If it’s been a long time since you’ve set sail on a river cruise, now is the moment. Why should you book a river cruise now? Well, you’ll find all the usual enticements are still there – luxurious ships with elegant suites, gourmet dining, the simplicity of walk-on embarking and disembarking in highly accessible ports and an overwhelming feeling of being pampered and pleased at every level. River cruising has always been, and remains, the perfect option for those looking for a relaxed vacation.

But river cruise lovers will find that there’s more being offered as cruising comes back to life. Much more.

What’s New in River Cruising?

The river cruise world seems to have used the long, quiet months of the pandemic to polish their offerings and improve their services. They’re now ready to help us unleash our pent-up desire for freedom and excitement.

River Cruise + Train Trips 

As part of the new Uniworld for 2022 ‘Nights Out’ Excursions, guests will explore one of the most fascinating churches in the world, St. Mark’s Basilica, after-hours sans the crowds on the Milan, Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy

Uniworld River Cruises, for example, is combining two types of adventure. They’re offering pre- and post-cruise train trips on some of their European itineraries. The high-end line has also launched a new ‘Nights Out’ program on their river cruises. You’ll find elegant treats as: a private tour and tasting introduction to Basel’s Feldschlösschen Brewery’s 145 years of brewing history; an exclusive, after-hours visit to St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, guided by an art historian; a private concert at the stately Albert Hall in Vienna; and an evening of wine tasting enjoyed at Cochem Castle, 328 ft. above the Moselle River. 

Celebrity + Cruising 

If rubbing shoulders with your cultural idols is what makes your heart beat faster, Avalon Cruises can make the connection. Their Storyteller Series offers the opportunity to sail with well-known musicians, writers, artists and performers. We’re talking about the likes of the band Sister Hazel, as well as Edwin McCain, Gillian Flynn, Christopher Moore, Cheryl Strayed and Candace Bushnell. Not only do guests enjoy performances, readings, Q&A sessions and book signings as they sail the Rhine, Danube and Seine Rivers but they also have the chance for casual chats in the lounge after dinner, or sunny afternoon drinks on the upper deck with their heroes. This is river cruising we can get behind! 

The Longest River Cruise–Ever 

If you have the time and a few dollars in your pocket, Ama Waterways is offering the longest-ever river cruise – “A Seven River Journey Through Europe”. If you’re keen, you now have a little more than a year to pack your bags to be ready for an August 24th, 2023 departure from Paris. Be sure you’ve lined up someone to look after your plants because you won’t be heading home until October 9th, when you dock in Giurgiu, Romania. During the 43-day sailing, you’ll enjoy the autumn foliage and wine harvest season in 14 countries, sailing on the AmaLyra on the Seine River, on the AmaCerto on the Scheldt, Maas, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers and the entirety of the Danube on the AmaVerde – truly the river cruise of a lifetime.

Taking It To The Yacht 

Scenic Eclipse

And if you’re thinking of something completely different in river cruising, you might want to consider Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours’ Scenic Eclipse, The World’s First Discovery Yacht™. Hosting just 228 guests (200 in polar regions), the remarkable vessel boasts 10 different dining experiences, a luxury spa, yoga and Pilates studio, as well as vitality pools and bars. Guests can also enjoy adventures on two state-of-the-art helicopters and a six-guest submarine. A second yacht, Scenic Eclipse II, will launch in 2023. 

From Discovery Yachts, to themed river cruising focusing on everything from wine to art to food and cultural heritage, to long itineraries that offer months of entertainment and more, river cruise lines are eager to welcome us back with warmth, enthusiasm and a world of creativity.

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Writer Liz Fleming

Liz Fleming has explored the globe from the Arctic Circle to the lost Incan world Machu Picchu. She's worked as a syndicated Canadian Press columnist and had her articles appear in major newspapers and magazines across North America. Now editor-in-chief of Cruise & Travel Lifestyles magazine, she's passionate about introducing her fellow explorers to the adventures waiting from pole to pole.

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