March 25, 2010 – AMAWaterways
The most luxurious ship ever built for Russian rivers, MS AMAKATARINA is the perfect showcase for the legendary and historic waterways of Russia. Cruise between Moscow and St. Petersburg in the most modern, comfortable and elegant vessel ever to sail the Volga-Baltic waterways and beyond. Completely renovated and reconstructed from bare steel by AMAWaterways in 2010, the ship is unequalled in terms of spaciousness, accommodation levels and enticing public areas.
New Ship to Sail in Russia!
As one example of how AMA Katarina excels in the market, one need only consider passenger staterooms. An incredible 24,025 square foot of space is dedicated to passenger staterooms. The ship will carry 212 guests in 106 staterooms, seventy-six of which feature balconies. By way of comparison, other recently-renovated vessels in Russia feature the same number of cabins but only 16,793 square feet of space dedicated to the accommodations. That means that on average, AMA Katarina’s staterooms are 43% larger than those of the competition.
Choose from an incredible array of 10 stateroom categories, including four magnificent suite categories. All staterooms feature a bathroom with a separate shower area, which is unusual for Russian ships. The top stateroom category, Imperial Suite, features an immense 432 sq. ft. of space. Enjoy your evenings in the beautiful Panorama Lounge or have a drink in the intimate Bar/Nightclub Alternative Restaurant. Enjoy a concert or lecture in the Conference Hall. Unwind in the Sauna or relax in the Solarium. Dine each evening in the lovely main Restaurant, lined with panoramic windows. Other amenities on board AMA Katarina include an elevator, gift shop and infirmary.
March 25, 2010 – AMAWaterways
AMAWaterways new vessel on the Mekong will be named MS AMALOTUS. It's the national flower of Vietnam.
March 23, 2010 – Uniworld
River Tosca Re-enters Service Along the Nile
When Uniworld launched the River Tosca along Egypt’s Nile in October 2009, the goal was to have a ship with very high standards. According to Guy Young, President of Uniworld, “Over the last several years, we have seen a growing interest in Egypt, a glorious destination. As a company, we saw the need and opportunity to provide travelers to Egypt with a Nile River cruise ship that would be of a similar high standard as our ships in Europe. Uniworld commissioned the River Tosca with the goal that it would be one of the most luxurious ships to sail the Nile.”
However, it became apparent that the River Tosca was not of the same Uniworld standards and the company made the difficult decision to dry dock the River Tosca for seven weeks. The main deficiencies to be corrected were: the quality of workmanship with the floors in the staterooms, main stairwell, and corridors which were damaged and scratched during the installation; the mosaic tiles in the restaurant; the paint and woodwork in the staterooms; and the choice of fabrics in the staterooms. “Dry docking the ship – in the height of the season – was a very difficult and humbling decision for the company. It was however the right decision to make, both for the long term success of Uniworld in Egypt and, most importantly, for our customers,” confirms Young.
Uniworld’s River Tosca resumed sailing the Nile on March 22, 2010. Young just returned from inspecting the ship and believes the River Tosca is one of the best ships sailing on the Nile. Young states, “I can now proudly say after visiting the Tosca that all the noted deficiencies have been resolved. In particular, all the floors in the staterooms, corridors, stairwells, and restaurant have been replaced. There are new wall coverings in the staterooms and the furniture has been reupholstered with tones more appropriate to the destination. The staterooms are spectacular, both in size (a minimum of 300 sq ft) and the decor.”
March 18, 2010 – Scenic Tours
After selling out its summer 2010 season, Scenic Tours has opened its entire 2011 season for pre-registration.
While there is availability this fall, slots are filling up quickly. To avoid disappointment, may we suggest booking a 2011 European cruise now....
The growing popularity of Scenic Tours’ ultra-spacious river vessels – largely due to the fact that passengers can watch the world go by from their own private balconies – has prompted the company to add a new ship to its current fleet of four. The Scenic Pearl will debut in Spring 2011.
February 24, 2010 – Avalon
Canadian soprano to christen Avalon's new ship
Avalon Waterways’ new river cruise ship, the Avalon Felicity, will be christened on March 27, 2010 in the Netherlands by Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman.
The 138-passenger ship will be christened in Volendam, a Netherlands fishing village, on March 27.
The Felicity is being built in the Den Breejen shipyard in the Netherlands. Its delivery will bring Avalon's fleet count in Europe to 10.
Following the christening, the ship will sail Avalon’s nine-day Romantic Rhine itinerary through the end of 2010. The itinerary runs in two directions — from Amsterdam to Basel and from Zurich to Amsterdam.
The Avalon Felicity will feature 65 staterooms (172 square feet each) and four junior suites (258 square feet each), all of which will have flat-screen televisions, flexible bed designs (beds may be configured as two twins or one queen), Egyptian cotton linens, mini-bars and safes.
Laundry and ironing services will be available for passengers. The ship will also have a fitness room, library, hair salon, gift shop, club lounge and whirlpool on the sky deck. Open-air lunches will be served at the sky deck grill.
January 13, 2010 – Uniworld
ZAGAT Ranks Uniworld Tops in Dining
Zagat and Zorn—Two Milestones In Uniworld’s Culinary Program
Uniworld Brings Master Chef Bernhard Zorn Onboard
ZAGAT Ranks Uniworld Tops in Dining
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises proudly announces two milestones in their Culinary Program. Uniworld hired a new Culinary Director, Bernhard Zorn, who holds the prestigious honors from the “World Association of Chefs Societies” as a Global Master Chef. With over 30 years of culinary experience, including creating culinary delights for passengers from six around-the-world cruises such MS Marco Polo, Crystal Harmony, Silver Cloud, MS Deutschland and Berlin, Chef Zorn will continue to evolve Uniworld’s Food and Beverage program to an even higher standard.
Uniworld has certainly set this standard high for Chef Zorn as Zagat, the world’s most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay, and play around the globe, and as such has become a symbol of quality, just released the results of their first Cruise Line survey.
Uniworld was the only river cruise company to be ranked on the entire Zagat Cruise Survey, and received honors in the categories of dining and cabins, and as such, shares these honors with some of the premiere ocean cruise companies in the world, such as Silverseas, Crystal, Cunard, Seaborn, and Windstar.
January 5, 2010 – Viking
Viking River Cruises is the Top-Rated River Cruise Line
Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, has been recognized with multiple consumer and trade awards in 2009, making the company the world’s top-rated river cruise line.
“We are honored by all of the recognition and accolades we have received over the past year,” states Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen. “As we continuously strive to exceed the expectations of our guests and travel agents alike, we are gratified to know that these awards are the highest form of positive feedback anyone can give.”
The consumer awards Viking received in 2009 include:
• Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” – Small Ship Category
• Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice – Small Ship Category
• Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Poll – Best Ships in the Small Ship Category
• Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards” – Top 10 Small Ship Cruise Lines
• World Travel Awards – World’s Leading River Cruise Operator
• British Travel Awards – Best River Cruise Line
The travel industry awards Viking received in 2009 include:
• Luxury Travel Advisor’s Awards of Excellence – Best River Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises
• Travel Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Best River Cruise Line
• TravelAge West WAVE Winner – Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support
• TravelAge West WAVE Winner – Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising
• Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards – Gold & Silver Winner
• Recommend’s Readers’ Choice Awards – Best River Cruise Line
• Performance Media’s Leisure Travel Leaders Awards – Best River Cruise Line