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UNIWORLD’S INSPIRATION

UNIWORLD’S INSPIRATION

While most cruise-related blogs have focused on the pandemic, we thought this month we’d remind everyone why river cruising is so popular and will bounce back quickly once we merge from the other side of the coronavirus era. Our focus is one of our favorite river operators in Europe, Egypt, Russia, Asia and India, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. A guiding force behind their product has been a truly remarkable woman by the name of Bea Tollman. We discovered some fascinating and revealing behind-the-scenes information on Uniworld’s website that we wanted to share with you.

“While each Uniworld ship is unique, what Uniworld’s guests most delight in is one constant—the spirit of hospitality with which they are welcomed onboard, from the time they are welcomed at the airport until they disembark with memories of a lifetime. To truly understand that spirit—and what makes a Uniworld cruise so special—you need to meet Bea Tollman, the creative mind behind their one-of-a-kind floating boutique hotel experience.”

NOTHING IS OVERLOOKED

“Now in her eighth decade, Bea continues to be hands‐on. Her keen eye for detail stretches to the design of each room, the menu, the carefully chosen staff, and even from pen to paper in the form of handwritten notes to her valued guests. It’s the smallest details that often draw the biggest smiles—and Bea and her family have made it their business to create an experience to remember.

“The spirit of service is one that is rooted in the Tollman family values and is carried out by each and every member of the staff and crew. Whether remembering a favorite drink order from day one or surprising a guest with a treat mentioned swiftly in passing, these small but important touches are just one emblem of Bea’s thoughtful nature.”

SETTING THE STAGE

“As a wife, a mother, and now a grandmother, Bea has created a home for each guest to be a part of onboard. A life well lived and well traveled shouldn’t come with sacrificing the comforts of home, and thanks to Bea Tollman, you don’t have to. Bea is still integral to the design vision for each new Uniworld ship that sets sail, a process that involves herself and daughter Toni sitting down in a room to brainstorm ideas.

“Bea designs each ship interior based on the very destinations through which they sail. With distinctive themes, color palettes, personally selected original art, sumptuous furnishings and antiques, Bea blends old-world elegance, the latest technological innovations, and ultra-luxurious amenities on every ship. Each element—down to the smallest detail—has been thoughtfully considered and flawlessly rendered.”

INSPIRATION ABOUNDS

“Like many great stories, Bea Tollman’s is one built on a love of life, a passion for people and a distinct vision of travel that only she could create. She began her career intending to become a teacher, though a school trip to Europe presented her with a different vision. It was then that her palate was first truly piqued, a hunger for fine cuisine was born, and an idea was sparked: to combine exquisite gastronomy with enchanting world travels.

“A few years later, Bea caught the eye of a distinguished South African hotelier, Stanley Tollman, a man with a passion for good food, a heart for hospitality and a red carnation nestled in his lapel. Though they didn’t know it then, they would later go on to build the world-renowned luxury brand, Red Carnation Hotels. But Bea had even bigger dreams, and those dreams were on the water, eventually leading her to acquire Uniworld River Cruises in 2004.

“With Red Carnation as her guide, Bea sought to bring the feeling of staying in a luxury boutique hotel to the rivers, and thus, the Uniworld of today is largely influenced by Red Carnation’s key tenets: unparalleled hospitality, unmatched service and a dedication to going above and beyond for guests.”

EACH MEAL IS MEMORABLE

“Bea’s hands-on approach and attention to detail took root in the kitchen. Her culinary career was founded on a temporary solution. She remarks, ‘The idea was that I would help my husband out at the beginning [with his first hotel] before going on to teach, but I ended up staying in the kitchen for 15 years.’

“And it’s no wonder! Bea’s food dazzled the guests. With each passing dinner service, Bea watched patrons finish their dishes with a smile, and ask to speak to the chef, only to learn that the culinary feats and epicurean delights came from none other than a self-taught 22-year-old woman. Bea began to revel in the world of fine dining and as the hotels grew, so did the number of her recipes and her love for the industry. Since then, her food has become a cornerstone of Red Carnation Hotels and Uniworld River Cruises alike.”

It’s not hard to see why Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has become such a unique and well-loved brand. While we all hope to be on the other side of the pandemic by this time next year, it’s never too early to start planning your Uniworld river cruise. Contact Select Waterways today!

We are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS

CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS

In this month’s blog, we’re taking a closer look at the coronavirus protocols of Victory Cruise Lines, which many months ago cancelled all its 2020 sailings and is focused on 2021. The information below is pulled from a letter by John W. Waggoner, CEO, and shows what small ship cruising will look like next year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world for a loop, and Victory recognize the impact that it has had on plans for travel. Small ship cruising along with many other experiences that we’ve come to know and love are changing – and that can be stressful.

Victory Cruise Lines is staying current with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) guidance, mandates and public health advancements. Plans are in place to keep guests, crew and ports of call safe.

Victory has implemented multiple processes to identify and combat the risk of COVID-19 which include new steps in pre-cruise screening, crew screening and boarding processes. Both onboard and ground operations will feature enhanced cleaning procedures.

PRE-CRUISE SCREENING

Communication with guests begins before they have committed or booked their experience on Victory vessels. Health and safety information will be communicated to guests and a pre-cruise screening process has been instituted to determine the health eligibility of those who wish to cruise. In accordance with industry standards, Victory will conduct pre-voyage screenings for the protection of all guests, staff and crew at the designated check-in hotel. Before boarding the vessel, all guests will be required to complete a health and safety questionnaire and bring it with them to check-in.

At guest check-in a medical professional will perform health screenings and answer any guest or crew questions. The medical professional will have the authority to deny boarding to anyone that may pose a health risk. All guests and crew will complete a medical travel screening survey and have their temperatures taken. All forms will be reviewed by a medical representative and a member of shipboard staff. Thermal camera technology may be used to conduct noninvasive temperature checks as a supplement to manual temperature screening. Because of changes in check-in and boarding processes, no guests or crew will be allowed to check-in directly on the vessel. Only those who have completed and passed the medical screening will be allowed to board the vessel. Information will be provided to all guests and crew regarding onboard sanitization and safety procedures.

BOARDING PROCEDURES

Victory representatives will greet each visitor at the vessel access point. All procedures will be enforced and will be managed by the Master and a medical representative. One controlled access point will be maintained on the vessel and Victory will require a 24-hour notice for anyone that needs access to the vessel and has not been pre-screened during hotel screening. This includes all guests, crew, visitors and contractors. Onboard medical representative will be used to conduct screening, complete the health and safety survey and provide reports to the Master and each Hotel Director. Also, the vessel will utilize thermometers, supplemented by thermal cameras, to take temperatures of every individual (guest/crew) boarding the vessel.

DURING YOUR CRUISE

Monitoring both guests and crew during the cruise for symptoms and ensuring compliance with written policies and procedures is vital to maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Screening during the cruise will be handled through several methods. 

Trained staff will maintain protocols and observe passengers and crew for symptoms. The ship’s captain and medical representative will respond to medical calls, keep records, practice quarantine procedures and utilize shoreside medical facilities for passenger and crew follow-up.

The vessel access point will be monitored when in port, and controlled access to the vessel will be maintained. All passengers and crew will be passively monitored by thermal imaging when returning to the vessel.

Victory vessels will support random manual screening at the primary vessel access point in addition to passive thermal screening. In the event of a confirmed positive case, the vessel will manually screen 100% of all individuals coming and going from the vessel.

If a guest or crewmember has an elevated temperature, he or she will be evaluated by the medical representative before being allowed to board the vessel. Any guest who has an elevated temperature, shows signs or symptoms of illness or that vessel management feels needs to be further assessed will be sent directly to a local medical care partner for evaluation and testing. Any guest or crew that tests positive for any contagious condition will not be allowed to rejoin the vessel.

SANITATION PROCEDURES

Victory has instituted new training procedures for all housekeeping and sanitation staff. Increased sanitation of all contact surfaces such as handrails, tables, chairs, desks, work surfaces, door handles, telephones and elevator controls in both front and back of house will be conducted hourly with higher concentrated solutions.

MEDICAL SUPPORT

Each Victory vessel carries a certified onboard medical representative to respond to and assist guests with urgent medical care and coordinating shoreside medical assistance as needed. Quarantine procedures are in place for short term separation of potentially ill guests or crew until the next port of call, at which advanced medical care can be accessed. Upon a positive test or elevated response, the Victory response team will determine what additional company resources are required.

Given the nature of Victory’s coastal itineraries, they have the ability to reach shore-based medical facilities very quickly. Victory has established relationships with regional medical treatment facilities in key cities along vessel routes. While in port most days, guests and crew have access to shoreside medical evaluation and treatment if needed. In an emergency, Victory has the ability to quickly transfer passengers and crew to emergency medical services ashore by coordinating pick-up at municipal landings and docking facilities.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION

Victory will feature new protocols for all motor coach sanitation and safety. A reduced number of guests being transported on each motor coach (targeting 52% of capacity) will allow adequate space between individuals.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river or small ship cruise. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

SAFETY FIRST

SAFETY FIRST

In today’s blog, we wanted to answer some of the questions potential travelers have regarding how safe they will be onboard a river or small ship cruise the midst of a pandemic. First of all, there’s a vast difference between sailing with 100 or so other guests on a small ship or river vessel than on a 4,000-passenger ocean-going megaliner. Many people don’t have a comfort level regarding vacationing by large cruise ship but feel better about a smaller ship. Major cruise lines don’t plan to resume service for months, while some smaller companies sailing America’s rivers and coasts plan to ease some ships back into service in the next few weeks. In fact, with international travel borders subject to closure, now is the time to travel within the Untied States. 

Each line with which we do business has their own protocols, of course, but to give you some idea of the extent to which river and small ship operators are going to ensure your safety during these challenging times, we decided to look at what American Cruise Lines is doing. The following information comes straight from their website. We’ve chosen not to edit this list down because we believe it’s important to know how extensive the changes that cruise lines such as American Cruise Lines are making.

SHIP DESIGN & SIZE

  • American Cruise Line (ACL) ships have approximately 350 square feet of passenger space per guest at full capacity. This amount was increased to approximately 450 square feet per guest through capacity reduction measures and compared to approximately 140 square feet per guest on other ships.
  • There are independent HVAC systems in every stateroom and lounge. Air conditioning ducting is cited as a source of virus transmission; ACL ships have no shared ducting between rooms or public spaces.
  • UV-C water filtration systems for all potable water. These filtration systems kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
  • ACL has implemented a touchless boarding and check-in process. Medical screenings may require contact between a medical professional and the guest, however proper PPE will be donned and utilized.

NEW OPERATING PROCEDURES

  • Guest capacity has been reduced by 25%. Each cruise will sail with a maximum of 75% of the allotted guest capacity. Capacity reductions increase distancing measures and increase the ability for private crew accommodation.
  • Increased time between cruises to allow for full vessel sanitation.
  • Extensive pre-cruise screening measures and denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or other qualifications of concern.
  • Sanitation rounds to be conducted on an hourly schedule, including sanitation of all touchpoints, including railings, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and gangways. 
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be available at all times for guests and crew. PPE includes face shields, gloves, and face masks. PPE may be required during certain events as situations dictate.
  • Public bathrooms will be closed. Guests will be asked to use the restrooms in their stateroom.
  • Hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the ship and at the gangway before each boarding and unboarding.
  • Luggage sanitation prior to loading on the ship. Deckhands performing sanitation will be wearing PPE.
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be kept behind transmission barriers and passed to guests individually. American Cruise Lines will not have buffets.

