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Travel Blog

Latest River cruises articles

An Avalon Waterways cruise on the Irrawaddy River in Burma offers an amazing adventure

October 30, 2017

From via

Burma is an enchanting land in the middle of a transformation. After decades of harsh rule under a military junta, the Burmese people are riding a wave of optimism as the country, also known as Myanmar, transitions toward a more open relationship with the Western world, and a new government promises more political and economic freedoms.  I was lucky to visit Burma during an adventurous Irrawaddy River cruise with Avalon Waterways on its new ship Avalon Myanmar. It was an amazing experience, seeing a land with such a unique history and people unfailingly friendly and welcoming. Most Burmese people are as interested in new visitors to their little-seen farming and crafts trade villages as we are in seeing how they live and their proud traditions.

Walter Christen's insight:

An Avalon Waterways river cruise aboard the Avalon Myanmar is great way to see and experience the culture and people of Burma/Myanmar. Fascinating sites and history make this a must see region for the adventurous cruise traveler.

A view of the scenic Middle Rhine Valley in Germany — prime river cruising country.

Three reasons why I love river cruising in Europe

June 12, 2017

From via

I’m an addict. There’s no question about that. I am addicted to river cruising. I am also fortunate. I’ve been able to do more than 30 river cruises in the past decade, and I have loved them all.

I’ve been on the Douro, the Loire, the Rhone and the Saone. I’ve cruised the Seine, the Rhine and the Danube (upper and lower). I’ve been on the Main (pronounced mine) and the Main-Danube Canal. I’ve yet to do the Elbe or the Po, but I have barged a few canals, in Burgundy and in the south of France (and I am going to do so again in September).

A view of the scenic Middle Rhine Valley in Germany — prime river cruising country.

Best 2017-2018 wine cruises on AmaWaterways

April 13, 2017

The fast-growing river cruise line AmaWaterways is celebrating the modern epicurean lifestyle aboard its upscale ships with the announcement of its 2017-2018 wine cruise itineraries and release of its new Wine Cruises Through Europe brochure.

With a new luxury ship in its fleet, AmaKristina, and 95 sailings hosted by celebrated North American wine experts, AmaWaterways invites guests to uncork the traditions of the local culture and experience the wonders of wine along Europe’s legendary waterways.

Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria. See it on a Crystal river cruise.

Construction begins on Crystal Debussy & Crystal Ravel

January 9, 2017

Luxury travel provider Crystal Cruises, operator of ships, yachts, river boats and a private jet, today announced the cutting of the first piece of steel for the construction of Crystal River Cruises’ two additional Rhine Class luxury river yachts, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel, which are scheduled to sail in spring 2018.   

MV Werften of Mecklenburg, Germany, celebrated  the occasion as the first plates of the extravagant river ships were flame cut in the presence of the Genting Group executive  Chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Economics Minister Harry Glawe and numerous other guests.

A Viking Longship sails through a charming village. A typical itinerary will allow passengers to spend the better part of a day exploring cities, towns, castles and museums with a guide or on their own.

Rolling on the Rhone River with Viking Cruises

December 30, 2016

From via

A Viking River Cruise along the Rhone River from Provence to Lyon is a historical, cultural and gastronomic experience not to be missed.

September of this year saw me fulfilling a long-standing dream of taking a European River Cruise. From Provence in the south to Lyon in the northern Rhone region of France, I spent seven days on board the Viking longship Buri.

During the week long cruise, we stopped at six ports along the Rhone River. Each port was a mini history and culture lesson. Often the food and wine of a particular area was a special treat at dinner, as when we arrived in Tournon Sur Rhone, where just across the river are the famous Hermitage AOC Vineyards. That evening, we drank a local Syrah. Food, wine, art, and architecture – all the things I love about Europe – were part of the cruise experience, which Viking does so well.

This was my first time in France, and I was not disappointed. Many of my readers know that I’m a big Italophile, but this year I went to France instead of Italy. Who knew that France has almost as many Roman ruins as Italy? Everywhere we went, we saw magnificent monuments and remains of what was once the mighty Roman Empire.


Walter Christen's insight:

I find river cruising very appealing and what could be better than a cruise through some of the most beautiful places in France. And what better way to experience this than on a Viking River Cruise. I can just imagine the photographic possibilities.


Recline on a sun lounge up on the deck of the River Beatrice cruise ship as you sail past historic and scenic points of interest along the Danube River.

Uniworld launches river cruises for millennials

December 22, 2016

From via

In an industry first, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has launched U by Uniworld, a new brand aimed at river cruisers ages 18 to 40, which will feature vessels with a more contemporary look and feel, fewer inclusions and longer stays in each destination.

Uniworld will renovate two of its existing vessels, the River Baroness and River Ambassador, which launched in 1997 and 1999, respectively, after which they will be entirely dedicated to the U by Uniworld brand. Sales of U by Uniworld will start in March 2017 and the first sailings will begin in early 2018.

The 116-passenger sister ships, River Baroness and River Ambassador, are being transformed to have a more contemporary look and feel, featuring communal tables for dining, a new culinary program, cocktail mixologists and international DJs onboard.

