This Week in Cruise: Four Big Developments on the River

crystal river cruisesFrom Crystal River Cruises' official launch date to some big updates at Aqua Expeditions, this week in cruise travel saw some big news for river cruises. 

Shortly following the announcement of a major expansion at Crystal Cruises, the line has offered up new details on its planned river cruise line

The two Crystal river yacht vessels will be launched in Europe in March 2017. Highlights of the 70-suite vessels include:

  • 250 square-foot guest suites with walk-in wardrobes, American king size beds and bathrooms with double vanities
  • Two 500 square-foot Penthouse Suites with added comforts and conveniences
  • Spacious public areas, including Palm Court with dance floor and glass domed roof and a well-appointed fitness center and spa
  • Itineraries, fares and bookings for Crystal River Cruises will be available beginning December 1, 2015.

At the same time, Aqua Expeditions has announced big plans of its own: major renovations for its two Amazon river cruise vessels, the Aqua Amazon and the Aria Amazon.

Overseen by the boats' original designer, Peruvian architect Jordi Puig, the updates are aimed at bringing the two vessels up to the level of the Aqua Mekong

The revamp will include new woodwork, painting and awnings. New wood flooring has been installed throughout most common areas, and all suites are being redone with new floors, furniture and amenities, and bathrooms with new floors and tiles. Both vessels have new upholstered furniture, new wall coverings and lighting. New skiffs have also been added on each vessel that seat up to 10 passengers. 

Also on the Amazon, Haimark Limited Cruises has announced that it will be introducing a Peruvian Amazon cruise aboard the new RV Amazon Discovery beginning October 11.

The RV Amazon Discovery is an all-new 22-suite vessel designed to accommodate up to 44 guests. The six-night, seven-day itinerary will include guided shore and skiff excursions by expert local, English-speaking naturalists, departing from and returning to the port of Iquitos, Peru

During the cruise, guests will explore the streets of historic Iquitos, visit Monkey Island and learn how conservationists rehabilitate injured primates. Passengers will also have the opportunity to sail the Momon tributary to view a traditional dance performance by members of the Bora community at their ceremonial lodge, or swim with pink river dolphins in their feeding spot in the Tahuayo River

Finally, Tauck has announced that it will add a fourth river cruise to its “Tauck Bridges” family journeys collection in 2017, boosting its departures from 10 sailings in 2016 to 20 and doubling its family river cruise capacity.

This year’s “Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure” includes a ride on the world’s steepest cogwheel train to the 7,000-foot summit of Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps, and sails from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Tauck’s 2016 line-up of family river cruises will include an eight-day “Blue Danube: Family Riverboat Adventure” sailing from Budapest to Regensburg, as well as the “Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise”, a ten day itinerary beginning with a two-night hotel stay in Paris

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