CLEANING & SANITATION

  • PPE will be provided for all housekeepers.
  • Guests will have the same housekeeper for the duration of the cruise.
  • Cleaning chemicals meet EPA and CDC Guidelines. Most cleaning and sanitizing chemicals provided by Ecolab, a company providing hygiene products to more than three million customer locations around the world, including to the foodservice and healthcare industries.
  • Hypochlorous Acid Electrolyzed Water (HOCI) system onboard for sanitation.
  • Daily sanitation of all touchpoints in staterooms, including doorknobs, light switches, sink, balcony railing, thermostat, etc.
  • Disposable cover applied to each TV remote control prior to guest boarding.

MEDICAL SERVICES

  • Onboard medical services provided by Vikand Solutions, a certified global medical company, with long-standing experience in the maritime and cruise industries.
  • Resident nurse or EMT on each ship for the duration of each cruise.
  • Compliance with CDC sanitation guidelines.
  • Medical facility to be provided onboard with supplies.
  • Covid-19 testing in conjunction with facilities ashore.
  • Isolation rooms will be created and made available as necessary. An allotment of staterooms aboard each ship to be sanitized and kept unoccupied unless they become necessary for isolation purposes.
  • Outbreak Management Plan in place to respond to confirmed Covid-19 case onboard.
  • Coordinated care with shoreside medical facilities and evacuation plans in place from every port of call.

EMBARKATION SCREENING

  • Denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 30 days.
  • Denial of boarding to anyone who has travelled internationally in the past 14 days.
  • Private transportation directly to the ship (or to the arranged pre-cruise hotel, if the hotel has implemented suitable sanitation practices).
  • Medical tent with pre-boarding screening including respirations, oxygen, and temperature check. Covid-19 testing will performed as needed.
  • Touch free boarding and check-in process.

DINING

  • Main dining room capacity reduced with removal of tables and chairs to allow for social distancing.

  • All dining tables to be used only once during each meal service. There will not be multiple seatings at any table during any meal.

  • The Back Porch Café will continue operating as an additional dining option.

  • PPE will be provided for all chefs and galley workers.

  • In-room dining will be available to all guests upon request.

  • Breakfast service to private balconies will remain available.

  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be kept behind transmission barriers and passed to guests individually.

DINING

  • All tour venues screened for social distancing and sanitation practices.

  • Private coaches travel directly to and from each venue.

  • Coaches sanitized before every boarding.

  • Reduced coach capacity to allow for social distancing during rides.

  • Excursion capacities reduced to allow social distancing at each venue. Additional excursion times will be added as needed for guest enjoyment.

CREW TRAINING AND SCREENING

  • Pre-boarding screening practices will apply to guests and crew members. Additionally, crew members will be screened at the conclusion of every cruise.
  • Reduction of crew movement in public spaces and reduced shore leave. Crew trained to engage in social distancing at all times, including when off-duty.
  • Covid-19 identification training for all crew members. This includes training on how to observe and report symptoms, as well as how to self-identify their potential symptoms.
  • Covid-19 response training for all crew members.
  • PPE training for all crew members, including the purpose, use, and donning of PPE.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river cruise and anticipate the time when the world of river cruising returns. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

CRUISING IN A NEW WORLD

CRUISING IN A NEW WORLD

The world changed completely in just two months. We’ve never said that before in our lifetimes. Even the changes to travel wrought by 9/11 pale in comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic. Air travel is down 95%, countries have shut their borders and issued mandatory two-week quarantines for visitors and the entire cruise industry has shut down. We are living in an entirely new world. 

And that means that even as cruises resume, countries open their borders and flights begin to fill in the weeks and months ahead, we will be sailing in a new world as well. That’s why travel by river cruise and small ship, with passenger capacity limited to around 200 people or less, is going to boom. Not to mention it’s easy to stay close to home if you travel on America’s coasts and rivers. 

In today’s blog, we’re not going to recount or list when our river and small ship cruise line partners are going to begin sailing again, since that changes on an almost daily basis. Quite frankly, it’s too hard to know when it will be safe to sail again. And even then, your decision to sail is a personal choice and not one we can make for you.

However, how we cruise will be different thanks to masks, testing and social distancing. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen since the pandemic is in the cancellation policies.  Most companies are allowing guests to book future cruises and cancel those bookings with no penalty as close as 48 hours before sailing. Not to mention that there are some great deals to be found for cruises in late 2020 and through much of 2021. 

All that said, it’s still important that we all stay safe until we can travel with peace of mind again. And when we do begin cruising, the cruise lines will be working hard to keep us safe onboard. So, we suggest you do what we’ve been doing the past two months, which is following the guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

First of all, know how it spreads and be aware that though there is hope on the horizon, there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The virus travels through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Importantly, realize that some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms at all. 

Since there’s no way of knowing if the people you come in contact with have the virus or not, make sure you wash your hands often and do so with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands as these are easy entry points for the virus.

Next, avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. Naturally, put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home and, once again, remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people and do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. As you can imagine, keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

While the wearing of masks has become politicized, the simple truth is that wearing a mask provides you some protection but mostly protects other people if you happen to have the virus and you have no symptoms. That why you should always cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others because you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Please observe proper social etiquette and remember that the cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Even with a mask, continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. 

If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Both clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Lastly, take care of yourself and be alert for the most common symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. This is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet. Take your temperature if symptoms develop but not within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

Take care of yourself in these unprecedented times and with liberal cancellation policies and great offers, it’s never too soon to start planning your river or small ship cruise.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river cruise and anticipate the time when the world of river cruising returns. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VIKING ANNOUNCES MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

VIKING ANNOUNCES MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

Viking Cruises has announced it is launching Mississippi River cruises two years from now. The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking’s arrival will bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi. 

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to Viking guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

Explorers’ Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking’s ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers’ Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers’ Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

River Café: From American classics to Mamsen’s® Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking’s ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining on the Mississippi.

Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking’s ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library is a perfect place to discover a new book.

The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Inaugural Voyages:

America’s Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. 

Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the South, from Cajun and Creole to the famed “dry” Memphis BBQ.

Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

America’s Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Absorb southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit “The Norwegian Valley” in La Crosse.

Contact Select Waterways now to be among the first to experience a Mississippi River cruise, Viking-style, in just two years. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VICTORY ADDING FOURTH SHIP

VICTORY ADDING FOURTH SHIP

Victory Cruise Lines recently announced the addition of its fourth small ship, Ocean Discoverer. Currently under construction, the Ocean Discoverer will be delivered in September 2022 and will join Ocean Victory in Alaska in 2023, offering additional small ship cruise options in the 49th state. Ocean Discoverer will make its debut with the Discover Beyond™ Alaska Expedition Adventure Cruise itineraries, which are currently available for booking on board the Ocean Victory.

The aptly named Ocean Discoverer was designed for in-depth destination access and exploration, while promoting responsible and sustainable travel. Providing world-class accommodations and amenities, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions led by expert marine biologists, scientists and naturalists throughout the 12- to 13-day expedition voyages.

The 8,500-ton, 342-foot and 200-passenger Ocean Discoverer will be identical to the Ocean Victory and feature 93 suites, of which 68 will have balconies, nine French balconies and 16 panoramic windows. The vessel will carry a crew of 100 and boast a 2-to-1 guest to crew ratio. Onboard venues include two restaurants, in addition to an open-deck dining area, observation and lectures lounges, piano bar, library, gym, spa, swimming pool with a pool bar and jacuzzi.

Once complete, Ocean Discoverer will share the same cutting-edge design, technology and operating efficiencies as the Ocean Victory. Signature elements include a patented X-bow design which creates a smoother, more comfortable ride to lower noise and vibration levels and consequently seabed disturbance; Rolls Royce Zero Speed Stabilizers to reduce rolling and therefore make cruising more comfortable for guests; and Dynamic Positioning (aka “virtual anchoring”) – a computer-controlled system that automatically maintains the vessel’s position utilizing its own propellers and thrusters resulting in top-rated ship maneuverability. Lastly, the smaller size and low draft of Ocean Discoverer allows it to dock in many of Alaska’s smaller ports not accessible to larger cruise ships.

The Ocean Discoverer will also utilize Victory Cruise Lines’ partnership with the acclaimed Department of Marine Biology at California Polytechnic State University to feature marine biologists, scientists and naturalists among the ship’s expedition team. This along with the vessel’s fleet of zodiacs and kayaks, will provide guests with endless opportunities for active and responsible adventure and up-close wildlife viewing. Offering the same premier service, dining and accommodations guests have come to expect onboard Victory Cruise Lines and sister company the American Queen Steamboat Company, Ocean Discoverer will feature the finest regional cuisines, top-of-the-line entertainment and immersive shore excursions.

Bookings for Ocean Victory Alaska are currently available and bookings for Ocean Discoverer will be announced at a later date. Victory Cruise Lines also operates Victory I and Victory II, identical 202-passenger ships and offer all-inclusive cruises to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England, Mexico, South America and Alaska.        

Contact Select Waterways to be among the first to experience a small ship cruise, Victory-style, in Alaska. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VICTORY IN ALASKA

VICTORY IN ALASKA

Victory Cruise Lines, operated by American Queen Steamboat Company, has just announced its inaugural Alaska small-ship cruises for the 2021 season on board the 200-passenger Ocean Victory. Currently under construction, Victory Cruise Lines’ third vessel invites guests to explore the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of Alaska and British Columbia on expert led excursions and small-ship, scenic cruising.

To ensure that the Ocean Victory showcases the very best of expedition cruising, Victory is working with California Polytechnic State University to include marine biologists, scientists and naturalists among its expedition team of 19 to lead excursions, provide education lectures and act as a resource for all guests. 

The inaugural season of small-ship Alaska cruises includes:

NORTHBOUND: VANCOUVER, B.C TO SITKA, ALASKA

12-Day Cruise: May 21; June 11; July 2, 23; August 13; September 3

From the bustling city of Vancouver to the stunning views along the British Columbia Inside Passage, you will experience the best of this varied region. Fiordland Conservancy’s dramatic waterfalls dropping into majestic fjords, unbelievable wildlife sightings in Misty Fjords National Monument, expansive ice fields at LeConte, Sawyer and Dawes Glaciers and world-famous whale watching in Frederick Sound will leave you in awe. In addition, the fascinating culture of the Tsmshian people, Norwegian-inspired Petersburg, Alaska and Russian influenced Sitka, Alaska all welcome you to learn about the area’s diverse and storied heritage. Ports of call include: a pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver, B.C.; British Columbia Inside Passage; Fiordland (Kynoch Inlet); Ketchikan/Metlakatla; Misty Fjords National Monument; Wrangell/Stikine River Wilderness; Waterfall Coast/Baraof Wilderness; Petersburg/Le Conte Glacier; Tracey Arm/Sawyer Glacier; Kake/Frederick Sound/Five Finger; and Sitka, Alaska.

