The weakness of the Euro (and the strength of the U.S. dollar) is unfortunate for the Europeans. Citizens in the Eurozone appear to have a tough winter and a potentially deep recession to endure in the months ahead. We hope that doesn’t come to pass, but what is clear is that the Euro is in decline, which may, or may not, be transitory.
Earlier this week, the Euro and U.S. dollar reached parity, and in fact, the Euro even dipped slightly below one U.S. dollar on Wednesday. Parity between the two major world currencies hasn’t happened in 20 years, and some analysts posit that the Euro has even further to fall. Read the rest of this entry »
As the world returns to its new normal, so are things at River Cruise Advisor. The past month has been one of extreme productivity for us. Before the pandemic hit, we were working hard at redesigning our sites. We ran surveys about the industry and about our readers’ unique interests to better keep you in the loop on all things river cruise. Our goal for this site has always been a simple one, to help you make an informed decision before you book your river cruise, be it your first or fifteenth. Read the rest of this entry »
It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month since I left for France to sail on Emerald Cruises’ Liberte. The ship so quickly felt like home, and I have been missing it dearly for the nearly three weeks since I have returned to North Carolina.
Those of you who have read our previous coverage from the journey know that I sailed with my grandmother, GG. We were invited by Emerald Cruises to spend eight days in Southern France, sailing from Arles up to Lyon along the river Rhone.
GG and I had dinner together last night and shared our stories from the trip with the rest of the family. Though I already posted Three Things I Loved About Emerald Liberte, our dinner conversation last night left me wanting to share more with you. There is so much to love about the ship, crew and the Emerald experience as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »
AmaWaterways today released the print version of its 2023 Europe Brochure, offering a look at new vacation experiences, including its Seven River Journeys, Celebration of Classical Music: The Danube cruises, and new 5-night Majestic Capitals of the Danube cruises. Read the rest of this entry »
Britton and her grandmother are cruising the Rhone on Emerald Liberte. They are guests of Emerald Cruisers for the purposes of this review. Britton has been sending updates of her trip as they cruise along. She’ll have a more detailed report when she returns home.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Day one of the journey. How exciting! I have to admit, the airport was not easy. This is a busy time of year, and it is normal to expect delays and cancelations. In fact, some of our fellow passengers didn’t make it to the boat until late in the evening, and some even arrived the following day. Read the rest of this entry »
Riviera River Cruises is offering savings on two French itineraries in 2022. Choose between savings of US$1,000 per person or free economy airfare from most major U.S. gateways through the end of June. If you’re interested in either of these deals, please complete the form below for more information. Read the rest of this entry »
Normally, promotions at a river cruise company wouldn’t be something we’d publish. But in this case, we’re pleased to see that Pam Hoffee has taken the helm of Avalon Waterways. We’re pleased because Pam’s passionate about river cruising. Under her leadership we expect even better things to happen for one of the world’s most popular river cruise companies.
Pam tells us that she will be 100 percent focused on Avalon, instead of dividing her time between Avalon and other duties. “I am so thrilled about it as the brand is growing so much and deserves this attention,” she says. “I am very excited for the future with Avalon.”
Yep, we agree. Avalon is doing some wonderful things. We’ll be reporting on what is setting Avalon apart in future posts here on River Cruise Advisor.
Here’s the official press release … Read the rest of this entry »
For those who enjoy the marvels of the natural world, few locales compare with Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands. Happily, for those who wish to have this experience on an ultra-luxury, truly all-inclusive ship, Silversea’s newest expedition ship, the destination-specific Silver Origin is just the ticket.
I was on board the Silver Origin in late February when it was officially christened by Bishop Patricio Bonillo, and esteemed conservationist and Galápagos Islands permanent resident Johanna Carrión named as the ship’s Godmother. (The Silver Origin first started welcoming guests in June 2021, but the Omicron variant had postponed the naming festivities. Since its first voyage last June there have been 36 weekly voyages with eastern or western itineraries and not a single case of COVID.)
Built in 2020, the 5,800 ton Read the rest of this entry »
In last week’s survey asking What, If Anything, Is Holding You Back From River Cruising In Europe, more than half of respondents (52 percent) said that it was war in the Ukraine that made them hesitant to river cruise this year. We did not ask readers to elaborate, something we may do in a future post.
War in the Ukraine was followed closely by the Covid surge in Europe. Nearly 30 percent of you expressed concerns about the variant tearing its way through Europe. I am on barges traveling in France now with a group of 20+. On the last morning of our first barge trip, two people tested positive. Both were mild cases. When I Read the rest of this entry »
My sailing onboard Viking Radgrid was beyond my wildest dreams. From wonderful meals and service to comfortable and stylish accommodations, Viking continued to surpass my expectations throughout the week I spent with them on the Seine.
Viking is the most well-known river cruise company in the world – so much so that its name has become almost synonymous with river cruising. Sometimes, because of this, the company isn’t taken as seriously as some of its competitors. Read the rest of this entry »
SeaDream Yacht Club recently announced a more than $10 million dramatic upgrade and renovation project for twin yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II. The project is now complete on board SeaDream II, and on March 26 SeaDream I goes into drydock for 54 days in Lisbon, Portugal to undergo identical renovations as SeaDream II.
