These European river cruises are heading for summer 2021
As Europe prepares to reopen to Americans, driving along the Danube, the Seine or the Douro has become a very real possibility for the summer of 2021.
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SAfter European Union leaders agreed on May 19 to allow fully vaccinated travelers, including Americans, to enter Europe this summer, river cruise lines announced plans to restart navigation along the rivers. picturesque European waterways.
Although most EU leaders have yet to outline the specifics of their reopening plans, including what will be needed for American travelers to enter Europe in terms of COVID-19 vaccination and / or eventual testing requirements, river cruise lines wait no longer. .
“Demand for river cruises is at an all time high,” Ellen Bettridge, President and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, said in a statement on the return to sailing of this river cruise company in 2021.
If cruising along the famous Danube in Europe, drinking wine on the Seine in France, spotting castles along the Rhine, or crossing vineyards on the Douro River in Portugal seems like the perfect getaway, you’re in luck.
The lines that will sail European rivers this summer – and beyond – include:
- Avalon Waterways
- Emerald Cruises
- Scenic luxury cruises and tours
- Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
- Viking River Cruises
European river cruises in 2021, 2022 and beyond
Here’s what each of the river cruise lines have planned so far.
May 21, AmaWaterways announced that it would return to the rivers of Europe on July 3, with crossings to Portugal.
After that, the company will restart its cruises on all the European rivers it sails throughout July and start sailing the Danube with its largest and most impressive ship, the 196 passengers. AmaMagna, July 21, 2021.
As for what will be required of passengers to navigate, AmaWaterways is waiting for the European Union to finalize its entry conditions.
“As we proceed with our return to the rivers, we will continue to monitor updates from global health authorities, local governments and airlines regarding entry requirements. In the coming days, we will provide more information on the specific documentation needed to navigate with us, ”said AmaWaterways President and Co-Founder Rudi Schreiner.
This elegant river cruise line, with a strong emphasis on its food and wine program, is an AFAR Travelers’ Choice award winner for Best River Cruise Line, and its co-founders have been recognized as the 2019 AFAR Vanguard Laureates for the deeply personal touch they bring to the river cruise experience. AmaWaterways has a fleet of 25 vessels on the rivers of Europe, as well as the Mekong in Southeast Asia, the Chobe River in southern Africa and the Nile in Egypt.
For a truly epic river cruise itinerary, it might be worth waiting until June 1, 2023, when AmaWaterways will embark on its longest river cruise ever, the “Seven River Journey Through Europe”. The 46-night experience will take 144 guests through 14 countries on four different ships. Rates start at $ 25,999 per person.
The route will sail on the Seine, the Saône and the Rhône in France; the Rhine, the Moselle and the major rivers through Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; and the final navigation will be along the Danube from Germany, passing through Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and ending in Romania.
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Avalon Waterways, which is owned by the tourism hub of the Globus family of brands, hosts numerous European river cruises in July, August and September 2021. Avalon offers crossings ranging from short cruises of 4 days to 18 days in several countries. cruises along the Danube and Rhine, among other European waterways.
One of the line’s most exciting offerings for 2021 and 2022 is its new series of storytellers, itineraries brought to life by authors and musicians. The first is a weeklong Rhine itinerary that departs on October 30, 2021 and is hosted by bestselling author Diana Gabaldon Outlander novels.
In 2022, the series will continue with a navigation on the Seine “Sex & the City of Lights” on July 19, 2022, hosted by Candace Bushnell, author of Sex in town; an active cruise on the Danube “Wild & Whimsy on the Water” on July 22, 2022, organized by Wild author Cheryl Strayed; and on September 14, 2022, navigation on the Danube organized by Missing girl author Gillian Flynn, among many others.
In order to travel with any of its brands, including Avalon Waterways, Globus requires customers to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel; proof of a negative PCR or COVID-19 antigen test within 72 hours of travel; or proof of recovery from a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within three months of travel.
The company will also provide and cover the cost of any additional COVID-19 testing required for guests to return to their home country (such as the current US testing requirement for international arrivals), as well as testing during the trip if guests show up. symptoms.