SOUTHBOUND: SITKA, ALASKA TO VANCOUVER, B.C.

13-Day Cruise: May 31; June 21; July 12; August 2, 23; September 13

The southbound itinerary reverses the northbound itinerary, with an additional day exploring Tracey Arm, Endicott, Dawes and Sawyer Glacier and Ford’s Terror Wilderness. On all Ocean Victory sailings 20 Zodiacs and dozens of kayaks will transport you through narrow inlets larger ships cannot access, giving expedition leaders the flexibility to choose the best spots for the day’s adventure, setting the Alaska adventures on the Ocean Victory apart from competition. Ports of call include: a pre-cruise hotel in Sitka, Alaska; Kake/Frederick Sound/Five Finger; Endicott Arm/Ford’s Terror/Dawes Glacier; Tracey Arm/Sawyer Glacier; Petersburg/LeConte Glacier; Waterfall Coast/Baranof Wilderness; Misty Fjords National Monument; Ketchikan/Metlakatla; Fiordland (Kynoch Inlet); British Columbia Inside Passage and Vancouver, B.C.

HIDDEN COAST: VANCOUVER, B.C. TO SEATTLE, W.A.

12-Day Cruise: September 24

This one-time itinerary will explore the ports and sights along Vancouver Island. Keeping with VCL’s dedication to education, guests will visit the Copeland Island Marine Park and U’Mista Cultural Center, one of the longest operating First Nations’ cultural facilities in British Columbia. On the southbound leg, striking views of Cortes Island, Von Donop Inlet and Desolation Sound await, revealing the majesty of British Columbia. Ports of call include: a pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver, B.C.; Princess Royal Reach/Princess Louisa Inlet; Copeland Islands Marine Park; Alert Bay/U’Mista Cultural Center; Cortes Island/Von Donop Inlet; Desolation Sound – Redonda Islands; “Sunshine Coast” – Pender Harbour; Nanaimo; Gulf Islands/Ganges; Victoria and Seattle, W.A.

The 341-foot Ocean Victory will feature 93 suites, of which 68 will have balconies, nine with French balconies and 16 with panoramic windows. The vessel will carry a crew of 100 featuring a 2-to-1 guest to crew ratio. Onboard venues include two restaurants, in addition to an open-deck dining area, piano bar, library, gym, heated outdoor pool, spa services and jacuzzi, plus observation and lecture lounges and a dedicated expedition and adventures launching platform.

Bookings for Ocean Victory Alaska cruises are now open, with early booking savings up to $1,400 per stateroom on reservations made by March 31, 2020.

Victory Cruise Lines operates Victory I and Victory II, identical 202-passenger ships, and the upcoming newly-built 200-passenger vessel, the Ocean Victory. Victory Cruise Lines operates all-inclusive cruises to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England, Mexico, South America and Alaska.        

Contact Select Waterways to be among the first to experience a small ship cruise, Victory-style, in Alaska. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

SPAIN COMES TO WINDSTAR

SPAIN COMES TO WINDSTAR

If you love to eat, relish unique cuisine, adore Spain and are passionate about small ship cruising, then your dreams have just come true. Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso is a trailblazing new restaurant at sea that Windstar Cruises is introducing on its three all-suite ships as part of their $250 million reconstructions. It will debut in May 2020 on Star Breeze, followed later in 2020 on sister ships Star Legend and Star Pride.

Anyone who has tasted a true pan con tomate in Spain knows that this iconic Spanish dish is so much more than bread, tomato, and olive oil. Now, put it in the hands of celebrated chef Anthony Sasso — one of the youngest chefs to be recognized by the Michelin Guide — and pair it with 24-month aged jamón Ibérico sourced from pigs raised solely on acorns in Southern Spain, and you have something very special indeed.

By opening Cuadro 44, Sasso’s mission is to introduce cruisers around the globe to the flavorful and varied cooking of Spain, one of the world’s great food capitals. And no chef better embodies its cutting-edge yet rustic cuisine than Sasso, who earned his reputation as a culinary wunderkind while overseeing the kitchen at the New York restaurant Casa Mono, where he spent 13 years and earned the restaurant a Michelin star every year for 10 years.

Gourmands around the globe have been waiting in anticipation for Sasso’s next move, and with Windstar’s announcement of the inaugural menu for Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, their wait will not have been in vain. “I want our guests to taste the kaleidoscope of Spain’s flavors,” says Sasso, whose menu spans the country from seaside País Vasco to North-African influenced Andalucía. “We’re going to make it feel as real as possible – like you’re floating on land in Andalucía with flamenco music playing and you’re looking out at the water from the beach.” Everything will be cooked from scratch in an open kitchen, and Sasso is eager to teach guests about the vernacular of Spanish cooking while also delighting their taste buds.

Unlike many contemporary seaside Spanish fare restaurants, where guests have to select among a number of options — feeling a sense of FOMO due to what they didn’t choose — a hallmark of Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso will be its appetizer presentation. Every guest will be welcomed with an array of options from the menu. “A lot of the first dishes will be small bites of very typical Spanish foods,” says Sasso. “We want it to feel like you’re at a tapas bar in Spain, presented with a ton of small plates that you can share with the people next to you.”

A trademark dish on any Spanish menu is the humble yet powerful Spanish tortilla from Madrid, made with potatoes, eggs, onions and olive oil. In Sasso’s hands, this rustic appetizer is elevated to culinary greatness with the addition of parsley crème fraiche and a potato chip gremolata, which is like a seasoned bread crumb. Another Spanish staple is the mighty paella from Valencia, combining arborio rice and seafood. At Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, paella will be rolled into a ball-shaped croqueta and topped with nori panko crust, saffron sofrito, and chorizo aioli.

Next up are the Platos Grandes, the entrees — and while the list is highly curated, with just six options — what’s in store for guests will prove to be revolutionary when it comes to dining at sea. Sasso wanted to get away from expected dishes and can’t wait to introduce guests to Fideos Mar y Montaña, which is a surf-and-turf from Valencia. Sasso takes the unsung angel hair pasta, chops it up, and toasts it. After sautéing the pasta in a pan, he combines a confit chicken leg, chorizo, manila clams, beans, tomatoes, and lots of saffron. “It breaks every rule, which is why I love it,” says Sasso. “It’s one of the most fun dishes to eat at a Spanish restaurant because it’s sloppy and you put a spicy garlic mayo on it. It makes no sense, but it totally works and it’s great to eat with a group of people.”

Another highlight is the cod from País Vasco. Here, bacalao (cod) is poached in olive oil and served with a “pil pil” salsa, Yukon gold potatoes, pickled red jalapeños, and enough parsley to tint it green. “One of my favorite sauces of all time is pil pil, which is a crazy Basque preparation,” says Sasso. “You take the forgotten part of the cod, the fish cheeks, and throw them into a sizzling terracotta casserole. The name is an onomatopoeia. When you add the cold cheek to the hot oil, it makes a ‘pil pil’ sound.”

Even the unassuming sangria gets reinvented here. Sasso has incorporated it into the dessert menu with a dish called Torta de Santiago from Galicia, which is a boozy almond cake with sangria-soaked fruit and whipped nata ice cream. He is also putting his own spin on Churros y Chocolate, one of the most famous desserts in Spain, using a tamarind-infused chocolate sauce that is similar to mole. “We’re going to spice this chocolate up with chile flakes, some salt, and hibiscus to give it floral notes,” says Sasso.

Ultimately, Sasso wants to thrill diners with a sense of discovery. “We’re trying to go off the ledge and serve people something they’ve never tried before,” says Sasso. “It’s exciting for me, for Windstar, and for the guests aboard the ship.”

Contact Select Waterways to get a taste of Spain on your next Windstar Cruises’ small ship cruise. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VIKING GOES EXPLORING

VIKING GOES EXPLORING

Viking Expeditions, a sister company to Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, will begin sailing in January 2022 with its first vessel, Viking Octantis, embarking on voyages to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic. Bookings for the inaugural season opened on January 15. 

The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms; both ships are currently under construction and will be delivered in Norway by Fincantieri’s VARD. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions – small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking’s ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking’s expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail.

An industry first, The Hangar brings true comfort to expedition cruising. This enclosed, in-ship marina permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship’s multiple shell doors. The Hangar’s most innovative feature is an 85-foot slipway that allows guests to embark on RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. 

Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, while hosting guests, will also be working research vessels with an onboard team of Viking Resident Scientists working on a variety of studies. Developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking’s other academic partners, The Laboratory, at 430 square feet, is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and extensive bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests will have supervised access to The Laboratory, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research, an experience unique to Viking. 

Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of complimentary experiences, expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will include a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use in the harshest of environments; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible RIBs. Each ship will also feature two six-guest submarines that feature revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided: a Viking Expedition Kit will contain items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants; each excursion will carry a full range of Safety Equipment, such as satellite phones, VHF radios, ropes, life jackets and a comprehensive shore survival kit; and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

Viking has created the world’s most advanced venue for learning at sea with The Aula, a stunning panoramic auditorium at the stern. Inspired by the University of Oslo’s famed ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula will offer a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula through sliding glass walls is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area with comfortable couches and warming lava rock “firepits” – perfect for panoramic views of the surroundings. Together the two spaces can be combined to create an unmatched indoor-outdoor al fresco experience for guests to be immersed in nature.

A first for polar expedition cruise vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. Harnessing the Norwegian reverence for light and to create the optimal wildlife observatory at sea, the Nordic Balcony’s floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass at the very edge of the ship lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 to 1,223 square feet. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and stores clothing and expedition gear.

Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, The Aquavit Terrace is an indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary will allow guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an “inside-out” swimming experience. 

In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Nordic Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – with a thermal suite that features a Sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a warm hydrotherapy pool and badestamp (hot tub), surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center will also provide the latest equipment and workout gear.

Similar to Viking’s ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of the ship, offering the perfect spot for taking in stunning scenery through double-height windows over a mug of mulled wine or glass of Norwegian aquavit. 

Viking’s expedition ships will offer an array of dining options that build on the successful venues from Viking’s ocean ships, but which have been redesigned for expeditions. The Restaurant will offer fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café will be a new “market” concept that offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen’s, named for “Mamsen,” the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi’s offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service will be complimentary for all guests.

2022-2023 VIKING EXPEDITION INAUGURAL VOYAGES

Antarctic Explorer (13 days; Buenos Aires to Ushuaia) – This ultimate adventure takes you into the heart of the Antarctic peninsula, where you will see where penguins and seals compress the cycle of life into a short season; hike on “The Last Continent” with your expedition leader for insight into the extreme geology of the dramatic landscape; and watch whales breach and glaciers calve into the sea from the comfort of your ship. Multiple sailing dates in January, February, November and December 2022; January and February 2023.

Antarctic & South America Discovery (19 days; Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro) – Embark on a journey of extremes, taking you from icy Antarctica to tropical Rio. Explore the Antarctic Peninsula, covered in ice and teeming with penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife; witness one of the thriving penguin populations of the Falkland Islands; and discover the cultural treasures of Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Paranaguá. Multiple sailing dates in March, October and November 2022.

Arctic Adventure (13 days; Roundtrip Tromsø) – Experience the Arctic summer on this expedition, centered on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Discover dramatic landscapes far north of the Arctic Circle, where deep fjords give way to glaciers; and look out for polar bears and seals from a RIB. Multiple sailing dates in August and September 2022.

From the Arctic to the Antarctic (44 days; Tromsø to Ushuaia) – Traverse the globe from the far north to the extreme south on this ultimate journey. Start in Norway’s northernmost town above the Arctic Circle and continue past rugged peaks and fishing villages to the rolling landscapes of the Shetland Islands and Ireland’s green shores. Next, cross the equator on your trans-Atlantic sailing to arrive in Rio de Janeiro, then further on to Buenos Aires and finally—to the “Last Continent”—to be amazed by the otherworldly scenery, pristine nature and abundant penguins, seals and other wildlife few will ever see. Sailing date: September 21, 2022.

Undiscovered Great Lakes (8 days; Thunder Bay, Ontario to Milwaukee) – From Northern forests to pristine lagoons, encounter the natural splendor of the Great Lakes. Visit bald eagle and bear habitats that abut charming frontier towns in this remote region of North America; and pass between Lake Superior and Lake Huron via the impressive Soo Locks.

Great Lakes Explorer (8 days; Milwaukee to Thunder Bay, Ontario) – Embark on a true expedition along “the nation’s fourth seacoast,” from Georgian Bay’s granite islands to Thunder Bay’s towering cliffs. Experience the car-free idyllic Mackinac Island, and learn about indigenous cultures and frontier life along the way.

Niagara & The Great Lakes (8 days; Toronto to Milwaukee) – From urban skylines to uninhabited islands, discover the wilderness nestled in the interior of North America alongside world-class cultural attractions in Detroit, Toronto and Milwaukee. Witness the majesty of Niagara Falls, and enjoy scenic cruising past North America’s busiest border as you cross Lake Huron.

Canadian Discovery (13 days; New York to Toronto) – Cruise from Canada’s southeast coast to the St. Lawrence River, where you will learn about the region’s rich past amid stunning natural settings and celebrated cities. Sail along the coasts of New England and Nova Scotia; discover the remote reaches and locally sourced seafood of Prince Edward Island; explore the Saguenay Fjord, home to seals, whales and other sea mammals; and go salmon fishing in Quebec’s Moisie River.

Just give us a call at Select Waterways to become one of the first to go exploring with Viking. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

TOP 5 BORDEAUX SHORE ADVENTURES

TOP 5 BORDEAUX SHORE ADVENTURES

The Bordeaux region of France is a booming river cruise destination. Set sail along three stunning rivers, the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde, on one fascinatingly historical and invigorating journey. Explore the country’s breathtaking backdrops, wines and cultural treasures across the region in Bordeaux, Fort Médoc, Cadillac, Blaye, Libourne and more. Wander through archaeological marvels, historic landmarks and magnificent vineyards where you’ll be treated to a sampling of quintessentially French experiences. In 2020, five different ships will be sailing this vineyard-studded paradise, including one of our favorites, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ Bon Voyage. So, what are your options for enticing, one-of-a-kind shore excursions? Here are our Top Five Bordeaux Shore Tours:

YOGA IN THE HISTORIC HEART OF BLAYE FORTRESS

Join your wellbeing coach for a unique yoga session in the Blaye Citadel, designed in the 17th century by a renowned military architect to protect Bordeaux from attacks by sea. Calm your mind as you take in panoramic views of the Gironde Estuary and the remnants of the medieval castle. Become aware of your surroundings as you steady your breathing. You’ll then practice postures, or asanas, before enjoying a period of relaxation to end your session.

THE COLORFUL LIFE OF TOULOUSE LAUTREC AT CHÂTEAU DE MALROMÉ

Uncover the history of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with a visit to Château Malromé. Originally the home of his mother, Adèle, Malromé would soon inspire much of his artwork. As one of the best painters of the post-impressionist period, Toulouse-Lautrec is known for his distinctive and colorful take on Paris in the late 1800s as well as his fascination with Moulin Rouge dancers and famous singers, who were prominent in much of his work. Venture to the nearby town of Verdelais, where you’ll notice two beautiful central walkways lined with trees and 19th-century façades. It is in Verdelais’ cemetery that Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is buried. After, you’ll be treated to an absinthe tasting at Café les Pèlerins.

LIBOURNE “VILLAGE DAY” WITH FARMER’S MARKET

How could you visit this rich agricultural land without delving into a farmer’s market? Libourne’s market is the heart and soul of the town; everyone comes here to choose the freshest vegetables, the ripest cheeses, the most luscious fruits, the loveliest flowers, and to chat with the producers and growers. Check out the stalls brimming with produce in the market square, then duck into the covered market and savor the enticing aromas of bread and cheese, fish and meat. After exploring the market, you and a small group of other travelers will be invited to push open the doors of ateliers, homes and shops, meeting the artisans who make some of the goods arrayed so enticingly in the market.

BIKE BORDEAUX BACKSTREETS

Hop on a bike and wheel with your expert guide along the Quai des Chartrons, a riverfront neighborhood that was the purview of British wine merchants back when they dominated the wine trade. It fell on hard times in the 20th century, but the tall merchant houses have since been reclaimed; now they house welcoming shops and cafés. Pedal past the antiques shops of Rue Notre Dame and the Church of St. Louis on your way to major city squares such as the Bourse and Parliament before heading back to the ship along the banks of the Garonne. Of course your outing will include a stop for refreshments at one of the delightful cafés you pass.

SAUTERNES VINEYARD WITH PRIVATE ARTISANAL WINE TASTING AT CHÂTEAU DE CAZENEUVE

It’s called the noble rot. Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that affects wine grapes, results in a concentrated and distinctive sweet wine that takes its name from the region, Sauternes. This tour is devoted to an exploration of this region and its delectable wine. You’ll visit one of the area’s finest estates for an intimate wine tasting as special as the wine itself, sampling the unique perfume and flavor of Sauternes. After your tasting, you’ll journey to Château de Cazeneuve, a polygonal 14th-century fortress with a royal pedigree. A favored residence of Henry IV, who inherited it from his mother, Jeanne d’Albret, the beautifully restored château still belongs to descendants of the Albret family.

Just give us a call at Select Waterways when you’re ready to tour Bordeaux. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

FOUR NEW SEINE RIVER SHIPS FOR VIKING IN 2020

FOUR NEW SEINE RIVER SHIPS FOR VIKING IN 2020

Viking announced new details about its 2020 river cruise season, which will see the addition of four new ships custom built to navigate the Seine River in the heart of Paris. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships, the four new, identical vessels will debut in 2020; all will be deployed on Viking’s popular eight-day Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary by 2021.

Hosting 168 guests in 84 staterooms, the new Seine Ships – Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga – will be smaller than Viking Longships, but will feature many of the same popular features – including an Aquavit Terrace, a wide variety of stateroom choices and onboard solar panels, as well as Viking’s signature Scandinavian design aesthetic. Designed specifically to navigate the Seine River, these four ships will dock in the center of Paris, adjacent to the Eiffel Tower.

“We have always had a strong vision for how to help guests explore the world in comfort. For 22 years, we have led the industry in defining what modern river cruising looks like for experienced travelers who have interests in history, art and culture,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “We continue to lead because we focus on the destination, and we continue to innovate for our guests, offering them new and different opportunities for learning – and opening doors around the world at places that may otherwise have been difficult to visit.”

‘Sailing roundtrip from Paris, guests on Viking’s ‘Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary explore Giverny and visit the beautiful gardens and charming farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked; trace the footsteps of Joan of Arc in Rouen; walk hallowed ground at Normandy’s American Military Cemetery and World War II beaches; and savor Normandy cuisine. This 8-day cruise along the Seine River celebrates history, art, food and customs in the country’s most dazzling urbane and pastoral settings.

Explore the Seine River and Paris in 2020 with a simple call to Select Waterways. We offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

LIVING ABOVE IT ALL

LIVING ABOVE IT ALL

As we start the new year, that means resolutions on how to improve ourselves and our lives run rampant. Going to hit the gym this year? Lose those extra pounds? Visit places you only dreamed of as a child? Check. Check. And check. 

But sometimes there’s an obstacle to that last resolution. For many travelers eager to experience Antarctica, that bump in the road is the four days spent sailing the Drake Passage, notorious for its bad weather at times, to get from the tip of Chile to the Antarctica continent. All those days spent sailing the Drake Passage meant if you wanted to go on an Antarctica cruise, you had to better plan on spending plenty of time on vacation. It’s easy to see why an Antarctica cruise sounded good on paper but upon closer examination, appeared a bit daunting. It might seem obvious, but there’s a way around this hurdle. And Silversea Cruises has come up with the solution.

Silversea Cruises just announced a first in the ultra-luxury segment: a new fly-cruise service to Antarctica in business-class comfort, as part of the largest ever Antarctica offering in the cruise line’s history. Named Antarctica Bridge, the new service will provide discerning travelers with the fastest, most direct route to the White Continent. Departing from December 2021, the collection of 12 fly-cruise voyages aboard Silver Explorer will further enhance Silversea’s industry-leading, all-inclusive Polar offering. Sales for Antarctica Bridge opened on December 10, 2019.

Enjoying direct flights from Chile’s Punta Arenas to King George Island in Antarctica, travelers will fly 670 miles over the Drake Passage on a private plane – reserved exclusively for Silversea’s guests – that has been specially adapted to land on King George Island. Hosted by Silversea representatives and offering travelers the luxury of a business-class configuration, the flight will take just two hours each way, meaning guests will avoid approximately four days at sea on the return journey. A bespoke in-flight entertainment program, which will include Zodiac and IAATO briefings, will be tailored entirely for Antarctic expeditions to prepare guests for the unique adventure ahead. Travelers will then spend five full days – the same amount of time as on Silversea’s conventional Antarctica voyages – travelling deep into the destination, accompanied by Silversea’s team of expedition experts. 

This is seen as a defining moment for Silversea’s expedition offering: Antarctica Bridge will revolutionize the way in which guests discover Antarctica. The luxury of choice is a key feature of Silversea’s offering; the new Antarctica Bridge service expands guests’ choices. Many will still choose to cross the epic Drake Passage, which is an unforgettable experience in itself, but Antarctica Bridge is perfect for time-conscious travelers, as it will immerse guests into the White Continent in a shorter timeframe. This builds on existing offerings, which comprises many 10-day voyages, as well as 18-day expeditions and longer, which are the ultimate in deep exploration. With the launch of Antarctica Bridge, Silversea guests will be able to choose from 59 Antarctica voyages.

Unlocking Antarctica in just nine nights for time-conscious travelers, Silversea’s Antarctica Bridge itineraries are scheduled to comprise the following: 

Day 1: Inbound international flight, via Santiago

Travelers have the choice of either inclusive economy-class air or reduced business-class air on their inbound international flight to Punta Arenas, Chile, as part of Silversea’s ongoing air promo. 

Day 2: Pre-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas

Ahead of flying to Antarctica, the cruise line’s guests will spend a night at the elegant Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas. Here, they will receive their expedition kit, including rubber boots, parka, walking poles for the duration of the expedition, waterproof trousers, expedition backpacks and a water bottle. A dedicated Expedition Team will be on the ground to prepare guests for the journey ahead. 

Day 3: Flight to King George Island (Antarctica)

A first in the ultra-luxury cruise segment, travelers will fly to Antarctica in the equivalent of business-class comfort, saving two days at sea each way. Silversea’s guests will land at the Chilean base of Presidente Frey, which is normally used by scientists as they journey to the island’s research stations. 

Days 3-9: Antarctica Expedition aboard Silver Explorer

With five full days in Antarctica, guests will enjoy an unprecedented level of flexibility aboard Silver Explorer, and an enhanced scope to discover each destination. From King George Island, travelers will explore the same destinations as on Silversea’s conventional Antarctica offering: Antarctic Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula over three days, and the South Shetland Islands, before returning to King George Island once more. Silversea’s Expedition Team will guide Zodiac tours, shore experiences, kayaking tours, and provide lectures on the region’s fascinating geology, wildlife and history to enrich the journey for guests. In addition to witnessing remarkable icebergs, guests will visit large penguin rookeries, and may see several species of seals, whales and birds. 

Day 9: Flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas

Return in style and comfort on the 75-seat aircraft to Punta Arenas, accompanied by Silversea representatives. 

Day 9: Post-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas

Spend a relaxed post-cruise hotel night at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos and explore Punta Arenas once more. 

Day 10: Outbound international flight

Fly home. 

Aboard Silver Explorer, as on all Silversea vessels, travelers will benefit from Silversea’s trademark level of service and luxury accommodations. Each of the ship’s ocean-view suites provides guests with the personalized service of a butler; a 24-hour in-suite dining service; a bottle of champagne upon arrival and a drinks bar, stocked with guests’ preferred beverages; fine dining, including complimentary caviar on demand, canapes, and a rich offering of seafood and steak; and an array of other inclusive amenities. Enlarged to 14 members for the 2021-2022 season, Silversea’s Expedition Team will enrich guests’ travels with insightful lectures, workshops, tours on the ship’s enlarged fleet of 14 Zodiacs, kayak tours, and shore experiences.

Just give us a call at Select Waterways when you’re ready to hit the White Continent. These voyages will sell out quickly, so let your resolution for 2020 be to book one of these amazing Antarctica cruises. We offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

A number of years ago, Dr. Seuss wrote a children’s book called Oh, the Places You’ll Go! It’s a delightful read for youngsters, focusing on the wonderful adventures in store in a life well-lived and, of course, all the things our great big world has to offer. We’ve always loved that book because it captures the spirit of adventure that leads us to travel. It also helps us stretch our imagination of where we can go next on a river cruise.

While Select Waterways focuses on Mississippi River cruises, Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, and French river cruises as part of an extensive array of European river cruises, other waterways beckon those who are a bit more adventurous. As it turns out, a company like Viking River Cruises also offers India with Ganges River cruises, Russia with Volga River cruises and Egypt with Nile River cruises.

NILE RIVER CRUISES

Cruise the Nile in a manner once reserved for queens and pharaohs

For 12 adventure-filled days with Viking River Cruises, experience Egypt and the Nile’s most wondrous sites in style and luxury. Set sail on an eight-day voyage onboard the all-suite River Tosca. Wander amongst the towering ruins of the Temple of Karnak, the world’s largest ancient religious complex, and the entrancing Temple of Luxor. Visit temples dedicated to Hathor, Horus, and other mythological figures, and pay homage to the country’s first female ruler at the Temple of Hatshepsut. Follow in the footsteps of renowned scholars and explorers as you venture forth into the Valley of the Kings, the ancient burial grounds of Egyptian royalty. You will enjoy an exhilarating ride in a felucca, a traditional Nile River sailboat.

This captivating itinerary begins and ends in Cairo, where you’ll visit the famous Egyptian Museum and its stupendous and unrivaled collection of pharaonic artifacts, including treasures recovered from the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Journey to Giza to gaze upon the mighty ancient Pyramids and the timeworn, enigmatic Sphinx—iconic images that continue to amaze.

An enchanting land of marvels, myths, and wonders old and new, Egypt is an extraordinary destination no culturally curious traveler will want to miss.

GANGES RIVER CRUISES

Profoundly mysterious and gloriously exotic India

Complex and beguiling, India is a country unlike any other. Wondrous sights rich in romance and intrigue come alive in the “Golden Triangle”—Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Delhi’s immense red sandstone marble tomb, commissioned by Emperor Humayun’s grief-stricken wife, will capture your heart, while Raj Ghat, a black granite memorial to the “Father of the Nation,” Mahatma Gandhi, will stir your soul. Jaipur’s Pink City and Agra’s Taj Mahal, a grand tribute to love, will leave you forever mesmerized.

This adventure by land and river will touch all of your senses, from Kolkata, where Mother Teresa’s humble home and tomb provide a place of pilgrimage, to the Rajbari Temples devoted to the Hindu god Shiva. Your Ganges voyage delves deeply into India’s fascinating historical and religious heritage, working its charm in myriad ways and leaving you with memories that will forever endure.

Start your trip with five luxurious nights at three different award-winning Oberoi hotels. Enjoy a rare opportunity to see the Taj Mahal two times—once at sunrise and once at sunset. Once onboard your Viking River Cruises’ ship, travel to villages lining the Ganges River that only a few people get to see each year and experience Viking’s new Wellness Program, centered around the destination’s ancient tradition and practice of yoga.

Available on every Viking River Cruises sailing, the complimentary Wellness Program – led by a certified and resident yogi – will celebrate the holistic health benefits of yoga with daily sessions introducing the different types of yoga, group lectures and classes as well as individualized meetings, so that guests at every stage of their practice can participate in this culturally immersive program comfortably. An accompanying “Nutrition and Wellness Food” menu has also been developed especially for this program. Featuring organic items and guidelines for eating healthy, the menu will be available daily during breakfast, lunch and dinner service.

VOLGA RIVER CRUISES

Discover the passion and grandeur of Russian history, art and culture

The imperial cities, grand artistic treasures and spectacular architecture of Russia await your arrival. From the glittering metropolises of St. Petersburg and Moscow to the timeless towns along the Golden Ring, you’ll experience Russia in all its glory and splendor.

Explore the dichotomy of Moscow—rich with monuments to both 15th-century tsars and 20th-century communist leaders. Stand in awe of the massive Kremlin complex, onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral and the extravagant Moscow metro system. See some of Russia’s vast and beautiful countryside as well as its delightful small towns, where locals still engage in traditional crafts. Cruise along the Golden Ring to some of Russia’s most beautiful cities, including Uglich and Yaroslavl, which are known for their white-stone churches and gorgeous monasteries. Be amazed by Kizhi Island’s UNESCO-designated Transfiguration Church, a wooden structure built entirely without the use of nails. And uncover regal St. Petersburg, which boasts art-laden galleries and museums, fabled canals and elegant architecture from a wide variety of eras.

Adventurous travelers who wish to sail Russia’s great rivers and lakes, seeing world-class cities and timeless towns, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning architecture and legendary art as they go will absolutely adore this Viking River Cruise.

Just give us a call at Select Waterways. We offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

SOUTHERN VICTORY

SOUTHERN VICTORY

One of the most exciting new entrants in the world of coastal cruising and Great Lakes cruises is Victory Cruise Lines, which is operated by the beloved American Queen Steamboat Company. With its first winter season featuring two ships and after a successful inaugural year cruising the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes and New England, Victory is taking its signature 202-passenger ships south to Costa Rica, Panama, the Yucatán Peninsula and the Southeast U.S.

Beginning as early as March 2020, the Victory I and Victory II will set sail to colorful destinations of the southern latitudes. Small ship cruises range from nine to 10 days and start at $2,699 for double occupancy, including a pre-cruise hotel. Not only is that a great deal, we’re certain there will be some additional special offers too good to pass up! Here are a few of our favorite itineraries coming up in 2020:

AMERICAN SOUTHEAST: JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA TO FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA ON VICTORY I

Nine-Day Small Ship Cruise: April 5; November 15, 29; December 13; Reverse March 29; November 8, 22; December 6

From the historic South to the pristine beaches of the Bahamas, this voyage is the perfect balance of excitement and relaxation. Architecture and history enthusiasts will adore the Antebellum and Victorian homes of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia and gourmands will savor meals on board and on land, including a rustic seafood shack just off the shrimp docks in Brunswick, Georgia. Ports of call include Jacksonville, Florida with an onshore pre-cruise stay; Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Beaufort, South Carolina; Brunswick, Georgia; Fernandina Beach, Florida; Port Canaveral, Florida and Freeport, Grand Bahama. Rates start at $2,699 plus onboard gratuities, transfer costs and port charges.

AMERICAN SOUTHEAST: FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK ON VICTORY I

15-Day Small Ship Cruise: April 14

Guests are invited to see the very best of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard on board the Victory I as she makes her way between a remote tropical island and America’s largest city. This voyage puts the beauty of the south’s most celebrated cities on full display, traverses the Intracoastal Waterway and explores World War II-era maritime history. Carefully designed shore excursions will guide guests through these legendary ports, each brimming with the sights and sounds of their storied past. Ports of call include Freeport, Grand Bahama with a pre-voyage stay; Port Canaveral, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Wilmington, North Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore/Annapolis, Maryland; New York, New York. Rates start at $4,999 plus onboard gratuities, transfer costs and port charges.

YUCATÁN PENINSULA: ROUNDTRIP CANCUN, MEXICO ON VICTORY II

Nine-Day Small Ship Cruise: November 14, 21, 28

Guests will discover the hidden gems of Mexico from seaside havens to colorful cities, exploring architectural wonders including Tulum and Chichén Itzá, two of Central America’s best-preserved Mayan cities, as well as soaring cathedrals dating back to the 1600s and charming markets along cobblestone streets. A stay on shore near Valladolid will reveal the unparalleled hospitality of the Yucatán with an authentic lunch and dinner at a local restaurant and a night at Mayaland Hotel, which has been family owned and operated since 1923. Ports of call include Cancun, Mexico with a pre-voyage stay; Puerto Morales, Mexico; Progreso, Mexico with an onshore stay near Valladolid, Mexico and Campeche, Mexico. Rates start at $2,999 plus onboard gratuities, transfer costs and port charges.

YUCATÁN PENINSULA & PANAMA: CANCUN, MEXICO TO PANAMA CITY/COLÓN, PANAMA ON VICTORY II

10-Day Small Ship Cruise: December 5

This special cruise tours some of Central America’s most beautiful and culturally rich destinations. Starting with a hotel stay in Cancun, Mexico, guests will then cruise south to Costa Maya to feast on traditional Mexican cuisine accompanied by local chocolate and tequila. Divers and snorkelers will be astounded by the natural beauty of Roatán, Honduras and San Andrés, Colombia while history and culture lovers will adore Belize City, Belize and Limón, Costa Rica for their afro-Caribbean influences and fascinating Mayan archeological sites. Ports of call include Cancun, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Roatán, Honduras; San Andrés, Colombia; Limón, Costa Rica and Panama City/Colón, Panama. Rates start at $3,499 plus onboard gratuities, transfer costs and port charges.

COSTA RICA & PANAMA: PANAMA CITY/COLÓN TO SAN JOSÉ/PUNTARENAS, COSTA RICA ON VICTORY II

Nine-Day Small Ship Cruise: Cruise: December 13

This journey starts with a sailing through the Panama Canal, a true feat of engineering, before entering the pristine wilderness of Costa Rica. Golfito, Costa Rica boasts a fascinating chocolate tour and some of the tallest rainforests in Central America, a rugged wilderness where a stunning array of species thrive. The quaint and perfectly preserved coastal towns of Quepos and Puntarenas are rich with international history and guests can enjoy a relaxing day on the beach spotting monkeys in the mangroves. Ports of call include Panama City, Panama with a pre-voyage stay; Golfito, Costa Rica; Quepos, Costa Rica; Puntarenas, Costa Rica and San José, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Rates start at $2,999 plus onboard gratuities, transfer costs and port charges.

COSTA RICA & PANAMA: SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA TO PANAMA CITY, PANAMA ON VICTORY II

Nine-Day Small Ship Cruise: December 20; Reverse December 27

On this thoughtfully designed experience, cruisers have the opportunity to take a journey through the Pacific Ocean side of the Panama Canal, followed by a voyage along cerulean waters and beachside oases, including Quepos and Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Tailor-made for cultural immersion and cultural enrichment, the discover-designed Victory II will further transport guests to cultural destinations, like Golfito, Costa Rica with the opportunity to learn the town’s traditions of manufacturing cacao, from harvesting the fruit, peeling and grinding the seeds to toasting the beans. Ports of call include San José, Costa Rica; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Quepos, Costa Rica; Golfito, Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama. Rates start at $2,999 plus onboard gratuities, transfer costs and port charges.

So, pack your bags, some sunscreen and your sense of adventure and explore southward with Victory Cruise Lines with some amazing coastal cruises, Southern cruises, Costa Rica cruises and Yucatan cruises the small-ship cruising way!

Just give us a call at Select Waterways. We offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK

GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK

Do you want to travel to sensitive destinations in the Arctic but you’re afraid your visit might leave a big carbon footprint? Worried that expedition cruising might harm the very pristine environments you’re going to see? Well, we understand that concern and we’ve found that the solution is to travel with Hurtigruten, which is unquestionably the most environmentally-sensitive and responsible expedition cruise company we’ve run across in our years of travel. Not only do they have hybrid-powered ships that can run solely on electricity produced from biofuel as a result of fish waste, they’re taking that commitment ashore as well. Ever heard of electric snowmobiles or electric catamarans? Neither had we until now. Suddenly, an Arctic cruise is a an environmentally-friendly choice.

ELECTRIC SNOWMOBILES

Just recently, Hurtigruten committed itself to introducing battery-powered snowmobiles. The partnership is actually between Hurtigruten’s land-based adventure travel company, Hurtigruten Svalbard, and a Finnish start-up company, Aurora Powertrains. The agreement is an industry first for snowmobiles, and starts a new era of silent and emission-free exploration by snowmobiling.

Debuting this winter, Hurtigruten Svalbard’s new eSled snowmobiles will offer modern-day explorers unforgettable wilderness experiences on the fascinating Svalbard archipelago. With snowcapped mountains as the backdrop, guests will explore the Arctic winter landscape like never before, with silent and emission-free outdoor adventures under the northern lights.

To fully utilize the green potential in the sustainable operation of electric snowmobiles, Hurtigruten Svalbard will set up a separate power supply including solar panels, a windmill, and battery packs for energy storage.

ELECTRIC CATAMARANS

Earlier this year, Hurtigruten partnered with Norwegian start-up company Brim Explorer to introduce battery-powered catamarans that are custom built for polar water exploration. Set to debut in spring 2020, the 78-foot vessels will operate sustainable and silent ocean excursions from the port of Longyearbyen on the Arctic island of Svalbard, sailing under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand.

The hybrid catamaran will feature large battery packs and will be able to recharge at virtually any port and operate on batteries for up to 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots.

Brim Explorer’s first watercraft—similar to her sister, which will operate exclusively under Hurtigruten Svalbard—is currently under construction in Norway. She will offer Hurtigruten guests traveling along the Norwegian coast truly unique excursions year-round, including visits to the Lofoten Islands in the spring and summer.

With their clean and futuristic design, both vessels will feature large windows that will take all 140 guests on board closer to the elements, with as little impact as possible.

To fully capture wildlife both above and below the surface, the explorer catamarans will also feature hydrophones and underwater drones from another Norwegian start-up already partnering with Hurtigruten—Blueye Robotics. Their drones will be introduced to several of Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ships, as well as all Brim Explorer experiences.

GREEN REVOLUTION

The electric snowmobiles and electric catamarans are the latest in a number of battery-powered technology pushes by Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard.

Hurtigruten celebrated its 125th anniversary by banning all single-use-plastics, and in 2019, Hurtigruten  introduced MS Roald Amundsen, the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ship.

In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and biogas (LBG), the latter of which is produced from organic waste such as dead fish.

Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard will also work closely with Brim Explorer to continuously improve and develop the green technology, such as integrating solar panels with the electric driveline to exploit the 24-hour Arctic sun to charge the batteries while sailing. Developing renewable energy stations in smaller ports for charging is another project under development.

Isn’t it about time you stopped dreaming of an expedition cruise and made the jump into a whole new, green world with Hurtigruten and Select Waterways? Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

CRUISING IN A NEW WORLD

TOP 5 RIVER THEME CRUISES

Don’t you love traveling with people who share the same interests as you? And what if the entire cruise itself was centered around your hobbies or passions? Well, that’s what a theme cruise is all about. We’ve found that although there are holiday, wine and culinary theme voyages on European river cruises, the biggest selection of theme cruises is right here at home in America. In fact, American Queen Steamboat Company offers a wide selection of theme trips on its Mississippi River cruises.

While we enjoy any river theme cruise, our favorites are tied to the holidays, history or the life and traditions of the river. Here are our Top 5 River Theme Cruises:

PLANTATION HOLIDAY MARKETS

Amid the glittering elegance of an American Queen holiday cruise is a seasonal spirit larger than life. Experience the best of the Antebellum south during a magical time of the year and delight in all of your favorite holiday treats while getting acquainted with the classic traditions of the Cajun and Creole cultures. Christmas markets are the perfect venues to listen to holiday music while browsing seasonal goods and the all-American southern artistry of local craftsmen. Enjoy an enchanted experience at Nottoway Plantation, where you will enjoy live music and dancing, indulge in an assortment of hors d’oeuvres or decadent desserts and witness the ceremonial lighting of bonfires on the levee followed by a special fireworks display.

MARK TWAIN

Discover America Mark Twain-style from the perspective of the river. After all, it’s along the great Mississippi and its tributaries that Mark Twain discovered his own undying fascination with and love for America. Many would argue that Samuel Clemens, best known by his pen name Mark Twain, is quite simply one of America’s greatest authors. On a magnificent journey along the Upper Mississippi River, delve deep into the life and work of Samuel Clemens and witness his legendary words and wit brought to life onboard by an expert tribute artist who will leave you with the lasting impression that you just had an in-depth conversation with the legendary author himself. We love American Queen Steamboat Company because they include hop-on hop-off tours that allow you to explore Twain’s childhood hometown of Hannibal, Missouri; the town from where much of the inspiration for his beloved classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is derived.

BOURBON

A bourbon-themed cruise offers you a rare opportunity to experience an extraordinary journey through America’s heartland and into the roots of Kentucky’s bourbon region. This special themed voyage will take you behind the scenes and into the history books to show you where bourbon comes from, how it is made and the ways to distinguish the unique characteristics of different distilleries. While onboard, you can enjoy all things bourbon with special tastings, treats, and cooking demonstrations. Both onboard and ashore, each day presents an eclectic blend of music with special performances, creative workshops and a wealth of enrichment that can’t be found anywhere else.

CIVIL WAR

Civil War-themed cruises take you on an amazing journey where historic skirmishes pitted brother against brother in a nation once divided. You will have the opportunity to delve into the tactics, both military and political, that shaped the events of the American Civil War. Learn of the Mississippi River’s strategic value as both a transportation and communication route and explore the state of the country as it was in 1866 and how it still affects us today. Watch tribute artists bring key figures to life and listen to distinguished Civil War historians offer enlightening lectures on a multitude of Civil War topics. Join a thought-provoking journey designed to broaden your knowledge and provide insight surrounding the times and the causes that precipitated the conflict. Each Civil War voyage pays tribute to our American history in reminding us all of the fallen soldiers who gave their lives in a war that changed our nation.

ANTEBELLUM SOUTH

Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history along the Lower Mississippi River, where it is easy to imagine that time has stood still. From the early 1800’s until the Civil War, the country’s economy began shifting and a cotton boom made plantations the center of southern commerce. With its rich soil, warm climate and ample moisture, the land is among the most fertile in the world and agriculture flourishes. From New Orleans to Baton Rouge, all along the great River Road, sugar cane is still grown as it was a century ago. In the late 1800’s Mark Twain noted on his adventures down the mighty Mississippi that there were so many plantations and dwellings along the river that it looked like a spacious street. Towering homes lay nestled in large patches of moss-draped oak trees and, still today, you can catch a glimpse of what Mark Twain once saw as you cruise along the River and then tour historic locations and iconic plantation homes.

Isn’t it about time you stopped dreaming of an American river cruise and hopped aboard a theme voyage on a Mississippi River cruise? Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

THE JOY OF WINE CRUISES

THE JOY OF WINE CRUISES

If you’re looking to elevate your next Europe river cruise, consider a wine cruise. One of our favorite choices is AmaWaterways on a voyage that encompasses a Rhine River cruise, Danube River cruise, Seine River cruise or even a Douro River cruise.

Immerse yourself in the many flavors of Europe on one of AmaWaterways’ unique wine cruises, which let you add a unique, epicurean dimension to a European river cruise. Like our standard river cruises, guests have the opportunity to join tours that highlight the famous sights in each port of call. These special itineraries, however, offer guests a perfect blend of wine-related experiences and excursions in grand capitals and charming towns. You’ll taste local cuisine, discover how wine is made and, of course, partake in tastings — all at no additional cost. Whether you have a seasoned appreciation for fine wine, or simply indulge in a sip here and there, this is a wonderful way to uncork the traditions of the local culture and learn about the region you’re visiting.

Delectable cuisine and fine wine abound on these special cruises, both on board and ashore. While on the ship, you’ll enjoy wine tastings led by a wine expert. You’ll also indulge in award-winning cuisine paired with hand-selected, premium wines. There are plenty of varieties, and you’ll have the opportunity to try different selections every day. And then, of course, there are exclusive excursions designed to bring the rich wine history and culture of Europe to life. You’ll visit private cellars, renowned wineries and stunning vineyards where more tastings and pairings await. All this while discovering all the wonderous sights and landmarks along the way.

Each wine cruise is hosted by a qualified wine expert, who usually brings hand-selected wines on board that are served during meals and at tastings. Some wines come from the expert’s own winery and other varieties are sourced from local wineries located along the cruise itinerary. The wine expert will recommend food and wine pairings, lead discussions and hold tastings during your cruise. They will talk all things wine and provide insight into different varieties.

Ready to savor the myriad delights of a wine cruise? Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

A NEW VIKING SHIP FOR EGYPT

A NEW VIKING SHIP FOR EGYPT

Viking River Cruises is expanding its Egypt cruises program for the 2020 season, which will include the launch of a new ship. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships and built specifically for the Nile River, Viking Osiris is currently under construction and will double the company’s capacity in Egypt when it debuts in September 2020. Also launching in the next year are two new Pre-Cruise Extensions designed to enhance guests’ base knowledge of Egyptology prior to arriving in Cairo. These five-day extensions to Viking’s Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary will provide guests with privileged access to archives and exhibits in London and Oxford that are not normally accessible to the public. This announcement comes just one year after the company launched Viking Ra, a completely renovated vessel and Viking’s first owned and operated ship on the Nile.

Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, Viking Osiris will be a state-of-the art ship with the clean, elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known. It will join the company’s other ship on the Nile, Viking Ra, which launched in 2018. Viking is the first and only Western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile.

Building on the success of the Oxford & Highclere Castle program – Viking’s highest-rated Pre/Post Extension that visits “The Real Downton Abbey” – the company has applied the same degree of thought to two new curated Pre-Cruise Extensions that allows guests to retrace the steps of the world’s most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will meet their Viking Tour Director, an expert Egyptologist, in London and experience two museums: first a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public – and then a visit to the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his exquisite collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus. Guests will also visit London’s Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, one of the oldest in the world, and home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art – and go behind the scenes at Oxford University’s Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a Privileged Access visit to see Carter’s archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Lastly, guests will have an opportunity to visit Highclere Castle – the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – and enjoy an exciting opportunity to view the earl’s magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts.

During the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests experience Egypt’s cultural treasures in seven destinations. The Nile River cruise begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests will then fly to Luxor, where they will visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip Nile River cruise, featuring special access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan as well as a visit to a colorful Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

THE JOY OF WINE CRUISES

STARTING A RIVER CRUISE COMPANY

You’re enjoying a European river cruise, everything is perfect, you’re sailing the Rhine but then you suddenly wonder how it all began. How does a river cruise line get started? What does it take in terms of time, effort and vision to create a premium river cruise? In this week’s blog, we take a look at how AmaWaterways climbed that mountain.

Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways was founded in 2002 by three families; however, the river cruise story began well before that. Co-Founder and President Rudi Schreiner was born in Vienna, at the heart of the Danube. His love of design drew him to architecture, but his even greater love of travel drew him to places far and wide. In 1975, he traveled to South America for a journalism assignment on the Amazon. It was here he designed his first ship, using what he could find to build a raft that would take him up and down the river during the next 7 months. Soon thereafter, he started working in travel, creating unique tour experiences in Europe.

When the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal was completed in 1992, Rudi was quick to envision a new tourism business developing around long-distance river cruising. The significance of the canal’s completion meant connecting two of Europe’s greatest rivers: the Rhine, via its tributary the Main, with the Danube, allowing travel from the North Sea all the way to the Black Sea. More than 800 years prior, Charlemagne dreamed of connecting these two rivers, so 1992 fulfilled his vision and created a new visionary in Rudi. 

Rudi started the North American operations for many of today’s major river cruise companies, developing itineraries and ships that would become the templates for what we know river cruising to be today. After years of success as a driving force in the industry, Rudi decided to start his own venture — one that would provide guests with a higher standard of luxury travel by river. That’s when he teamed up with Co-Owners and Co-Founders Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy to start AmaWaterways.

In 2016, Rudi was inducted into the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Hall of Fame and was honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of devotion to the river cruising industry.

Kristin was born in Germany and brings extensive experience in travel, river cruising and customer service to the company in her role as Executive Vice President. Jimmy Murphy was a brilliant travel entrepreneur, having built Brendan Vacations, one of the most successful tour operators in the U.S. Jimmy’s son, Gary, who also played a major part at Brendan, is now Senior Vice President of Sales at AmaWaterways. Together with Rudi, a true team of pioneers emerged.

From the beginning, the goal was to create a river cruise company that the owners and founders themselves would enjoy. That meant the highest-quality, locally sourced food and wine; elegantly appointed ships with staterooms offering maximum views to enjoy the ever-changing countryside; and a crew who goes above and beyond, treating every guest like they are family.

With that in mind, AmaWaterways has been building one-of-a-kind ships with added comforts and conveniences ranging from revolutionary twin balconies with both a French balcony and an outside balcony to the one-and-only Chef’s Table specialty restaurant. In 2019, innovation continues with three new ships, including the extraordinary AmaMagna—a distinctive evolution of the line’s exceptional European river cruise fleet, offering the ultimate in luxury with even more space and more choices while sailing the legendary Danube.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

THREE MORE NORWEGIAN EXPEDITION SHIPS ON TAP

THREE MORE NORWEGIAN EXPEDITION SHIPS ON TAP

Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, will begin refurbishing three of their cruise ships for advanced upgrades over the next few years. Equipped with battery packs and other green technology, each ship will operate year-round expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast from 2021 on yet-to-be-disclosed itineraries.

As they are transformed into fully-fledged premium expedition cruise ships, the current TrollfjordFinnmarken, and Midnatsol, will be renamed Maud, Otto Sverdrup, and Eirik Raude, respectively. Otto Sverdrup will have battery packs installed during a 2020 drydock, with a letter of intent for the same battery installation on Maud and Eirik Raude in 2021. The battery packs will support the ship engines, and drastically cut emissions.

The keel-to-mast upgrades will introduce several new features and venues on each of the ships. For example, using natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch, and wool, all public areas will be redesigned to create a relaxed and stylish look and feel and add to the premium onboard experience. All cabins and suites will be completely refurbished, including several new suites with spectacular views. 

Hurtigruten’s signature Science Center will be added to each ship. Packed with state-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets such as touch screens, science equipment, and other interactive features, this edutainment area will also serve as the onboard headquarters for the ship’s Expedition Team.

Three brand-new restaurants will be added, matching Hurtigruten’s restaurant concepts for its growing fleet of expedition cruise ships. First, the main restaurants will be transformed into Aune; social and informal, with the use of natural elements in design and interiors, Aune will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner based on Scandinavian identity.

Restaurant Lindstrøm, a specialty eatery named after a favorite chef of Norwegian polar heroes, will be an upper premium fine dining restaurant with strong roots in traditional Norwegian cooking that are contrasted with modern cuisine.

The informal eatery Fredheim, named after a legendary 1920s hunting station in Svalbard that sheltered adventurers from around the world, will also be part of the refurbishment. In addition, a new outdoor grill venue will be added outdoor on the top decks.

Maud, the current Trollfjord, is named after one of the most famous polar vessels of all time, Roald Amundsen’s Maud from 1917. The original Maud got her name from the first Queen of modern-day Norway, who also had her namesake in Hurtigruten’s 1925 flagship Dronning Maud. 

Otto Sverdrup, the current Finnmarken, is named after one of Norway’s most notable polar heroes. Alongside Fridtjof Nansen, he was the first to ski across Greenland, a key contributor to several expeditions and captain on the legendary polar ship Fram. Sverdrup also has a close connection to Hurtigruten: Between the expeditions he was a captain on board Hurtigruten ships. 

Eirik Raude, the current Midnatsol, is named after one of the most famous Viking chiefs in history. Eirik Raude—also known as Eric the Red—got his name from his huge red beard, and is not only known for discovering Greenland, but also for giving the island its name.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

STAR DINING ON WINDSTAR

STAR DINING ON WINDSTAR

We’re big fans of fine dining and were excited to hear that Windstar Cruises is continuing to perfect its culinary program with the announcement of a new modern, casual outdoor restaurant in partnership with global grilling authority Steven Raichlen. Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will be a modern, casual, al fresco restaurant that serves up grilled, smoked and rotisserie specialties, including seafood, meats and vegetables cooked with global flavors and techniques, alongside craft side dishes and sauces.

Windstar’s alliance with Steven Raichlen was born from a desire to create a modern, yet casual outdoor eatery, an inviting escape where guests will enjoy inventive, modern cuisine, while embracing the al fresco ambiance and casually intimate experiences of small ship dining after a busy day discovering distant ports of call.

Windstar’s culinary team and Steven Raichlen have been working in collaboration to develop the ideal al fresco dining experience, crafting food and beverage menus that will be one-of-a-kind in the cruise and restaurant industries. In 2020, Windstar cruise guests will have the opportunity to taste firsthand Raichlen’s fascination with global grilling.

International TV host and author of 31 books, Raichlen is considered the man who reinvented modern barbecue.  His most recent television series, Project Fire 2019, debuted this July on PBS, and his latest book, The Brisket Chronicles, was released to critical acclaim in May.  Raichlen was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2015, and his books have won multiple James Beard Awards and IACP Julia Child Awards. Raichlen is the founder of Barbecue University™ and has lectured on the history of barbecue at institutions as diverse as Harvard, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian.

Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will first debut on Windstar’s award-winning small ship Star Breeze in February 2020 and then on her sister ships Star Legend in July 2020 and Star Pride in November 2020, all part of the line’s $250 million upgrade and enhancement of the trio of vessels, setting new standards in small ship cruises.

At Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, guests will enjoy seafood, lamb, beef and more from the grill, smoker, and slow-roasted on the rotisserie, along with innovative sauces. The top-deck, al fresco restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner service and will feature menu items such as Danish smoked shrimp, lemongrass pork skewers, and Hill Country brisket — or on sea days, enjoy a mid-morning Frühschoppen with artisanal grilled sausage and pretzel rolls.

Located just steps away from Star Bar, the ship’s popular open ocean-view top-deck bar, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will feature deck-side dining with seating for 95, two carving stations, a selection of mouthwatering dishes with a modern twist, and refreshments enjoyed in a relaxed, al fresco bar-restaurant area with dining tables starboard and lounge seating portside, all served with a sea view.

Diners relaxing poolside during the day, or enjoying a casual evening meal after touring ashore, may enjoy select local/regional beers, along with flights to offer guests a selection to taste and compliment the cuisine. In addition to a selection of beer and wine, the restaurant will feature cocktails specially-designed for the venue with a breezy summertime vibe, like a Strawberry Pimm’s, Pineapple & Coconut Slushy, Raspberry & Melon Slushy, and Strawberry + Basil Smash; all served from the nearby Star Bar.

In addition to the new restaurant partnership, Raichlen will sail aboard one culinary-themed cruise each year with Windstar Cruises, leading grill demonstrations and lectures, as well as socializing with guests on board the small ships, catering exclusively to fewer than 350 guests.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

AMERICAN RIVER HOLIDAYS

AMERICAN RIVER HOLIDAYS

Our friends at American Queen Steamboat Company recently compiled a list of the best holidays to enjoy on a Mississippi River cruise and we thought we’d share their thoughts with you as we think they’re spot on. Because whether you hope to start a new family tradition, or simply enjoy a carefree, easygoing holiday, a river cruise on an elegant paddlewheeler is an experience to cherish. So, when to go and why?

THANKSGIVING

Traverse the mighty Mississippi, gather with family and friends to feast and take time to appreciate the many things we have to be thankful for. On an American Queen Steamboat Company riverboat, the staff has formed a family – they live and thrive together – and they welcome each guest as their kin. The smell of the harvest waltzes through the air – turkey, dressing, cranberries and more. Indulge in a feast fit for a queen without the stress of preparation and cleaning, ensuring a worry-free holiday. Viewings of the parade and football games invite travelers to dwell in the blessings of sweet nostalgia, and masterfully prepared tales of the adventures of Mark Twain transport the audience to a period much closer to the holiday’s origin.

AN AMERICAN MUSIC HOLIDAY

Memories are made of music, especially aboard the American Duchess. Wend your way through time and space with the songs of the ages as your guide. The spirits of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan live on in the soul-stirring spectacle of special guest and Memphis legend Joyce Cobb, joined by her band. Almost no genre goes untouched by Cobb, from country, disco and R&B to her beloved jazz. Sounds of the season join modern favorites in a show guaranteed to warm hearts and inspire joy. Along the journey, merry activities enrich each day, from ornament decorating to singalongs of treasured tunes we all know and love.

PLANTATION HOLIDAY MARKETS

Amid the glittering elegance of an American Queen Steamboat Company holiday cruise is a seasonal spirit larger than life. Experience the best of the South during a magical time of year aboard the company flagship, the American Queen. Delight in all your favorite holiday treats while becoming acquainted with the classic traditions of the Cajun and Creole cultures. At the center of each holiday cruise is an enchanting gala at Nottoway Plantation, complete with live music. Watch each skillfully rehearsed footstep of costumed dancers, indulge in scrumptious hors d’oeuvres or decadent desserts and witness the ceremonial lighting of the bonfires on the levee.

NEW YEAR’S

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and celebration with family and friends. Honor the year’s end on board the American Queen or American Duchess for exclusive experiences. All week, the evening entertainment sets the scene for revelry with shows that reveal the gaiety of the season. On the big day, an onboard gala is planned to provide hours of music and dancing – complete with champagne toast. Just after midnight, fireworks launch from the levee over Nottoway Plantation.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

SEEING EUROPE BY RIVER

SEEING EUROPE BY RIVER

If you want to see the true soul and personality of a country, head into its heart. Our River Collection meanders into the center of fascinating cultures, grand palaces, acclaimed museums, historic sites, and quaint cafes and boutiques. Nurse a refreshing Vinho Verde on the Douro, a bold glass of Cabernet along the Gironde, a dry Chardonnay on the Seine, or a sweet Riesling on the Danube. Pedal a bike through Ghent and tour Avignon’s Papal Palace. Attend a pasta-making workshop in Bologna, discover the roots of Protestantism in Wittenberg and spoon caviar onto your blini pancakes along the Volga. Which river cruise will you choose?

DANUBE RIVER

One of the great rivers of Europe, the Danube is the second longest on the continent and flows through 9 countries. Walk in the footsteps of history in the medieval Bavarian streets of Nuremburg, buy a local trinket at the market in the center of Vilshofen, and admire the Gothic and Italian Baroque wonders of Passau. Explore the contrast between modern glass and steel buildings and the traditional architecture of Linz, visit the amazingly preserved medieval Czech town of Cesky Krumlov and sing in joy at the sounds of Salzburg’s musical legacy, birthplace of Mozart.

Explore the winding mountain roads of the Austrian Lake District, visit the glorious Benedictine Abbey at Melk, buy some apricot liqueur, and stroll the cobbled streets of Dürnstein. Enjoy an after-dinner wine tasting in Weissenkirchen, hike up to Bratislava Castle, and learn how to prepare stuffed potato ravioli from a local chef. In Vienna, bike through Donaupark and ride to Klosterneuburg Monastery, or discover the elegance of Vienna at its storied Opera House, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors, Parliament, Town Hall, Vienna University, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Graben, and the renowned Spanish Riding School.

Save your energy for Budapest with its spectacular views from Matthias Church, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion. Visit intriguing Belgrade, and enjoy a Yugoslav Civil War tour of Vukovar followed by a trip to Vidin Castle in Bulgaria. A Danube cruise is a classic journey into the heart of Europe.

RHINE RIVER

Flowing 766 miles north through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and Holland, the Rhine is perhaps the most famous of Europe’s rivers. Treasure a twilight cruise through colorful Amsterdam’s narrow homes lining the canals and a stroll through the Middle Ages among the buildings of Begijnhof. From Cathedral Square, admire Cologne’s splendid Gothic cathedral and in Koblenz, head ashore for a stein of beer made exactly as it has for centuries.

Cruise through the overwhelming natural beauty of the Rhine Gorge with its castles and fortresses perched high above the placid river. In Rüdesheim, taste the fruits of a vintner’s labor, soar above the streets on a gondola to Niederwalddenkmal Statue or go for a leisurely bike ride alongside the river. Spend a fascinating evening among the shops and taverns of Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse, see a 49,000-gallon wine cask in Heidelberg, and explore one of Germany’s oldest cities in Speyer 

In Strasbourg, the capital of France’s Alsace region, amble through the enchanting La Petite France neighborhood, and in Breisach, sample a sweet Riesling and bike through the Rheinau woods. Explore the medieval old town center of Basel around Marktplatz, visit the 16th-century, red-sandstone Town Hall and take in the view from the 12th-century Gothic cathedral which shelters the grave of the 16th-century Dutch scholar Erasmus.

DORDOGNE, GARONNE, GIRONDE, MOSELLE, RHÔNE, SAÔNE AND SEINE RIVERS

The many winding rivers of France reveal a country more fascinating, refined, and welcoming than you ever imagined. Gaze down upon Paris from the resplendent Eiffel Tower and relish an impromptu lunch of baguettes, brie and chardonnay on the steps of Sacré-Cœur. Sip the sensational white wines of Cadillac, the rich Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignon of Pauillac, and enjoy a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting in Liborne.

Go for a bike tour of Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world, and visit the beguiling home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet in Giverny. Stand in gratitude upon Omaha Beach in Normandy and in awe at the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred. Explore the hilltop ruins of Richard the Lionheart’s Château Gaillard, climb historic Fourvière Hill in Lyon, attend a wine tasting paired with chocolates at Le Château de Tournon, and tour Avignon’s Papal Palace.

ELBE AND MAIN RIVERS

Many cruises on the Elbe begin in magnificent Berlin and end in beguiling Prague. Along the way, tour a palace built by Prussian king Frederick the Great, discover the roots of Protestantism in Wittenberg at Martin Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, and learn how porcelain has been made by hand in Meissen since the early 1700s. Comb through Frauenkirche in Dresden, rebuilt after the bombings in World War II, and in the Green Vault view a stunning array of precious gemstones. Cruise among the other-worldly rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, visit Hradčany Castle in Prague and admire the glass dome atop the rebuilt Reichstag in Berlin. Though often incorporated as part of a Rhine or Danube cruise, the Main River has its own glittering cultural pearls, such as the famed 13th century Leaning Tower in Kitzingen and the Residenz Palace and gardens in Würzburg.

DOURO RIVER

Explore the cobblestone medieval streets of Porto and then leap ahead several centuries at the Museum of Modern Art in the Boavista area. Savor a wine and cheese tasting at Quinta de Avelada and discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Guimarães. Tour the majestic Mateus Palace in Régua, make a pilgrimage to the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios in charismatic Lamego, and enjoy the impressive gorges cradling the Douro river valley. Navigate the labyrinthine street of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a 16th century town perched on a hilltop, and pop into a local market in Spain’s Vega Terrón.

PO RIVER

Ride a gondola along the canals of Venice and steal a kiss under the Bridge of Sighs, shop for glass treasures on Murano, and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at a café overlooking the city’s lagoon as the moon glimmers like a promise kept. Bicycle along Chioggia’s beaches, attend a pasta-making workshop in Bologna, and sip a glass of local Chianti as the Po River winds through northern Italy’s stunning countryside. Be sure to add in a trip to the designer boutiques of Milan and the ancient ruins of Rome before or after your voyage.

NEVA, SVIR, AND VOLGA RIVERS

Walk across the vast expanse of Red Square, gaze at the crenellated walls of the Kremlin, and ride subways with stations so ornate they appear to be museums. Onion-domed cathedrals abound in Russia’s capital but the best views of Uglich, founded in 1148, are from your ship on the Volga River. Learn the legend of Prince Yaroslavl the Wise of Kiev, who established his namesake town more than a thousand years ago. Tour Kuzino’s fabled Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery and stride among the buildings of Ishi’s Open Air Museum of Architecture. Spoon caviar on to your blini pancakes and discover the legacy of Communism with a visit to a Soviet-era kommunalka.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

GOING DEEP WITH SEABOURN

GOING DEEP WITH SEABOURN

Even among small ships and river cruisers, innovation is the order of the day. Just take a look at Seabourn Cruise Line, which is building two new expedition ships, both featuring submarines. Expedition cruises just got a whole lot more interesting!

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is preparing to take travelers into the depths of the ocean for the first time by revealing the design and details for its custom submarines that will operate excursions for an additional charge from the line’s two upcoming ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships. Both Seabourn Venture and her yet-to-be-named sister ship will sail to the far corners of the Earth carrying two U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7 subs designed specifically for Seabourn.

Each battery-powered sub will carry six guests as well as one pilot, who will guide the journey up to 330 feet beneath the surface to explore sunken wrecks, reefs, and view marine wildlife in their natural habitat. Guests are seated in two clear acrylic spheres flanking the center pilot’s station, with an awe-inspiring perspective of the marine world just outside thanks to undisturbed and undistorted views in virtually all directions. The three passenger seats in each sphere are mounted on a rotating platform that can turn for best sightlines.

“The undersea world is often considered as the last great frontier on Earth, with more than 80 percent of the underwater realm remaining unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. “With these subs, we’re going to take our guests to places that few have ever seen firsthand, leaving them with a perspective on the world around us that is jaw-dropping and will create stories to last a lifetime.”

To maximize the guest experience, the subs will be outfitted with a host of optional equipment to enhance this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A 4k underwater video camera system will record the world outside while an internal video recording system will capture imagery of guests inside and their direct surroundings. Video footage can then be downloaded and projected on large screens in the Discovery Center during lectures aboard the ships. A six-function manipulator arm capable of lifting up to 70 pounds will also be mounted on the side of the sub. In keeping with the luxury experience found on Seabourn, each sub on both ships will be outfitted with custom embroidered leather upholstery, two air conditioning systems, a Bluetooth stereo system, and champagne chiller for guests looking to toast their voyage of discovery. 

The subs will be operated multiple times per day in regions around the world where conditions are suitable. They will be equipped with underwater LED flood/spot lights, imaging sonar that acts as a second set of eyes, and an advanced underwater tracking and navigation system.

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. The ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.

Between July 2021 and April 2022, Seabourn Venture will visit a vast number of breathtaking locations and remote destinations in the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as in the Amazon, Caribbean, Central and South America and more, offering guests the unique opportunity to experience ultra-luxury expedition cruising and exhilarating adventures. The ship is scheduled to visit more than 150 unique and fascinating destinations across the globe – many of which few travelers have ever been – and over 65 new or notable destinations with a multitude of new and compelling expedition experiences.

Both ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships global deployment and capabilities. The ships will also be designed to carry a number of kayaks and 24 Zodiacs that can accommodate all onboard guests at once, which will allow for a truly immersive experience. Each ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites.

Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

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