June 28, 2010 - Uniworld
Exceptional Year of Expansion and Enhancements
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has embarked on its largest product expansion, with the introduction of two new boutique ships in Europe and one in Russia in 2011. In addition, three existing ships will have been completely rebuilt, completing the remodeling of its entire fleet. Also, Uniworld will be introducing a rich array of exciting new itineraries and optional land extensions meeting the growing interests of travelers in river cruising, and further enhancing its Multigenerational Family-Friendly Program – reaffirming Uniworld’s position as one of the world’s finest cruising offerings.
“We are very fortunate, and delighted, to have a parent company that has the vision, acumen, financial resources, and stability to prudently invest in the growth of our company,” proudly states Guy Young, President of Uniworld. “Our goal has never been to be the largest river cruise line, but to be the absolute best river cruise line. Our ongoing quest is to continue to build a company that consistently delivers and exceeds our clients’ expectations in all the ways which truly matter when it comes to creating exceptional vacation moments and memories,” furthers Young.
Meeting travelers’ growing interest and demand, Uniworld’s three new boutique cruise ships will sail along Europe’s and Russia’s most beautiful waterways in 2011. River Antoinette, sister ship to Uniworld’s majestic River Beatrice, will be the most stunning ship to sail the Rhine River. In a style reflective of Uniworld’s enduring commitment to create an exceptional experience for travelers, the ultra-luxurious and spacious River Antoinette will set a new standard in river cruising innovation with top deck staterooms and suites offering full open-air private balconies that, with the touch of a switch, will raise the glass to create a completely enclosed conservatory. Additional unique facilities include a heated swimming pool, and a beautiful sky lounge on the sun deck. Uniworld’s second new ship, the Douro Spirit, will sail Portugal and Spain’s spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-designated Douro River Valley. Every carefully tailored stateroom and suite will feature a French balcony, so guests can get closer to this region’s breathtaking scenery. And finally, Uniworld will be re-entering the Russian market in 2011 with the launch of the River Victoria, projected to be the most beautiful and comfortable ship to sail the Imperial Waterways of Russia’s Volga River—capturing the beauty of this spectacular destination both onboard and onshore.
June 14, 2010 - Uniworld
Uniworld’s NEW Douro Spirit Cruise Ship
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is proud to announce a new luxury ship, the Douro Spirit, along Portugal and Spain’s UNESCO World Heritage Douro River. In 2011, the beautiful NEW Douro Spirit will be the most elegant ship to sail through the magnificent Douro River Valley. “The Douro River Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and has also been one of Uniworld’s fastest growing destinations,” states Guy Young, President of Uniworld. “We are so excited to be able to offer a new ship in an area that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was also recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the World’s Great Places in their annual Destination Survey,” furthers Young.
The Douro Valley is being increasingly recognized for its wine making, natural beauty and exceptional value. Its wine heritage—Port—dates back over 2,000 years with the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. The Douro Valley is also a cultural landscape of exceptional beauty with rambling vineyards and charming quintas clinging to the steep slopes of its valley, creating an incomparable backdrop to one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions. And this is what you can expect to see and experience from the comfort of Uniworld’s new Douro Spirit.
Every riverview stateroom and suite onboard features a French balcony, so guests can get closer than ever to the breathtaking scenery of the region’s unspoiled natural landscapes. Staterooms and suites also feature hotel beds draped in fine linens, built-in closets, flat-screen televisions with satellite, and complimentary bottled water; and each bathroom is stocked L’Occitane bath and body products and cozy waffle bathrobes.
May 26, 2010 – Avalon
Avalon Waterways to Debut Avalon Panorama in May 2011
Avalon Waterways will debut the Avalon Panorama, the industry’s first “Suite Ship,” in 2011. With this new river cruise vessel, Avalon is introducing a proprietary Panorama Suite design to maximize the river cruise experience. In addition to featuring 17 Avalon Deluxe Staterooms on the lower deck (measuring 172 square feet), the Panorama has 64 newly designed Panorama Suites, positioned on the top two decks, showcasing a full, 200 square feet of living space.
“Our new Suite Ship redefines space,” said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “The space was thoughtfully designed to enhance traveler comfort and views, while also bringing an indoor/outdoor living experience on board.”
This Suite space comes complete with a large seating area adjacent to a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall panoramic window that opens wide at seven feet. When open, the 10-foot-wide by seven-foot-tall window transforms the entire Suite into the category’s first Open-Air Balcony, which can be accessed at any hour of the day.
“With a focus on bringing the beauty of Europe inside, Avalon’s Open-Air Balconies offer our travelers a fresh air, Panoramic Cruising experience complete with epic views, in every weather condition, without compromising room space,” said Clark. “And when each room’s Wall-to-Wall Panoramic Window is closed, the Open-Air Balcony is transformed into a light, inviting and inspirationally designed sitting room that’s perfect for relaxing, reading a book or enjoying a cocktail with friends.”
“With our Suite Ship, we’re pioneering the new look of river cruising,” said Scott Nisbet, president and CEO of the Globus family of brands. “Not only are Panorama’s rooms 30 percent larger and views 50 percent more expansive than the industry average in Europe, every component of the experience, from bed and bathroom positioning and color palette to storage space and sound-proof insulation, was pensively designed for our cruisers to ensure they enjoy all that small-ship cruising has to offer.”
Panorama will feature flowers in each stateroom, marble bathrooms with premium L’Occitane products, new Avalon-branded deluxe bedding, warm interiors and natural lighting. The idea is to create a unique feeling of space, freedom and comfort not found with any other river cruise line.
Mirroring the onboard cruise experience found on all of Avalon’s ships, the Panorama Suite ship also features a club, main lounge and dining room with sweeping views, a hair salon, a Sky Deck fun pool and OpenAir Bistro for outdoor, grilled lunches. In addition, the Panorama’s fitness room is more expansive than most river cruise ships, featuring additional equipment. Other amenities and features on the Panorama include flat-screen televisions and laundry and ironing services.
Avalon’s new Panorama Suite Ship will be christened in May 2011 and will sail on a 14-night Magnificent Europe (Amsterdam-Budapest) itinerary for most of 2011. It also will be featured on Avalon’s Christmastime getaways.
May 25, 2010 – Viking
Viking River Cruises Injects $250 Million Toward Development
Viking River Cruises is putting up $250 million toward a three-year fleet development program, which includes eight new builds and two comprehensive refurbishments. The addition of eight new ships will bring the total number of ships operated by the company to 26, an increase in capacity of more than 40 percent. The first new ship, Viking Prestige, will debut in Europe in 2011. Also making its debut in 2011, Viking Emerald will sail in China as a replacement for Viking Century Sun. Additional European vessels will follow in 2012 and 2013.
“Over the past decade, Viking has established river cruising as a mainstream means of travel,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises. “At the same time, we believe that river cruising is still in its infancy, and has tremendous growth potential. Our fleet plans will benefit the industry as a whole, by increasing supply in a marketplace in which demand is exceeding available inventory.” Viking says it is the only river cruise company to operate in the five regions of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China and Egypt.
Viking Prestige, a 189-bed sister ship to the company’s flagship Viking Legend, will host guests on the company’s eight-day Romantic Danube itinerary, sailing from Budapest to Nuremberg. The ship will have French balconies on the top two decks and some of the largest suites on the Danube.
In 2011, Viking will also introduce Viking Emerald in China. The 264-guest vessel will feature large suites, including the 840-square-foot Presidential Suite with separate sitting and sleeping areas, two flat-screen TVs, panoramic windows and a private wrap-around balcony.
In addition to new ships, Viking River Cruises has announced plans for two complete refurbishments to its existing fleet. Scheduled for completion in 2011, Viking Pakhomov will undergo a full bow-to-stern renovation like those of its Russian sister ships, Viking Surkov and Viking Kirov. Public areas, such as the restaurant, lounges, library and bar, will also be completely remodeled with Viking’s signature Scandinavian décor.
In Europe, Viking Schumann, a ship purpose-built for the Elbe River, will receive bow-to-stern refurbishments to match those of sister ship Viking Fontane for 2010. While all public areas of Viking Schumann, including the restaurant, bar and lounge, will be refurbished, the most substantial changes are planned for stateroom accommodations. On the upper deck, eight 180-square-foot deluxe staterooms are to be created, while all standard staterooms will be upgraded with standard-size beds.
May 21, 2010 – Scenic Tours
Scenic Tours Announces 2011 River Cruise Program
Scenic Tours has opened river cruise reservations for the 2011 season. The new brochure will be available at the end of May. The brand new Scenic Pearl will join her sister ships in spring 2011!
Also new for 2011 is an eight-day “Tulip Time” cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam; a 14-day “Romantic Rhine & Moselle” cruise from Amsterdam to Basel; a ScenicEnrich experience to Marksburg Castle in Braubach on the Rhine; a choice of three included sightseeing tours in most cities; Scenic FreeTime, which allows you to take a map and audio device with commentary ashore for sightseeing on your own; and a choice of three dining venues including an outdoor experience on all Scenic vessels.
May 12, 2010 – Viking
Viking River Cruises Partners With Mariinsky Theatre
Viking River Cruises has partnered with musicians of the world-famous Mariinsky Theatre to feature a group of its performers aboard nine 2010 departures of the 13-day “Waterways of the Czars” cruise. The performers include a soprano and a tenor from the Mariinsky Opera who will receive accompaniment from a pianist. Performances will feature classical compositions, famous arias and traditional Russian favorites. “Working with the Mariinsky musicians allows us to take our program of cultural enrichment to the next level,” said Richard Marnell, Viking’s senior vice president of marketing. “Having world-class singers and musicians accompany guests as they sail through the heart of Russia is the ultimate immersion into Russian culture and an unforgettable experience.”
