The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a specialty as something that a person or place is known for making or producing well. We think everyone has a hidden specialty, something that makes you stand out. You might have a specialty in baking chocolate chip cookies, or perhaps you have a certain way around car engines. Cruise lines also have their own specialties, and we set a few aside that put extra emphasis on that specialty and make it an interesting aspect of your cruise.
We’ll break these specialties down into three main categories: river cruising, onboard experience and expedition cruising.
1) River Cruising
There are river cruises, which are cruises that sail on the world’s rivers and offer interesting insights into the culture of the towns and cities that line each river’s banks. Because of the rivers’ sizes and lock systems, river ships are much smaller than ocean vessels. These smaller ships offer travelers an intimate experience that in many cases affords them the chance to discover cultural traditions and customs that are not widely known. For instance, during the holiday season these ships arrange for you to attend various Christmas Markets in Europe, where handmade goods are sold by local artisans and crafters. River cruise lines like Avalon Waterways, Viking River Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection all differ in the itineraries and experiences they deliver, but all specialize in river cruising. [Read more →]
October 22, 2013 No Comments
Last year Avalon Waterways introduced the Visionary and the Vista to their fleet, last month they introduced Avalon Artistry II and just this week they welcomed her sister ship, Avalon Expression. All of these ships are considered Suite Ships, which include Panorama Suites that are on average 30 percent larger than staterooms on other river ships. Avalon did this by bringing the balcony in so each of these rooms has a full wall of windows that slide away to give passengers 7 feet of open air. The 200 square foot rooms make up 80 percent of the staterooms onboard these Suite Ships. [Read more →]
May 8, 2013 No Comments
Celebrating a hobby or a passion while on a vacation to a beautiful destination is the best of both worlds. Not only are you discovering something new, but you are meeting others who share your interests. River cruise line Avalon Waterways has seen the profound effects their specialized sailings have had on their passengers, and for 2014 they have decided to increase the number of themed sailings by 30 percent. Each sailing will focus on a certain interest and provide insight and activities geared around that interest both on land and while on the river.
In 2014 Avalon will introduce four new specialty themes to their already impressive list of themed sailings. Those new themes are:
- Beer Tasting – This sailing on October 13, 2014 will visit sites in Austria and Germany and passengers will be able to participate in onboard tastings, tours of historic breweries and attend onboard lectures about European beer brewing techniques.
- Golf – The July 7, 2014 sailing of the Austrian Highlights and Bavaria cruise allows passengers to participate in special golf excursions. Don’t worry, Avalon will set up the tee times.
- Wellness – Also departing July 7, 2014, the Wellness cruise will have passengers start their morning with stretching and yoga. Throughout the cruise healthy and delicious meals will be served onboard and passengers can attend lectures on leading a healthy life. This cruise will take place on the Blue Danube Discovery itinerary, which sails from Budapest to Prague.
- WWI History – 2014 marks the centennial of the start of WWI. Avalon will have two sailings that delve into the history of this great war with onboard lectures, and visit some of the key battlegrounds or landmarks from the war. The two sailings are the July 14, 2014 Grand France itinerary and July 22, 2014 Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches itinerary.
Other themed sailings include:
- Art & Impressionist
- European History & Politics
- Jewish Heritage
- Jazz Music
- Classical Music
- Festive Time
These sailings are limited so please call a consultant at The Cruise Web to ensure a spot on one of these amazing theme cruises. For a limited time you can save $250 per person when you book any 2014 European cruise from Avalon Waterways, so don’t wait till these sailings are sold out.
April 26, 2013 No Comments
The first posting details the experience of a river cruise to Myanmar. Myanmar is a Southeast Asian nation that is known for its temples and beautiful landscapes. The country is now being rediscovered thanks to easements on travel restrictions. Viking River Cruises will be offering a selection of cruises on the Irrawaddy River starting in January.
“We are very excited and proud to be working with The Travel Channel,” Karolina Shenton, Manager of Marketing and Sales Operations said. “We hope to create many interesting and useful articles for them in the future.”
