastings at rustic French vintners, expeditions to the famous Normandy beaches and walking tours through some of Europe’s most beautiful cities and picturesque harbors. AmaWaterways’ new 2013 French cruise itineraries are as follows:

PARIS & NORMANDYAboard the AmaLegro, the seven-night Seine River cruise will travel through Europe’s enchanting cities of Vernon, Rouen, Les Andelys and Conflans before returning to Paris. Excursions include visits to the village of Giverny, where Monet lived for 43 years and tours of Honfleur, a charming French harbor town made famous from artist’s paintings. Passengers will say “Oui” to a stroll through Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, followed by an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches. Visit the charming town of Les Andelys, home of the impressive Château Gaillard. The trip bodes “au revoir” in the magical city of Paris, where guests will spend two nights. North American travelers can book voyages from March 29 – Nov. 8, 2013.

JEWELS OF FRANCECombining two of France’s most beautiful rivers, the seven-night Rhone River cruise and the seven-night Seine River cruise showcase Europe’s most charming cities. Starting with 3-nights in Barcelona, passengers will explore Spain’s second largest city. In Arles, France, passengers will board the AmaDagio to cruise through France’s legendary wine regions. Excursions include wine tastings; exploring Roman ruins at Pont du Gard & Uzes and visits to the Renaissance palace in Grignan. Disembarking in Lyon, France, passengers will travel to Paris aboard the high-speed TGV train to embark on a seven-night Seine River cruise aboard the AmaLegro through historic northern France. Passengers will visit charming villages, the French harbors made famous by many artists, the famous Normandy Beaches and the impressive Château Gaillard before returning to Paris. North American travelers can book voyages from March 26 – Oct. 25, 2013.

The AmaLegro and AmaDagio are luxurious cruising experiences featuring spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 255 sq. feet. Passengers will enjoy Chaîne des Rôtisseurs culinary creations with free-flowing wine, and unforgettable shore excursions that will immerse them in the local culture and history.

In-room furnishings include plush down bedding, a cozy sitting area, flat-panel TV, hair dryer, safe, terry bathrobes, slippers, individually controlled air-conditioning, ample closet space and bottled water replenished daily. The bathroom features a shower with multi-jet shower heads, spa bath and body toiletries and a magnifying mirror. Passengers can stay connected with complimentary Internet & Infotainment System with Hollywood movies. Other amenities include a massage and beauty salon. Special highlights include lectures, themed dinners, cooking demonstrations and onboard music performances. For passengers wanting to explore the serene paths along the rivers, AmaWaterways offers a fleet of bicycles onboard.

To download AmaWaterways’ 2012 and 2013 brochures, and for more information, visit www.amawaterways.com. To book, contact a local travel agent or visit www.amawaterways.com, like on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

About AmaWaterways

Founded in 2002 by river cruise pioneer Rudi Schreiner, river cruise executive Kristin Karst and founder of Brendan Vacations, Jimmy Murphy, AmaWaterways is the premier river cruise line on Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Main, Mosel and Rhône rivers. Known for its custom-designed ships, extensive complimentary amenities and personalized service levels, AmaWaterways consistently leads the way in river cruising. With destinations traveling through Europe, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia, and new voyages to Africa and Portugal the line’s award-winning fleets compliment a variety of travel plans.

The Europe fleet includes the AmaPrima (2013); AmaCerto (2012); AmaVerde (2011); AmaBella (2010); AmaLyra (2009); AmaDolce (2009); AmaCello (2008), AmaDante (2008); AmaLegro (2007) and the AmaDagio (2006). In the spring of 2012, AmaWaterways will introduce the new 164-passenger AmaCerto in Europe, joining the AmaVerde and AmaBella in offering an exclusive Twin Balcony design in the majority of staterooms; multiple dining venues; complimentary Internet and Infotainment system, a heated swimming pool or whirlpool on the Sun Deck plus many more unique design elements.

In addition to the European destinations, AmaWaterways offers the separate and distinct AmaVoyages to Vietnam and Cambodia via the AmaLotus (2011) and the La Marguerite (2009); Russia via the AmaKatarina (2011); Portugal via the AmaVida (2013); and Africa via the Zambezi Queen (2009).

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Avalon Waterways announces new ships, new itineraries for river cruising for 2013; $1000 off ‘Book Now’ deals

April 26, 2012

Melk Abbey in Austria has a perch above the Danube River is visited on Avalon Waterways' new 'Austrian Highlights & Bavaria" itinerary © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

On the heels of announcing two new Suite Ships in Europe and Avalon ChoiceSM – an entirely new concept in river cruising – for 2013, Avalon Waterways is also unveiling plans to add five new itineraries (plus a new themed cruise) to its roster of cruise options.