The Mariinsky performers will be hosted on the following departures: Aug. 11, Aug. 23, Sept. 28 and Oct. 10 aboard Viking Peterhof, and July 18, July 30, Aug. 11, Aug. 23 and Oct. 10 aboard Viking Pakhomov. In addition to performing, the artists will offer insight into Russian classical composers, Russian folk songs, the history of the Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky today, through lectures and discussions where they will also answer questions about their background and Russian musical traditions.
Viking’s 13-day “Waterways of the Czars” cruise sails from along the Neva, Svir and Volga rivers with stops in riverside towns such as Goritzy, Yaroslavl, Uglich and the island city of Kizhi with its Open Air Museum of Architecture. In addition, guests will have multiple days in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Mariinsky Theatre, based in the heart of St. Petersburg, opened in 1860. It was considered Russia’s preeminent music theater of the late 19th century where many stage masterpieces of famed composers such as Tchaikosvky were premiered. Today, the Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet, Mariinsky Opera and Mariinsky Orchestra.
May 11, 2010
Viking River Debuts New "Pharaohs & Pyramids" Egypt Cruise
As a result of increased popularity and demand, Viking River Cruises has added a new Egypt cruise-tour itinerary. The 12-day “Pharaohs & Pyramids” program will begin in September and continue throughout the 2011 season. “Ever since launching our Egypt itineraries just a few years ago, we have seen incredible interest in this region,” said Richard Marnell, Viking’s senior vice president of marketing. “In fact, the interest has been so great that we had to develop a new program to accommodate the influx of guests wanting to sail with Viking along the Nile River.”
The “Pharaohs & Pyramids” itinerary combines both Nile River and Lake Nasser cruising with a Cairo hotel stay. Highlights include excursions to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza as well as a visit Abu Simbel, a felucca ride on Nile and a guided tour through the King Tut gallery at Cairo’s Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.
An experienced Egyptologist will guide the tours and provide additional insight into the history and culture of ancient Egypt as well as Egypt today. The “Pharaohs & Pyramids” itinerary is launching with dates from September through December and will be available year-round in 2011. The cruise portion of the trip will be hosted aboard the Royal Lily along the Nile and Prince Abbas on Lake Nasser. Guests also can add one or both of the four-night “Explore More” land extension programs visiting Israel or Jordan.
April 27, 2010 – Uniworld
Uniworld’s new River Antoinette to Launch in March 2011 along the Rhine River
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises will launch River Antoinette, the sister ship to the majestic River Beatrice, in March 2011 along the Rhine River. Using the same high quality décor and design standards as the River Beatrice, the new River Antoinette will be the premiere ship to sail the Rhine River on Uniworld’s popular Castles Along the Rhine itinerary. "With the great success of the River Beatrice sailing on the Enchanting Danube, one of Uniworld's most popular itineraries, we decided to bring an equally stunning ship to another of Uniworld's popular itineraries, Castles Along the Rhine,” states Guy Young President of Uniworld.
The River Antoinette will be Uniworld's largest ship length wise at 443 ft. and a width of 37.5 ft. Uniworld has decided to use the additional space to create extra spacious staterooms and suites for their guests, so there will be a minimal capacity increase. Most of the 73 staterooms will measure at 196 sq. ft with 20 staterooms being 163 sq. ft. There will be eight junior suites measuring 294 sq. ft. and one Owner's Suite at 391 sq. ft. The River Antoinette will have the largest staterooms out of any contemporary river cruise ships operating in Europe. She will also set the standard in river cruising innovation by offering top deck suites and staterooms with full open-air private balconies that, with a touch of a switch, will raise the glass to create a completely enclosed conservatory during cooler weather. Additional innovated facilities that will add to the comfort of Uniworld’s guests include a heated swimming pool and a sky lounge on the sun deck.
April 12, 2010 – Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises Refurbishes Viking Fontane for 2010 Season
Viking River Cruises refurbished the Viking Fontane bow-to-stern in time for the 2010 season. The ship has been updated to have the Viking’s signature Scandinavian look and feel, similar to its most recent launch, Viking Legend. While all public areas of Viking Fontane, including the restaurant, bar and lounge, have been refurbished, the most substantial changes have been made to staterooms.
Eight new deluxe staterooms (category AX) have been created on the Upper Deck; each measures 180 square feet and have hotel-style beds. These staterooms are larger than the standard staterooms and more in line with staterooms on Viking’s other European vessels. Beds in the standard staterooms (categories A, B, C and D) have been renovated to include standard-size single beds. These beds are larger and more comfortable than the previous Pullman-style beds.
For 2010, Viking Fontane is operating the 12-day “Cities of Light” itinerary, which includes an eight-day cruise along the Moselle, Rhine and Main rivers and two nights each in Paris and Prague. The itinerary includes German ports including Trier, Cochem, Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Bamberg and Nuremberg. Excursions include a castle tour, wine tasting and a glass-blowing demonstration. The eight-day “Vineyards & Vistas” cruise-only itinerary also is available.