European River Cruising

If anyone needs convincing that the popularity of European river cruises is spreading like wildfire, just see some of the news releases:

River cruise boatTauck World Discovery, a U.S. family owned business, has expanded its portfolio of European river cruises in 2008 by introducing two new itineraries this spring. Along with the new cruises, Tauck is also increasing its total number of published river departures by 36 percent for 2008 and will take delivery of its second brand-new riverboat in two years.

The two new river cruise itineraries are the 13-day “Rhine And Moselle” and 20-day “Prague to The Black Sea”.  “The Rhine And Moselle” will be on Tauck’s MS Swiss Diamond, whereas the “Prague to The Black Sea” will be on either the MS Swiss Emerald or the very new MS Swiss Sapphire.

Scenic Tours River Cruising of Australia will launch two luxury river ships in Europe. Scenic’s new vessels are more spacious and promises passengers luxurious five-star accommodation while cruising along Europe’s magnificent Rhine and Danube rivers. Scenic claims that their staterooms are the largest in the market and that 82 percent of all cabins have private balconies.

For those who need a lot of space, and can afford to pay for it, there are two full decks of Balcony suites that are 24 percent larger than the average European river cruise cabins. Scenic has introduced private butler service for guests in the Balcony, Junior and Royal suites on the superior Danube Deck. Services provided by private butlers include complimentary tea and coffee services in guests’ suites, garment pressing, shoe shining, serving pre-dinner canapés and drawing baths for guests in the Royal suites! Looks like Scenic is trying to up the ante by introducing some luxuries that you would normally associate with ocean liner cruises.

Jewel River Cruise Line debuts in 2008 with six ships sailing in some of the most attractive waterways in Europe.  Their mission is to provide a collection of river cruise companies featuring independent brands to provide the highest quality river cruise experience.  Jewel aims to create distinct categories that include Jewel River Cruises, a new boutique-luxury level of river cruising, as well as a premium line and a contemporary line.   

Trafalgar has launched its 2008 Uniworld Luxury 5 star river cruise programme. The 2008 Trafalgar Uniworld River Cruise Book, is the latest offering in its portfolio of luxury European river cruises, exploring some of the Europe’s greatest rivers.  Trafalgar has even launched a dedicated website with detailed information regarding the program.

So what’s causing this new interest in river cruising.  Tune in tomorrow to my next blog.


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