Walter Christen's insight:

I believe Uniworld is on to something here.  Traditional river cruising has the undeserved reputation as only for the older crowd..Updating ship to have more modern amenities and programs is a great way to attract more people to river cruising.  In addition, longer stays at different destinations is also a plus.  


The renowned Christmas Markets of Prague, the Czech Republic, are centered around the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.

Disney hops on the river cruising trend with holiday tours down the Danube

December 18, 2016

From via

This summer, Adventures by Disney-- the guided tour arm of the Disney Company-- dipped its toe in the growing river cruising market, offering a Danube River cruise itinerary in partnership with AMAWaterways.

River cruising has traditionally catered to a more mature consumer but the new 170 passenger AMAViola sold-out for the limited Adventures by Disney summer sailings.

Now, Adventures by Disney returns to the Danube for two holiday cruises this December. There are plenty of family friendly things on board-– from twinkling lights and dangling baubles, to spiced gingerbread cookies and spiked eggnog, to carols and music.

You'll also get to visit historic and renowned old-world European Christmas markets during the trip.

Walter Christen's insight:

What could be better than a Disney run Christmas river cruise on the Danube river. The AMA Waterways AMAViola was designed to be family friendly and is the perfect ship for these cruises.  I believe this would be the perfect multigenerational trip and only enhanced by the Christmas sights and sounds.


Avalon Visionary cruising the Rhine River.

How to fall in love with river cruising

December 13, 2016

River cruising is one of the breakout stars in travel for 2016 and there are more ways than ever to experience rivers around the world onboard any number of ships. However, there are a few tried and true tricks to making your river cruise experience a success and to fall in love with this mode of travel that can take you around the world.

Here are five ways to enjoy the journey.

The Christmas market begins to ramp up in Stuttgart, Germany.

Magical cruises to Europe's best Christmas markets

November 10, 2016

From via

Whether you go to buy gifts, replenish your Yuletide larder or simply to soak up the atmosphere, Europe’s Christmas markets weave a captivating spell.

While snowfall cannot be guaranteed, it is more likely. At the very least you can expect a Christmas-card setting with traditional handmade decorations, along with daytime and evening markets packed with festive flavors and, if you’re lucky, local choirs providing the requisite soundtrack.

It is possible to cruise by river or sea to enjoy Europe’s markets. The advantage with river cruising is the opportunity to visit not just one but several Christmas markets and, as you sail, to see towns and villages decorated for the festive season. The biggest concentration of Christmas markets lies along the banks of the Rhine and the Danube; there are also some on the Main and the Seine – many in Paris itself.

There are still some cruises to choose from, but you’ll have to be quick.

Walter Christen's insight:

I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than taking a river cruise to Europe's Christmas markets. Looks like a great way to really get into the Christmas spirit. 


Five things to bring with you on your next river cruise

August 7, 2016

From via

Let’s face it: everyone forgets something when they travel – even experienced cruisers like us. However, there are some things that you should bring with you to get maximum enjoyment out of your river cruise – things that go beyond the usual toothbrush and passport.  These are things we’ve found to be immensely useful on our own travels, and we’re presenting them here for you to take with you on your next adventure.

A Travel Guide

Power Adapters

A Backpack and Reusable Water Bottle

Medications from Home

Business Cards

Walter Christen's insight:

These are some very useful things to bring with you on a river cruise. This could also be a basis for any cruise, river or ocean.

I really like the suggestion of business cards.  Quite a few times I have met new friends on cruises and having some personal business cards would come in handy so we could stay in touch after the cruise or also make it easier to get their email address so I could send them a photo later.

As far as medications are concerned, remember to always pack them in your carry on. Nothing could ruin a cruise quicker if you lost the medications you need to take on a daily basis.


The 164-passenger AmaReina debuted in 2014 and makes sailings on the Rhine, visiting France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Disney to expand move into river cruising

April 20, 2016

From via

Family vacation giant Disney plans an even bigger move into river cruising than initially announced.

The company on Tuesday revealed its Adventures by Disney division will offer 14 river cruises in 2017. That's twice the number it'll offer this year as it gets into river cruising for the first time.

The voyages will include new seven-night Rhine River sailings as well as seven-night Danube sailings. The company this year only is offering voyages on the Danube.

Walter Christen's insight:

Partnering with AmaWaterwaysDisney Cruise Lines will be bringing European river cruising to families.  The new AmaWaterways river ships are designed for families, being able to hold 3-4 people in many of the cabins.  Disney will also be custon designing the shore excursions. What a great way to expand your childrens world view.


Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria.

Crystal offers free exclusive event at Vienna's Belvedere Palace

March 10, 2016

If you need an incentive to book Crystal River Cruises' Mozart — the LA-based luxury travel company's soon-to-debut super-extravagant river yacht (following Esprit, which launched in December) — here’s your moment of Zen. During sailings after the ship debuts in July, passengers on Crystal Mozart will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience an exclusive event at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, one of Europe’s most stunning baroque landmarks and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

It will be an evening to remember with private access to the highlights of the palace’s astonishing collections of art, including the greatest collection of the works by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, with guidance from the palace’s representatives.