Elegant and chic river cruise Emerald Cruises will start its 2021 European season on July 31, 2021 on the Douro River in Portugal.
The eight-day “Secrets of the Douro” crossings will go round-trip from Porto and along the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cruise includes a day trip to the Spanish city of Salamanca, an excursion to the Coa Valley Prehistoric Museum in Pocinho, dinner at a traditional winery, and a visit to the Baroque village of Lamego. On the ship there will be a Port wine cocktail lesson, a demonstration of Portuguese cooking and mosaic painting, among other activities.
Emerald ships feature a signature pool area that converts into a cinema at night.
All guests must be fully immunized at least two weeks prior to departure.
Scenic luxury cruises and tours
The sister brand of Emerald, a little more mature and sophisticated Scenic luxury cruises and tours will also begin offering Douro River cruises in Portugal in July. Scenic will organize 8 and 11 night cruises along the waterway adorned with vineyards. Highlights include canoeing on the Sabor River (a tributary of the Douro) and a private concert in the historic Church of São Francisco de Porto.
The itineraries can be combined with cruises on Bordeaux and on the Seine in France, or with extensions to Lisbon and Madrid.
As with Emerald, all guests must be fully immunized at least two weeks prior to departure.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Following the announcement that Italy and France plan to reopen their borders to US citizens in June, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises announced its intention to restart European river cruising in these two European countries soon after.
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Uniworld will resume river cruises on June 20, 2021, when it launches the newly refurbished SS La Venezia in Italy. On June 27, Uniworld will restart cruises in France on its SS have a nice trip, SS Joy of livingand SS Catherine ships.
SS La Venezia will sail Uniworld’s eight-day “Milan, Venice and the Gems of Northern Italy” itinerary. SS have a nice trip will embark on Uniworld’s eight-day Bordeaux cruise along the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde rivers. SS Joy of living will sail on the Seine for eight-day “Paris & Normandy” cruises. And the SS Catherine will sail on the Rhône and the Saône in the regions of Burgundy and Provence, rich in wine and culture.
“Restarting these routes is just the first step in getting all of our ships back on the rivers this year,” Uniworld CEO Bettridge said in a statement.
Uniworld will also unveil its new SS Sphinx river cruise ship in Egypt on September 25, and it will begin sailing the Peruvian Amazon on September 1, with two new itineraries aboard the Aria Amazon.
If you want to do “all of the above,” maybe you should look into Uniworld’s 46-night epic “Rivers of the worldWhich includes the Nile, the Venetian Lagoon and the Po in Italy, the Danube from Budapest to Passau, the Seine in France and the Douro Valley in Portugal. The inaugural navigation takes place on May 20, 2023 and the trip starts at $ 38,999 per person.
Another unique river cruise experience that may be worth the wait is Uniworld’s very first experience.Mystery cruise», A 10-day navigation that begins on June 12, 2022 in Europe. Fares start at $ 6,999 per person including airfare; the cruise will be organized by Bettridge. The Mystery Cruise is a completely new itinerary for Uniworld and will offer experiences that have never been included in Uniworld trips before. Itinerary will be revealed as travelers make their way to the airport – before take off, a packing list will be provided, along with some clues to help prepare.
A full list of Uniworld’s Europe 2021 crossings is available online.
Viking announced that it would also restart its European river operations in July 2021, starting with crossings in Portugal and France and along the Rhine.
The cruises are an 8-day “Rhine Getaway” from Amsterdam to Basel; a 10-day “Golden River of Portugal” from Lisbon to Porto; an 8-day round trip “Paris and the heart of Normandy” from Paris; an 8-day “Lyon & Provence” from Avignon to Lyon; and a 15-day “France’s Finest”, which combines river routes from the north and south of France.
River cruises are offered exclusively to vaccinated travelers. All guests and crew will have access to frequent COVID-19 PCR testing. The cruise line said it has installed new air purification technology on all of its ships, will conduct additional health checks and sanitation measures, and promote physical distance on board. All health and safety protocols can be found online.
Viking has also relaunched oceanic cruises to England, Iceland, Bermuda and the Mediterranean and intends to announce additional cruises for 2021.
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