When a new ocean cruise ship such as Harmony of the Seas is launched, media attention and general excitement in the cruise industry means that you cannot fail to be aware of the latest addition to the waves. However, there is not the same furore created around the new vessels that make their debuts on the world’s rivers every year, meaning that many arrive largely unnoticed.
River cruise fans will know, though, that there have been many great additions on the waterways of Europe in 2016 and here are just a few.
AmaViola/AmaStella - AmaWaterways
These elegant sisters recently joined the highest Berlitz-rated fleet in Europe, although the ships themselves will not be judged in the guide until next year. Having started life sailing through the tulip fields of the Netherlands, they have now moved to the Danube to sail the line’s ‘Melodies of the Danube’ and ‘The Romantic Danube’ itineraries. They feature the innovative twin balcony staterooms that AmaWaterways have recently introduced, offering a French balcony and a full open-air area where you can sit and relax.
Elbe Princesse – CroisiEurope
River ships specifically designed for the shallow waters of the Elbe River are few and far between, but the brand new Elbe Princesse is a welcome introduction that will allow guests to explore much more of this waterway. With space for just 80 guests and a wide sundeck, there will be plenty of room to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. The ship is powered by two paddle wheels and the interior décor is very modern with bright colours throughout.
Grace/Joy – Tauck
The most popular feature of these two Tauck vessels is the newly added loft cabins that span two decks. Not only do they feature a seating area on a higher level with the cabin, they also have windows which open fully – a rare thing on the lower deck of any river ship. In a bid to give guests more space than ever before, Tauck has also included the highest number of suites on any river vessel operating in Europe. ms Grace will offer joy along the Rhine whilst ms Joy will grace the Danube throughout 2016 and 2017.
Viking Osfrid – Viking River Cruises
If there is one cruise line that knows how to make a splash when launching new river ships it’s Viking River Cruises. However, after breaking the Guinness World Record for most ships christened in one day in 2013 (and then subsequently breaking it again with 16 more in 2014), Viking has only introduced seven new vessels for 2016. Six of these (Viking Tialfi, Alruna, Egil, Vilhjalm, Kadlin and Rolf) are the operator’s signature Longships but Viking Osfrid is a bit different. Built slightly smaller in order to be able to sail through the locks of the Douro River, she features the popular Aquavit Terrace and Al Fresco Restaurant along with a putting green on the top deck.
If you are looking forward to taking a European river cruise on any of these new vessels, our knowledgeable team can help you choose the perfect itinerary. Call us today or get in touch via our online enquiry form.