Whether your clients take to the river or ocean, there are a bevy of new cruise itineraries for them to embark on.
Viking Cruises has announced a new ocean cruise itinerary that will allow guests the rare opportunity to explore the far north in Norway’s winter, during peak period for aurora borealis sightings. The In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary will sail between London and Bergen starting in January 2019 on Viking’s third 930-passenger ocean ship, Viking Sky.
On the 13-day itinerary, guests will experience Norway’s pristine landscapes and dramatic snow-dusted wilderness, with a chance each day to stargaze and scan the dark skies for the northern lights while visiting seven destinations with overnights in Tromso, Alta and Bergen, Norway, plus a complimentary excursion in each port. Highlights of the new In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary include a visit to the nearby native Sami community for an authentic lunch of local dishes and a ride in a reindeer-drawn sleigh, a visit to the Archaeological Museum, where a host in traditional Viking dress will demonstrate essential tools and artifacts of the time period, and a panoramic tour of Bergen that takes guests to the preserved wharf of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was central to Bergen’s role in the Hanseatic League. Afterwards, they’ll embark on a gondola ride for a scenic ascent to Mt. Ulriken, the highest of Bergen’s famous Seven Mountains. Rates for the In the Search of the Northern Lights sailing start at $4,999 pp. For more information, call (855) 884-5464 or visit vikingcruises.com.
AmaWaterways has expanded its line-up of exotic itineraries in Vietnam and Cambodia with new Mekong itineraries. In 2018, guests will have the flexibility to sail the Mekong for seven nights upstream or downstream aboard the 124-passenger AmaDara and extend their vacation by adding a choice of pre- and post-cruise land programs.
AmaWaterways’ 2018-19 Asia itineraries will include the 7-night Charms of the Mekong – Upstream from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap; a 15-night cruise and land program with two nights in Ho Chi Minh City, a 7-night cruise, two nights in Siem Reap, three nights in Hanoi and one night in Ha Long Bay; and a 10-night cruise and land program with a 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City followed by three nights in Siem Reap. There’s also a 7-night Riches of the Mekong – Downstream cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City; a 15-night cruise and land program with two nights in Hanoi, one night in Ha Long Bay, three nights in Siem Reap, a 7-night cruise and two nights in Ho Chi Minh City; and a 10-night cruise and land program with three nights in Siem Reap followed by a 7-night cruise to Ho Chi Minh City.
On the AmaWaterways’ Charms of the Mekong and Riches of the Mekong itineraries, guests can experience authentic cultural encounters, delicious cuisine, and enticing shore excursions that include a trip to a Buddhist monastery, the royal palace in Phnom Penh, a full-day exploration of Xeo Quyt and a rice paper and candy-making workshop in Cai Be. Each journey is enhanced by experts well-versed in Asian religions, architecture and history. Early booking rewards and past guest benefits are available on the 2018-19 Mekong itineraries. Seven-night cruises start at $1,549 pp.
In addition, in 2018, AmaWaterways will add its first wine hosted cruise in Asia. Embarking on March 26 and hosted by Sbragia Family Vineyards from the prestigious California Dry Creek Valley, the sailing will feature special complimentary onboard wine lectures and tastings. For more information, call (800) 626-0126 or visit amawaterways.com.
Holland and Belgium
Emerald Waterways has announced a new itinerary for 2018, The Charms of Holland & Belgium. While the Highlights of the Netherlands and the Beauty of Belgium “tulip cruise,” sails in the spring and focuses on ports that show off their tulip blooms, The Charms of Holland & Belgium explores the history and culture of these countries in summer and fall.
With one departure each in July and September 2018, fares start at $2,995 pp dbl. Guests who book by Sept. 1, 2017 will receive roundtrip airfare of $495 pp. Paying in full by Oct. 31, 2017 reduces the cost of the sailing by up to $400 per couple. The voyage, which includes seven nights aboard one of Emerald Waterways’ Star-Ships, begins and ends in the popular port city of Amsterdam. Here, guests can go on a walking tour, see the sights from the city’s famous canals during a glass top boat tour, or join a guided bike tour.
Back in Holland, a walking tour of Maastricht, Holland’s oldest fortified city, provides the opportunity to view the architectural styles of numerous museums, churches and historical buildings, from Roman excavations to the modern design of the Bonnefantenmuseum. A tour of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, which houses exhibits of military uniforms and weapons, delves deeper into the town’s history. The final stop before returning to Amsterdam is in Hoorn, which was once a base for the Dutch East India Company. Guests can choose to do a guided biking tour or take a coach trip to Edam, a town known all over the world for its cheese, for an orientation walking tour. Afterwards, a visit to the fishing village of Volendam offers guests a look back in time as some residents still wear traditional Dutch costume in its old center.
For those wishing to extend their stay in Amsterdam, Emerald Waterways offers the opportunity to spend one or two nights before or after the sailing exploring this city. Pre- and post-cruise packages include daily breakfast, transfers between airport, hotel and ship and accommodations at a Radisson Blu or similar hotel. For more information, call (855) 222-3214 or visit emeraldwaterways.com.