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June 6, 2009 – AMAWaterways
Welcomes New MS Amadolce

 AMAWATERWAYS has christened its sixth new ship in three years, the luxurious 148-passenger MS Amadolce. The ceremony comes six weeks after the christening of MS Amadolce’s sister ship, the MS Amalyra, in Vilshofen, Germany.

The breathtaking and historic town of Durnstein, Austria, served as the backdrop for the MS Amadolce’s christening. Located on the Danube in the renowned Wachau wine-growing region, Durnstein is one of the area’s most-visited tourist sites. It is also an extremely popular destination on several of AMAWATERWAYS’ Danube river itineraries, known for its iconic hilltop castle fortress dating back to the days of Richard the Lion-Hearted.

The May 20th festivities for MS Amadolce included regional touches, such as folk music from a local school group; a performance by the “Dürnsteiner Bläsersextett" brass instrumentalists and a choir and folk-dance performance. Adding to the local flavour, numerous invited guests arrived in traditional costume from the Lower Austrian region.

AMAWATERWAYS President, Rudi Schreiner (himself a native of Vienna), presided over the ceremony, which also included a welcome by Durnstein Deputy Mayor, Knoll Emmerich, and a convocation by a local priest. AMAWATERWAYS Chairman, Jimmy Murphy, also attended the christening, along with key international travel partners and local dignitaries.

May 26, 2009 – Viking


Diesel–Electric Hybrid Engines, Largest Suites in Europe

The much-anticipated launch of Viking River Cruises newest ship, Viking Legend, is nearly here. The christening ceremony will take place in Cologne, Germany on the 2nd of July; Viking Legend’s inaugural sailing, a cruise from Cologne to Amsterdam, follows.  Viking Legend will be christened by her godmother: legendary star of Germany’s large and small screen, actress Dagmar Berghoff.

This extraordinary new ship featuring cutting-edge technology and two of the region’s largest suites. Debuting on the popular 15-day Viking River Cruises Grand European Tour itinerary—which takes guests along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between Amsterdam and Budapest—Viking Legend has diesel-electric hybrid engines that use an estimated 20% less fuel than comparable diesel-only ships and provide an exceptionally quiet ride.

Viking Legend’s Propulsion Systems – Efficient and Quiet

“Viking Legend’s diesel engine propels a generator that supplies the ship’s electrical systems,” explained Viking’s Vice President of Nautical Operations, Thomas Bogler. “At any given moment the ship’s energy needs are automatically calculated and the engines produce and supply only as much energy as needed. This allows the ship to use 20% less energy than a comparable ship.” The new ship will also provide a quieter ride for guests by using four smaller propellers instead of two large propellers.

The new propulsion system offers additional benefits. “The diesel engine is smaller than a conventional engine, so it vibrates less, making it very quiet,” Mr. Bogler pointed out. “The system also allows us to continue cruising even if one of the engines has to be taken off line for scheduled maintenance—remaining engines will simply produce more output to compensate.” Viking River Cruises is the first to introduce this technology to European river cruises.

Legendary Luxury

At 443 feet, the three-level Viking Legend will be the longest in the Viking fleet, and will accommodate 189 guests in 98 staterooms. Additional amenities include 26-inch flat-screen televisions, refrigerators, hair dryers and in-room safes. Aboard Viking Legend, guests will enjoy fine dining at the ship’s restaurant featuring seasonal menus and local specialties to complement every destination, a cozy library, sun deck with 360-degree panoramic views, onboard boutique and an observation lounge—just a few of the ship’s features designed with the comfort and convenience of every Viking guest in mind. Viking Legend takes river cruising to a new level with two of the largest suites in Europe, measuring 310 square feet each. 

May 21, 2009 - Uniworld


Uniworld completed their first annual President’s cruise onboard the ultra-luxurious, new River Beatrice on May 10, 2009, and the guests’ testimonials are in: “We've traveled to all corners of the world, and this has been our favorite vacation, by far.  On a scale of 1 to 10......about a 36!!! …It’s hard for me to find enough superlatives that accurately reflect the River Beatrice experience,” stated guest Myles Cohen from Atlanta, Georgia.

The River Beatrice, Uniworld’s newest boutique hotel-style river cruise, set the stage perfectly for the festive eight-day cruise that started in Passau, Germany, and concluded in Budapest, Hungary. There were many highlights of the trip, including: an organ concert in Passau’s grand cathedral—home to the largest pipe organ in Europe; a cocktail reception with Princess Anita von Hohenberg at the Arstetten Castle; the Vienna Spanish Riding School; and an exclusive evening concert by the Vienna Residence Orchestra at the Palais Auersperg—the very venue of Mozart’s private performance of “Idomeneo.” “From the very first piece the orchestra played, “Marriage of Figaro,” to their final piece, “The Blue Danube Waltz,” I was mesmerized. The orchestra, the opera singers, and beautiful ballet dancers performing this exclusive concert for us in the very place where royalty sat made me feel like royalty myself.  What a spectacular evening,” claimed Susan MacFarlane from Toronto, Canada. 


May 12, 2009 - Avalon Waterways

On Saturday, May 9, Avalon Waterways unveiled the Avalon Affinity, its newest river cruise ship in Europe and the second of five new ships planned between 2008 and 2010.  Christening attendees arrived in Volendam, a Netherlands fishing village, and boarded a 1910 Royal Dutch Marine steamship where they enjoyed lunch, before the Avalon Affinity appeared on the water in the distance for a special, Dutch-themed christening event.  Attendees were then treated to a Gala dinner and an evening of entertainment onboard the new ship.

On Monday, May 11, the Avalon Affinity began its first, sold-out cruise on the Windmills, Vineyards & Paris itinerary.  On this vacation, cruisers will experience France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium and Holland on this vacation.  They’ll see the major highlights on a guided tour of Paris, travel between Paris and Metz via TGV high-speed train, as well as enjoy guided sightseeing in Trier and Cologne, a canal cruise in Amsterdam, taking pictures of the windmills at famous Knderdijk, a tour of Reichsburg Castle and a wine cellar visit in Bernkastel. 

In 2009, the Avalon Affinity will sail eight itineraries.


April 24, 2009 – Uniworld


It’s only befitting that Europe’s enchanting Danube with her glorious international jewels—Budapest, the “Queen of the Danube,” Vienna, the “City of Waltzes,” and Bratislava, the “Coronation City of Kings,”—welcomes another jewel to her sparkling collection – this time in the way of Uniworld’s new, ultra-luxurious River Beatrice.

River Beatrice set sail on March 24, and hosted the Godmother and namesake of the ship, Mrs. Beatrice Tollman, founder and President of the award-winning, luxurious Red Carnation Hotel Collection, a sister company of Uniworld. Mrs. Tollman christened the ship in the medieval, walled-city of Nuremberg, Germany. In attendance were Guy Young, President of Uniworld, Christine Sustreanu, Director of European Operations for Uniworld, Mike Ness, CEO of The Travel Corporation (the parent company of Uniworld), and the entire Tollman family.

River Beatrice sails a nine-day Enchanting Danube program from Budapest to Passau, and offers guests an up close and personal view of this regal river’s patrons—Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, Linz (Salzburg), and Passau. Every bit as important as the destinations Uniworld’s guests visit along the Danube is the ship that sails to them. River Beatrice evokes the essence of this inspirational region being she possesses grace, refinement, and is simply one of the most deluxe and comfortable ships to ever sail any European river.


April 21, 2009 – Avalon Waterways


With nearly 100 departure dates from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea on the country’s newest river cruise ships, Avalon Waterways is making waves in France in 2010.  This award-winning small ship cruise company is increasing its Western European cruise itineraries and departures by 200 percent to meet demand for vacations along the Rhône, Saône and Seine Rivers. 

“Sixty-five years after American, British and Canadian troops invaded the Normandy beaches, we’re offering travelers the chance to explore some of the poignant sites of D-Day such as the Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument and American cemetery as part of our new eight-day Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches cruise,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways.  “Cruisers will begin this vacation aboard the new Avalon Creativity in the City of Light, docked within a 15-minute walk of the Eiffel Tower.”

Also new in 2010 is Avalon Waterways Grand France river cruise getaway.  This unique 16-day vacation cruises from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, offering travelers the chance to sail aboard two ships - the Avalon Scenery and Avalon Creativity – from Paris to Côte d’Azur.  “Everything on this cruise vacation is ‘grand,’” said Clark.  “On one portion of the journey, travelers will explore the City of Lights in all its splendor and enjoy such quaint destinations as Auvers-sur-oise where Van Gogh lived and died as well as Vernon to see Monet’s home and stunning gardens.  And, the second portion is a food- and wine-lover’s dream getaway as cruisers travel through Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital and the wine region of Beaujolais.”