“Our choice cruise options will now include more journeys through northern Holland, Austria, Central Europe and Germany,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In addition, we’re giving cruisers the chance to discover the divine tastes and incredible flavors of northern France on a new Culinary Cruise. And, in Asia, we’re adding an exciting new cruise along China’s mighty Yangtze River, aboard two new ships.”

NEW EUROPE CRUISES:

Thanks to increased demand for “passion travel,” Avalon Waterways is expanding its popular wine-, music-, art-, legacy- and holiday-vacations to include a NEW! culinary-themed cruise, available on two itineraries for 2013: Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches (departure 1029; priced from $2,399) and Grand France (departure 1022; $4,999).

“On this cruise, travelers will enjoy cider, wine and oil tastings,” Clark said. “They will also visit a calvados distillery and a farm that produces the delicious Pont l’Evêque and Liarot cheeses. In addition, a local chef will prepare for guests a menu of regional specialties while sharing tips for food preparation.”

Another sure-to-be-hit for those interested in cruising Europe is Avalon’s 8-day NEW! Tulips of Northern Holland vacation, priced from $2,449. “Every year, our traditional Tulip Time Cruise sells out,” said Clark. “Now, we’re giving our travelers who love the beauty and history of Holland’s tulips a chance to combine some well-known sights with off the beaten path experiences.”

Originating in Amsterdam, on this itinerary, cruisers will enjoy the region of “North Holland” where tulip fields abound before cruising farther north to the region known as “Friesland,” famous for its black and white cows. They’ll sail across the Ijsselmeer and take a walking tour of the small town of Hoorn. They will also visit the ZuiderZee Museum in Enkhuizen, the Batavia shipyard in Lelystad and a windmill outside the fishing village of Volendam, with even more excursion choices in Arnhem and Rotterdam.

Other new European cruises for Avalon for 2013:

  • NEW! Austrian Highlights & Bavaria: On this 9-day cruise vacation, travelers will visit Austria’s capital, Vienna, as well as charming small towns like Melk, Dürnstein and Grein before heading into Germany’s Bavaria. This new vacation also includes time in Munich and a visit to Oberammergau. Priced from $2,579 land/cruise (priced from $1,849 cruise-only).
  • NEW! Capitals of Central Europe: With both 10- and 12-day options, this itinerary focuses on Europe’s splendid capital cities – Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest – as well as the many small towns that dot the landscape along the way. Priced from $2,939 land/cruise (priced from $2,299 cruise-only).
  • NEW! Highlights of Germany: On this 13-day journey from Munich to Basel, Avalon guests will visit two of King Ludwig’s most famous castles: Newuschwanstein, the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and Linderhof. They will also enjoy a beer tasting in Nuremberg and exploration throughout Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. Itinerary visits also include UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bamberg and Würzberg. Priced from $4,129 land/cruise (priced from $3,399 cruise-only).

NEW ASIA OFFERINGS:

In 2013, Avalon Waterways is introducing two new ships in Asia – The Century Legend and Century Paragon – and adding a fourth itinerary (a Small Group Discovery vacation): 15-day NEW! Enchanting China & the Yangtze River, priced from $3,629.

According to Clark, on this new itinerary, travelers can experience China in-depth. They’ll visit world-famous sights in Beijing, Xi’an, Lijiang, Shanghai and Hong Kong, including such must-see sites as the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs, Terracotta Warriors, Yu Yuan Gardens and Stanley Market. We’re also offering them amazing, immersive experiences such as attending a special cloisonné and lacquer workshops, a noodle-making demonstration, calligraphy class, rickshaw ride through Beijing’s hutongs and a sampan ride on Hong Kong’s harbor.

“In 2013, our travelers can choose from a 4-to 24-day cruise as well as a cruise-only voyage or an extensive cruise-plus-land journey,” said Clark. “We have put together more than 100 cruise package possibilities on the greatest waterways in the world with hundreds of guaranteed departures to fit cruisers’ interests in Europe, Egypt, China, Southeast Asia and the Galápagos Islands.”

DEAL ALERT: Right now, Avalon Waterways is offering travelers a few ways to save on its 2013 cruises including offering up to $1,000 off per couple on “Book Now Sailings” as well as an early airfare price guarantee for Europe sailings. For details, click here.

To book an Avalon Waterways vacation or request brochures visit a preferred travel agent or by calling 877.380.1535. For more information,  visit www.avalonwaterways.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin