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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.

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.