WHY IT RATES: Riviera River Cruise is offering 16 departures of its Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise and nine departures of The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise for this upcoming 2019 holiday season. – Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate
Riviera River Cruises has expanded the availability of its popular Christmas markets cruises for December 2019, with 25 departures planned on Europe’s Rhine and Danube rivers. Guests can relax as Riviera River Cruises’ five-star ships navigate these scenic rivers in all their wintry splendor, then visit castles, squares, churches and old towns on guided tours and spend free time shopping festive markets for traditional gifts and treats.
“Our Yuletide Markets cruises on the Rhine and Danube were so well received last year – the first year we offered them – that we’ve increased the number of departures available this year,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera River Cruises’ Vice President Sales and Marketing North America. “There’s no better way to visit Europe’s multitude of Christmas markets than on a river cruise, and at Riviera we provide beautiful accommodations aboard our ships, fascinating excursions along the way, and time on your own to shop or relax with a warm drink, all at an outstanding value.”
This year, Riviera is offering 16 departures of its Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise and nine departures of The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise. Highlights of each cruise include:
– Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise: Begin and end in Cologne, Germany, and cruise through the frosty air of the beautiful Rhine Gorge, past steep, vineyard-covered hillsides with castle ruins atop rocky crags to Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Bonn. In Rüdesheim, market stalls glow with hundreds of fairy lights and the Christmas shop is open year-round, a trove of all things seasonal. Tours take in the ancient squares, historic house frontages and quaint hidden passageways of Koblenz, and the main sights of Bonn’s old town, centered around its two spacious squares and the soaring spire of the huge Romanesque minster. Cologne has seven markets and the largest tree in the Rhineland with 50,000 lights. Five-day cruise on select dates in December 2019 starts at $749 per person based on double occupancy.
– The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise: Begin and end in Budapest, Hungary, and cruise through the narrow valley of the Danube Bend, flanked by snow-covered hillsides and spectacular mountains, on the way to Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria. Tours take in Budapest’s iconic parliament building and ancient castle district, Bratislava’s restored baroque old town and grand white castle, Vienna’s towering St. Stephen’s Cathedral and impressive Hofburg palace complex. Markets are filled with classical music and delicious smells of spiced gingerbread and peppery goulash in Budapest, and artisan decorations, wooden figurines and pottery in Bratislava. And few places are as festive as Vienna, where more than 20 markets sell a wide variety of gifts and city hall provides a spectacular backdrop with its windows transformed into a giant advent calendar. Six-day cruise on select dates in December 2019 starts at $829 per person based on double occupancy.
Riviera River Cruises offers 15 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including exclusive departures for solo travelers, aboard the youngest fleet of ships in Europe, with none older than six years. Riviera’s cruises include spacious cabins and suites, fine culinary experiences from sumptuous breakfasts to four-course dinners featuring international classics and regional specialties, and expert-led excursions to classic sights and lesser-known places.
Riviera guarantees exceptional value, promising never to add hidden surcharges or fees. Riviera also doesn’t automatically include gratuities or drinks, so the choice is up to guests.
For more information about Riviera River Cruises, visit https://www.rivierarivercruises.com or call 888-838-8820.
SOURCE: Riviera River Cruises press release.
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SeaDream Yacht Club to Resume Sailing in Norway on June 20
SeaDream Yacht Club, which paused operations in March, plans to start sailing again June 20 in Norway.
The nine new Norwegian voyages on SeaDream I through September include destinations hand-picked by SeaDream’s Norwegian founder and owner, Atle Brynestad.
The Norway program includes seven-day voyages between Oslo and Bergen and a 12-day voyage from Oslo to Tromsø and back – with three days in Lofoten, one of Norway’s premier destinations. SeaDream will offer new Yachting Land Adventures so guests can fully experience each port.
As the Covid-19 pandemic developed, SeaDream was able to avoid contamination but decided to pause operations because of the resulting travel restrictions. The yachts moved to Lisbon where the crew chose to stay on board and have been kept busy doing maintenance and upgrades.
They’re also having some fun – a basketball hoop was installed on the pool deck – and keeping calm and in shape with yoga and other activities. The chefs are designing new dishes, and the deck crew has painted, replaced the teak deck, and performed other maintenance tasks.
SeaDream continues to closely monitor the global health and travel restrictions and can adapt itineraries as needed.
“It has been very apparent from our frequent video calls with the onboard teams that without our guests, the yachts are simply not the same and that the crew genuinely miss serving our loyal guests,” said SeaDream’s Andreas Brynestad.
While SeaDream usually operates in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the yachts have been to Norway before. But this time they are going north of the Arctic Circle so that guests can experience the midnight sun, the Lofoten Fjords, and Tromsø.
The SeaDream experience is known for its personalized service, five-star cuisine, intimate ports and onboard features such as the Balinese Dream Beds to sleep under the stars and the watersports marina with water toys. For additional details, click here.
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