You can read the article by clicking this link: http://blog.travelchannel.com/the-traveling-type/2013/04/09/myanmar-river-cruise/
April 12, 2013 No Comments
Courtesy of Avalon Waterways.
There has been an annual 10 percent increase in passengers for river cruises in the last five years, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. To keep up with the demand, Avalon Waterways is introducing new ships, offering more sailings and new itineraries in Europe. [Read more →]
July 18, 2012 1 Comment
By Gloria Hanson, Senior Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
From the time you board a river cruise, you begin a journey like no other. The ships are small and intimate, your scenery changes constantly and the easy access to the inner areas of towns and villages make river cruising an ideal way to enjoy a multi-destination adventure.
In the last five years, river cruise travel has grown up to 60% annually according to the Travel Trade reports. As a matter of fact, some river cruise companies are growing at double digit rates. Considering the rapid growth of river cruising, maybe it’s time to ask if river cruising is right for you…
Why Choose a River Cruise Adventure?
River cruises are ideal for first time and experienced travelers alike – it’s simply the best way to see many of the world’s most fascinating destinations. It’s a trip of a lifetime at a relaxed pace where you never miss a moment. You get to see places that you could not possibly get to on an ocean cruise. As a river cruise passenger, you also get in depth exposure to the rich culture and history of each town you visit. You enter into the heart of the city and get off your floating hotel just steps from historic sites and sought after landmarks. Since you dock so close to the city center (in most cases), you see the true culture and get a real epicurean delight with authentic foods and wine from the region you are in. [Read more →]
April 18, 2012 3 Comments
By Sherry Jefferson, Senior Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
Last month I wrote about the advantages of small-ship cruising and this month, in a similar vein, I wanted to share my very recent (and very first) river cruise experience with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
I left on March 22nd to spend two days in Amsterdam prior to the March 25th sailing of the new SS Antoinette from Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. The SS Antoinette is one of the new long ships and this was to be her first sailing of the season going from Amsterdam to Basel for the Castles Along the Rhine tour, but more about that later.
I arrived in Amsterdam to beautiful sunny mild weather and looked forward to seeing as much as possible in the two days there. I was fortunate to secure a ride to the pier which is about a 30 minutes from the airport and had the opportunity to tour the other river ships docked there. I then took a cab to the hotel and then set off to see the sites. Amsterdam is very lively and everyone rides bikes there. I’ve never seen so many bike riders anywhere, it was amazing. [Read more →]
April 18, 2012 No Comments
Can you guess the location of the river cruise photo featured above? Post your guess in the comments below.
April 18, 2012 16 Comments
Courtesy of Avalon Waterways.
Starting in 2013, passengers on any Avalon Waterways’ river cruise will have more options when it comes to touring ports and dining. This week the company announced a new initiative called Avalon Choice. “Now, and only with Avalon, at every turn, cruisers will enjoy the luxury of choice,” said Patrick Clark, managing director for Avalon Waterways.
April 13, 2012 No Comments
What is the key sign of spring?
Is it the spike in temperatures? Having more hours of sunlight? The chirping of blue birds? Nope. The true sign that spring is here is the blooming of flowers like the cherry blossoms, the tulips and the daffodils.
And this year, 2012, is a special year for flowers. Floriade, the ultimate flower festival, which only happens once every 10 years, is going on right now in the Netherlands. The show covers 163 acres with 1.8 million bulb flowers, 5,000 rose bushes and 3,000 trees. Floriade is a celebration of flowers, gardening and nature and seeks to educate people on the importance of the environment. One exhibit even allows visitors to do the work of bees using scanning devices to digitally collect pollen. Floriade features exhibits from 35 different countries along with cultural programs from dancers, singers and theater troupes.
But you have to act fast to make sure you can be a part of this once-in-a-decade event which runs from April 5 to October 7, 2012. The best way to take in the sights of Floriade is to visit via a river cruise. River cruise operators Uniworld and Avalon Waterways have created special itineraries to take advantage of this amazing and rare event. Keep reading for the details. [Read more →]
April 3, 2012 No Comments