A recent onboard photo shoot has resulted in a glorious new collection of images showcasing the beauty of SeaDream II and serves as a precursor to SeaDream I’s upgrade. Quotes from recent SeaDream II guests such as “Love all the updates,” “New spaces are outstanding,” “Simply Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I said a brief hello from the Seine. It’s hard to believe that last weekend I was bicycling in Giverny looking at paintings by Claude Monet. My entire Saturday was spent wandering through the streets of Paris with friends, both old and new.
Was that the most obnoxious paragraph I’ve ever written? …probably. But thanks to Viking River Cruises I was able to live my best life in France last week. I want to talk about Viking and its wonderful new ships and the beautiful event that I attended, but I want to do that later when I can speak properly to the entire Viking experience on the Seine. For now, I want to address your questions about what it is like to travel right now Read the rest of this entry »
Saying goodbye is the hardest part of any good trip—especially when faced with the reality of having to go back home and make your own bed. On a good river cruise there are wonderful accommodations and great ports, but the thing that makes the entire experience is the people that are there. Without fun guests the cruise is boring; without a good crew the cruise is awful. Fortunately, the people that I sailed the Rhône with on Avalon were one of the most glorious groups of people I’ve ever met. Read the rest of this entry »
It wasn’t long after we published last week’s post, Seven Workarounds To France’s Pass Sanitaire, that we learned of the French government’s plans to drop requirements for the health pass. This comes as welcome news to travelers heading to France this spring and beyond. In fact, Britton is headed to France on Monday. See I’m Going To Paris On Monday.
While we won’t know the full details until next week, this site, www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus, (translated from French), suggests that the Pass Sanitaire will not be required for most activities: From March 14, the application of the “vaccination pass” will be suspended in Read the rest of this entry »
Ama means love, and AmaWaterways is celebrating the start of its 2022 sailing season through Europe with the launch of an all-new More to Love sale, available on select 2022 European river cruises.
AmaWaterways is now offering a comprehensive package with a 7-night river cruise in a French balcony stateroom, round-trip airfare, transfers, a pre- or post-cruise land package, port charges and Travel Waiver Plus all included with a starting price of US$5,499 per person. To ensure maximum flexibility, two alternative specially priced packages are also available for clients that may have their own air or land arrangements. The sale is available for new reservations on over 60 cruises departing between March and the end of December 2022. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago I wrote an article titled Avalon Is FUN, where I shared my first impressions of Avalon Poetry II. I emphasize how much fun I had on that journey so many times during the article that I should have certainly gotten my point across by now, but that didn’t stop me from typing ”The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had On A River Cruise” as soon as I began to think of ideas for my second story covering my trip. Then I had to think, what was the root of all the fun? In part, a great crew and a fun group of guests, but a great journey needs Read the rest of this entry »
In last week’s newsletter, we asked you when is the earliest you’d be ready to river cruise again in Europe. Nearly 85 percent of you are ready to river cruise in 2022, with spring 2022 getting the largest slice of the pie.
We asked, What gives you confidence about your answer as to when you would cruise? Or what’s holding you back? One reader commented: Time to move on; two years is enough and life is short. Indeed.
Another wrote: Because we went on a river cruise in 2021 and a small boat cruise two weeks ago. Steve and Lorraine are actually friends of ours here in Asheville. We had dinner with them last Sunday and learned that despite traveling in Europe from last August until late November, including a river cruise on AmaWaterways in September, they remained Covid free. In fact, they said they generally felt safer abroad Read the rest of this entry »
Though it feels like forever since I have sailed the rivers of Europe, I was lucky enough to do so twice in the fall of 2021. My first trip back to Europe was onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaSiena. After traveling to Europe once during the pandemic I felt like an old pro, so when Avalon Waterways reached out and asked me to sail the Rhône, I jumped at the opportunity. There was fear that came with my first trip back to Europe, but on this second trip in early October, I was vaccinated, boosted, fearless and ready to go.
Avalon Waterways required all passengers and crew to be vaccinated, and I had to take a Read the rest of this entry »
Crystal is suspending operations for its ocean and expedition ships through April 29, 2022, with river cruises suspended through the end of May 2022.
The company announced in a letter to guests today that “Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Crystal’s parent, Genting Hong Kong says that it will run out of cash by the end of this month, putting the fate of Crystal in question. That’s not to say that Crystal is dead in the water. Read the rest of this entry »
In last week’s post, Our New Year’s Eve Wish For You, we told you about Dolf Dunn’s Christmas Markets cruise. Dolf and his wife Lannie shared photos of Christmas trees at various ports of call (as well as Christmas trees on AmaSiena). The Dunns praised AmaWaterways for not missing a single Christmas Market. “If a city closed a market, AmaWaterways found an alternative one to take us to,” Dolf wrote.
AmaWaterways’ Kristin Karst saw our story and reached out to us. If you don’t know who she is, let me tell you about Kristin. Originally from the region of Dresden, Germany, Kristin is the high-spirited, always smiling Read the rest of this entry »
The headlines surrounding cruises of late have been anything but cheery. The latest gut punch: This week, the CDC advised that we should all avoid cruises, no matter if we’re vaccinated, boosted or masked up.
We’ll discuss the CDC’s advice in a post next week, including counter comments from one organization presenting a compelling argument that cruising is safer than almost any collective leisure activity you can do on land. We’ll also hear from two of our loyal subscribers who continue to cruise and suggest that we should no longer put our dreams on hold.
One is Dolf Dunn who, along with his wife Lannie, experienced something we had thought was not possible: the Christmas Markets on the Rhine. Read the rest of this entry »