Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and National Geographic Expeditions have announced new itineraries for the 2019 season: Gems of the Danube Christmas Markets sailing between Nuremburg and Budapest; Dutch Sights & Belgium Delights, roundtrip from Amsterdam during the tulip season; and Unforgettable Douro, an 11-day exploration of this region.
Each sailing will be accompanied by a National Geographic expert who will enrich the experience through presentations, discussions, and added excursions throughout the trip. A National Geographic photographer will also be on board to share techniques and help guests hone their photography skills.
Favorite stops on the December 9, 2019 Gems of the Danube Christmas Markets sailing include Vienna, where the market is held just in front of the city’s rathaus (town hall), and Nuremburg’s Christmas Market, which dates to 1628.
The eight-day Dutch Sights & Belgium Delights explores these garden-rich countries during the height of the spring season when the tulips are in full bloom. Highlights include visits to the Keukenhof gardens with its 7 million blooms, the village of Delft where the world-renown blue and white pottery has been produced for more than 300 years, and the fishing village of Volendam. An evening is spent sharing a special dinner with local residents, gaining true insight into life in the Netherlands. Two sailings are being offered – April 17 and 24, 2019.
Unforgettable Douro offers a step back in time as guests visit medieval villages such as Guimarães, Portugal’s first capital and the birthplace of its first king, and Provesende, perched high above the river. Excursions range from meeting fishermen returning with the day’s catch and sampling fresh sardines grilled on an open fire, to trying the port wines of the Quinta da Roêda estate and walking among the vines for a tasting, to paddling a canoe along the Sabor River, a tributary to the Douro that has remained virtually undeveloped. A private concert is held for guests at in the gilded nave of Porto’s Igreja de São Francisco, one of Portugal’s displays of baroque finery. Two sailing dates are May 25 and September 23, 2019.
Other Scenic/National Geographic River Cruise itineraries include the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle Rivers; through France’s Bordeaux region, and on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.