This Week in Cruise: Four Big Developments on Europe's Oceans and Rivers

Photo by Grabowski

From some major destination announcements at Seatrade Europe to new river cruise ships and itineraries, this week in cruise travel news saw some big changes in Europe.

At Seatrade Europe in Hamburg, Germany, Cruise Baltic announced the launch of the organization's first theme cruises brochure and welcomed new destination partner Fredericia, Denmark.

The new brochure, titled "Theme Cruises in the Baltic Sea," includes six cruise themes and a roundup of "What the Baltic has to Offer." Other features include suggested target groups, local maps, suggested onboard activities and a contact list of Cruise Baltic partners in the region. 

Geographically located in the centre of Denmark, close to the international deep-water route of the Great Belt, new destination partner Fredericia’s cruise port is in walking distance to the city centre. Many attractions are within one hour’s drive, including the original Legoland; and Odense, Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace.

Just head of Seatrade Europe, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) held its second annual Port & Destination Summit

The Port & Destination Summit brought together more than 200 delegates from 28 countries, representing port authorities, destinations, shore excursion operators and port agents, and included nearly 50 cruise line executives. Following last year’s Port and Destination Summit in Barcelona, Spain, the event was designed to create a meaningful dialogue on the port and destination community’s role in the growth of the global cruise industry, CLIA said. The event included roundtable discussions, presentations and concurrent sessions. Participants also had opportunities to network with industry leaders and influencers.

Keynote speakers included Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises and CLIA Europe chairman, Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. and CLIA global chairman, and Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA acting CEO. The theme of the summit was the importance for cruise lines, ports and destinations to continue working and growing together for both the sustainability and growth of the global cruise community, CLIA said.

Looking ahead to 2016, Le Boat announced that it would add a smaller, two- to four-passenger self-skippered cruiser

Named the Horizon, the new craft was built exclusively for Le Boat with a master cabin and a second smaller cabin that is a good fit for young children, a bathroom with a separate stall shower, and spaces for dining and other activities. The vessel also has a rear cockpit and sundeck with furniture, sink, and barbeque. As with all Le Boat rentals, no boating experience or license is required.

For 2016, the new Horizon cruiser will be available in all of LeBoat’s key cruising areas, which include the Canal du Midi and Burgundy in France, The River Thames in England, and other popular waterways in Italy, Holland, and Germany.

Also on Europe's rivers, CroisiEurope will be expanding the line's Cruise and Bike Programs on three waterways for 2016, including the Loire River

Prices for the eight-day Loire River Biking Cruise start at $4,879 per person double and include staterooms aboard the new MS Loire Princesse, daily professional guided cycling excursions, unlimited on board beverages, meals and Wi-Fi.

Cruise and Bike Programs offer group sizes averaging eight guests per trip, with a 14 guest maximum, one group leader for every four guests and cycling along the Loire River with stops for wine tasting and visits of local towns.

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