This Week in Cruise: Big River News in Europe and Southeast Asia

bordeauxLast week the cruise industry buzz may have been all about U.S. rivers, but this week saw some major moves in perennial favorite Europe and up-and-coming Southeast Asia.

AmaWaterways announced the debut of its first-ever Bordeaux itineraries, set to start in its spring 2016 season.

The line will offer 22 “Taste of Bordeaux” sailings aboard AmaDolce, sailing the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. Eight of the 22 departures will be special wine-themed voyages, led by top wine experts.

The "Taste of Bordeaux" sailings will travel along the Garonne River and its surrounding estuaries. Travelers will have the opportunity to visit Bordeaux’s famous chateaus and vineyards with stops at Cadillac’s Roquetaillaide Castle, a Medoc wine tasting in Pauillac, an excursion at Chateau de Montaigne in Libourne and more. Those looking to extend their stay can enjoy an optional pre- and / or post-cruise land extension for city tours in Paris and additional chateau visits and wine tastings in the Loire Valley.

In Europe and Southeast Asia, CroisiEurope announced plans to debut four new ships over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, including two new river ships and two new canal barges.

The 80 passenger paddle wheeler Elbe Princesse will sail on the Elbe and the Moldau between Berlin and Prague beginning in spring 2016. The Aspara Princesse, a 60 passenger colonial-style vessel, will sail on the Mekong from Angkor to Ho Chi Minh City. The Daniele Barge will sail along the Briare Canal between Burgundy and the Loire Valley, with accommodations for up to 24 passengers in 12 cabins. Finally, the Deborah Barge will offer the same capacity on a new route along the Garonne Canal, visiting Toulouse, Castelsarrasin, Moissac, Valence-d’Agen, Agen, Serignac-Sur-Garonne and Damazan.

Also in Southeast Asia, Avalon Waterways reported that the new Avalon Siem Reap is now sailing the Mekong River, with capacity for 36 guests.

The ship's 18 suites come with 245 square feet of living space, as well as open-air balconies with floor-to-celling windows and panoramic views. 

The Avalon Siem Reap sails from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. Right now Avalon Waterways is offering $229 in air savings and savings of up to $2,000 per couple on select 2015 departures, as well as 10 percent off 2016 cruises. 

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