With her christening planned later this year, the Avalon Creativity will sail exclusively in France in 2010 on the Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches and Grand France itineraries.  This new ship features 68, 172-square-foot staterooms – the largest in France – and two suites as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and French balconies, a new Club Lounge, whirlpool and sundeck.  Also new, the Avalon Scenery (christened in 2008) is sailing one of the small ship company’s most popular cruises, Burgundy & Provence, along the Rhône River.


April 17, 2009 – Avalon Waterways


As part of its 2010 cruise offerings, Avalon Waterways is providing travelers A Taste of the Danube:  A short river cruise designed specifically for first-timers and time-starved vacationers looking for an intimate cruise experience abroad.

“Small ship cruising provides travelers big benefits including a more intimate cruise experience, close proximity of attractions and a hassle-free, all-inclusive style,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “Our A Taste of the Danube itinerary is phenomenally priced and well-balanced, offering travelers the perfect introduction to this fastest-growing style of travel.” 

Avalon Waterways’ A Taste of the Danube invites travelers to experience the beautiful Danube with stops in charming small towns and vibrant capital cities, including Hungary’s Budapest, Slovakia’s Bratislava and Austria’s Vienna.  For more exploration, cruisers can add extra days on either end of this getaway.

According to Clark, in addition to experiencing the best land programs available, Avalon Waterways travelers enjoy the modern amenities, largest staterooms and best views around every turn, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, aboard the newest fleet of ships in Europe.

On the heels of being recognized by Condé Nast Travelers’ 2009 Gold List, this award-winning small ship company recently unveiled more than 30 itineraries ranging from five to 24 days in Europe, China, Egypt and the Galápagos.  For more information, call 416 962-7447 or 1 866 355-7447


April 3, 2009 – Avalon Waterways


In 2010, Avalon Waterways is expanding its themed vacations, thanks to increased demand for “passion travel,” offering travelers the chance to experience destinations with an emphasis on wine, music or holiday traditions while mingling with others who share their interests.  In addition, the award-winning small ship cruise company is usurping Globus’ religious travel expertise, giving cruisers opportunities to witness the legendary Oberammergau Passion Play byway of vacation extensions combinable with several river cruise itineraries. 

In 2010, Avalon Waterways is taking cruisers to a symphony of destinations through its Magnificent Europe music cruise and NEW Burgundy & Provence jazz cruise. 

On the special Magnificent Europe departure (October 17, 2010), local experts will provide an enlightening overview of European music with shore excursions to a Strauss concert in Vienna, an organ recital in Melk and a visit to the Opera House in Bayreuth, home of Richard Wagner Music Festival.  They’ll explore the city of Mozart’s birth in Salzburg and see the stunning countryside where the “hills are alive with the sound of music.” 

Avalon’s special Jazz-focused Burgundy & Provence itinerary (July 5, 2010) is equally enjoyable and entertaining, allowing travelers the chance to experience a different style of music on a shorter itinerary.  On this vacation, cruisers will visit the Jazz Festival in Vienne, an annual event on the European and World Jazz scenes and the only one of its kind in France.

Travelers will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of wine, learning the differences between Hungarian Tokai and Austrian Grüner Veltliner or French Sauvignon Blanc and German Riesling Spätoese on four Avalon Waterways’ wine cruises in 2010.   Themed wine cruises are: Burgundy & Provence (August 22 and October 31, 2010), Windmills, Vineyards & Paris (August 1, 2010) and The Legendary Danube (October 28, 2010).

Travelers can also experience the festive season of the holidays on three Christmas cruises, including:
NEW Christmastime in Germany & Austria, Christmastime on the Danube and Christmas in the Heart of Germany. 

Finally, in 2010, Avalon Waterways is offering cruisers with a passion for the Oberammergau Passion Play the chance to see the spectacular event through three- and four-night cruise extensions that are combinable with more than 10 river cruise vacations, from May through September. 

These special 2010 sailings are now open for booking.  Call 416 962-7447 or 1 866 355-7447 for details.


Canada Blooms


March 16-25, 2012
Direct Energy Centre, Toronto

What a wonderful show we had this year! Not only did everyone enjoy the flowers and gardens from Canada Blooms, but all enjoyed the Home Show as well!

We will be back at the show next spring!

Zoomers Show!


October 28 and 29, 2012

Stop by and visit with us during the Zoomers Show. This is our second year and we will be featuring Viking River Cruises at this event.


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