Late last year, luxury river cruise operator Scenic quietly partnered up with National Geographic to offer enrichment-filled river cruises throughout Europe and Asia for the 2018-19 season.
Dubbed National Geographic River Cruises, these unique voyages are designed to offer an educational, informative and experiential river cruise vacation, both onboard ship and on adventures ashore. Accompanied by a National Geographic expert, Scenic is offering these very cool journeys in Europe along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers; and in Asia, on Myanmar’s mysterious Irrawaddy River.
“We are excited and proud to align ourselves with a brand as historic and well respected as National Geographic,” says Glen Moroney, Scenic’s Chairman. “We believe Scenic’s dedication to providing guests with the most exceptional five-star, all-inclusive river cruise experience available is a perfect complement to the enriching and authentic experiences for which National Geographic Expeditions is known.”
So what does it all mean? Well, in addition to Scenic’s admittedly five-star voyage experience on its European and Asian ships, these voyages offer up a whole host of other good incentives to book. Each river cruise will be accompanied by a National Geographic expert; folks who are no strangers to travel. Such experts include award-winning photographer and filmmaker Stephen Alvarez, who has been featured in over a dozen different pieces in National Geographic Magazine; and award-winning travel writer Dan George, who accompanies select Scenic departures through France’s wine-centric Bordeaux region.
These folks are onboard to encourage you to see the world as they do – through their pen, their lens, and their perspective. Through information sessions onboard, photography classes, and private shore excursion events – like a specially-arranged tour of Vienna’s stunning Museum of Natural History – these special National Geographic River Cruises are the ultimate in enrichment. They’re the perfect choice for new river cruisers and experienced travellers alike, offering up an entirely different slice of Europe and Asia than many of us are used to.
This is particularly true of Scenic’s immersive river cruises in Myanmar. Only two National Geographic River Cruise departures are offered here, departing either December 23, 2018 or February 1, 2019. Travelling for 11 days from Yangon to Mandalay, this Luxury Myanmar includes unprecedented opportunities to explore, by land and sea, this once closed-off country.
Scenic’s Scenic FreeChoice excursion program offers up a brand-new tour of the country’s “Temple Circuit” in mystical Bagan, from a stop at the Nyaung U markets to the golden might of the photogenic Shwezigon Pagoda. The tour concludes with a visit to the Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary, where guest will learn about initiatives being developed to preserve some of Myanmar’s most critically-endangered species, including the Burmese star tortoise. This tour is, of course, overseen by your dedicated National Geographic expert.
While Scenic offers a full slate of river cruises in Europe and Asia this year and next, only select departures have been designated as National Geographic River Cruises. They are:
Beautiful Bordeaux – 11 Days – Roundtrip Bordeaux
- 2018: August 26, September 15
- 2019: May 25
Rhine Highlights – 8 Days – Basel to Amsterdam
- 2018: July 30, September 26
- 2019: June 12
Dutch Sights & Belgian Delights – 8 Days – Roundtrip Amsterdam
- 2019: April 17, 24
Unforgettable Douro – 11 Days – Roundtrip Porto
- 2019: May 25, September 23
Gems of the Danube – 8 Days – Budapest to Nuremberg
- 2018: July 19, October 11
- 2019: August 1
Jewels of Europe – 15 Days – Budapest to Amsterdam
- 2018: September 24, October 8
- 2019: May 29
Danube Christmas Markets – 8 Days – Nuremberg to Budapest
- 2018: December 2
Luxury Irrawaddy – 11 Days – Mandalay to Yangon
- 2018: December 23
- 2019: February 1
No matter which National Geographic River Cruise you end up choosing, one thing is guaranteed: you’ve never been on a river voyage like this before.