Every week, we get a smattering of river cruise news that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else on River Cruise Advisor. Today, we’ve taken all those little pieces and put them together – and there’s a lot to like, from new ships to enhanced promotions and revitalized itineraries.
Uniworld Offers Business Upgrade Offer
How you fly to your river cruise can make an enormous difference to the overall tone of your European river cruise vacation. Until July 31, 2016, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collectionis offering air upgrades from Premium Economy to Business Class for $899 per person for East Coast departures; $1299 per person for Central departures; and $1899 per person for West Coast departures. This offer is applicable to guests booking Category 2 staterooms or higher, and, as we mentioned, is only available until the end of July.
CroisiEurope To Launch New Ship On Italy’s Po River
Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope turned heads when it introduced a paddlewheel-driven river cruise ship, the Loire Princesse, on the notoriously-shallow Loire. It followed up that technological feat this year by introducing the pretty Elbe Princesse on the Elbe River. Capable of traversing the shallow stretch of water between Berlin and Prague, she is the only major river cruise ship that can sail from city to city, obviating the need for land-based motorcoaches.
Now, CroisiEurope has announced it is targeting the equally-shallow Po Riverin Italy for its next as-yet-unnamed, paddlewheel-driven ship. Debuting in 2018, the new vessel will appear much like her other paddlewheel-driven siblings, with a panoramic lounge featuring a dance floor and bar; a full restaurant; and comfortable staterooms featuring both river and balcony views.
Crystal River Cruises Names Crystal Mozart Godmother
Ultra-luxury cruise line Crystal River Cruises announced that Elisabeth Gurtler, who serves as Managing Director of Vienna’s famous Hotel Sacher (home of the Sachertorte), will serve as Godmother to the new Crystal Mozart.
Gurtler will officially welcome Crystal’s first-ever river cruise ship into service on July 11 in a ceremony taking place in Vienna. Following that, Crystal Mozart will set out on her maiden voyage on July 13 on a journey down the Danube.
“It is fitting that such a pillar of the Viennese community as Ms. Gürtler would join the Crystal family as we expand into the stunning waterways of Austria and the surrounding areas,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s CEO and president. “As we prepare to embark with Crystal Mozart on her journeys along the Danube River, we are honored to do so with the blessing of one of the region’s most respected citizens, who also shares Crystal’s commitment to a superior standard of excellence in global travel.”
In addition to Crystal Mozart, Crystal plans to launch six purpose-built river cruise ships on the waterways of Europe over the next three years.
Scenic Partners With Trek Travel to Offer Bike Cruises in 2017
All-inclusive river cruise operator Scenic is partnering with Trek Travel to offer two unique bike-and-river-cruise trips in 2017. These new itineraries will operate along the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest; and along the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. Both itineraries will feature the use of a Trek Domaine 5.9 carbon road bike or Trek FX Hybrid bicycle, along with daily route support, certified Trek Travel bicycling guides and additional shore excursions provided by Scenic and Trek Travel in every port of call. This, in addition to Scenic’s inclusive river cruise experience that rolls things like beverages, butler service and gratuities into the cost of the voyage.
“Scenic is known for their all-inclusive luxury service standards and custom designed ‘Space-Ships’,” said Trek Travel President Tania Burke. “We are thrilled to be working with this outstanding company to offer the best river cruise cycling vacations in the industry, trips that highlight the famous cultural sites, countryside and epicurean delights that can be found along these iconic rivers.”
Water Levels Returning to Normal
Finally, there is positive news for those heading to Europe on a river cruise: Water levels on the Danube and Rhine rivers have begun to normalize, with no further delays or amendments being announced at this time. Water levels on the Elbe River, however, still remain low, and may necessitate itinerary changes or alterations on voyages running between Berlin and Prague.