This Week in Cruise: Big News on the Rivers

Rhine River
Photo by Harald007/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

It’s been a big week for river cruise news.

This week U by Uniworld, first announced last year as a new river cruise product designed to appeal to Millennial travelers, decided that it would drop its age restriction, allowing adults of all ages to book. The company reports that it will continue to offer the same brand experience, with itineraries that focus on longer stays in each destination to allow guests to connect with local people and experience the nightlife in each destination. The cruise line also reports that it is continuing to work on its next cruise ship, which will allow it to expand beyond Europe into Southeast Asia on the Mekong River in Vietnam.

In the United States, American Cruise Lines just announced the name of the second ship in its Modern Riverboat Series: American Harmony. A sibling vessel to the upcoming American Song, the American Harmony will make its debut in 2019 on the Mississippi River.

In luxury news, this week Crystal River Cruises officially took delivery of the new Crystal Debussy, bringing its fleet to four vessels. The 106-guest Crystal Debussy will sail itineraries between Amsterdam and Basel along the Rhine River, beginning with its April 9 inaugural voyage roundtrip from Amsterdam.

In active travel news, Avalon Waterways is adding an Avalon Adventure Host to all of the line’s 2019 river cruises in Europe. The new host, who will be based in a new onboard Adventure Center, can help travelers with various activities like checking out a bike for a scenic ride through town; grabbing a Nordic walking stick for hiking; or booking kayaking excursions or complimentary fitness classes on the Sky Deck.

Elsewhere in Europe, hotel barge cruising specialist European Waterways has announced the completion of a $500,000 upgrade and refurbishing program across the company’s fleet as it prepares to launch its 2018 season. The upgrades addressed every aspect of the company’s hotel barges, from the operation of the vessels themselves, to the dining, entertainment and sleeping areas, as well as the off-shore transportation of its guests, who are treated to daily guided excursions.

Finally, this week Emerald Waterways announced that it would begin offering an ocean itinerary in 2019 onboard a new yacht, the Adriatic Princess II. The yacht will sail an eight-day Islands of Dalmatia itinerary plying the waters between Trogir and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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