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Uniworld’s S.S. Catherine: Ship of Elegance

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Retractable windows, S.S. Catherine

Room with a view: Opened wide on this beautiful day in the south of France, my retractable window in stateroom 326 on Uniworld’s S.S. Catherine. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

I thought I had cruised Uniworld before. I had not. It is true that I had been on a vessel with the Uniworld name emblazoned on it, the River Empress. But that was in 2008. That Uniworld and the Uniworld I am experiencing this week are, well, Uniworlds apart.

16 More Viking Longships, A Second Guinness World Record, One Spectacular Day

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Streamers explode over guests as Viking River Cruises welcomes an additional 16 vessels to the fleet. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Streamers explode over guests as Viking River Cruises welcomes an additional 16 vessels to the fleet. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

This week, my colleague Aaron Saunders and I traveled to France for the christening of 16 Viking River Cruises vessels. Aaron’s report follows.

Today was one of the most deeply moving days I have ever experienced in my lifetime, as we bore witness to the christening of Viking River Cruises striking Viking Longships, 14 of which will set sail this year and two of which were introduced into service last summer.

River Cruise Beverage Policies – Revisited

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Two years ago, we wrote about the myriad of beverage policies that are present in the river cruise industry. Some lines offer complimentary beverages across all ships and destinations, while others include free beer and wine with lunch and dinner.

Reflecting on A-ROSA Stella over an Aperol Spritz. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Depending on your river cruise line, this Aperol Spritz could be free. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

River Cruise of the Week: Uniworld’s D-Day Sailings

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings off the coast of France that signalled a major turn in the direction of World War II. On June 6, 1944, troops from Britain, Canada and the United States seized control of 80 kilometers of the Normandy coast, which was divided up into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. It would become known as the largest invasion force in human history.

2014 River Cruise Roundup: Europe

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Once again, Europe remains the epicenter of the river cruising universe in 2014. As the competition heats up, river cruise lines are rolling out more innovative ships, itineraries and destinations than ever before. And that’s great news for those looking to book a journey on the waterways of Europe next year.

Viking Baldur in Cologne, Germany. Another 14 Viking Longships will hit the waters of Europe next year. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur in Cologne, Germany. A total of 14 new Viking Longships will hit the waters of Europe next year. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Uniworld Offers Solo Savings in 2014

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For those who are planning their upcoming 2014 river journeys, Uniworld Boutique River Cruisesis offering solo travellers a great deal on ten different itineraries.

Uniworld's S.S Antoinette, shown here in Amsterdam, will be getting a sister in 2014. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Uniworld’s S.S Antoinette, shown here in Amsterdam, will be getting a sister in 2014 and solo travellers will be getting a break. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Still A Few Days To Go On A-ROSA Silva, Exploring Europe In Winter

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My day started with Kölsch and Kraut. Kölsch is a beer typical of the Cologne region, sparkly yellow and lightly hoppy. The kraut took the form of sauerkraut, delicious and tempting all of us to have more than we felt we should 30 minutes before lunch.

I stood with my fellow passengers on the sundeck watching A-ROSA Silva bring us closer and closer to Cologne. The anticipation of seeing a new place was palpable. Cameras were snapping as one cityscape after another revealed itself to us. Finally, the Cologne Cathedral came into view. More cameras snapping. The captain steered A-ROSA Silva toward the bank, securing a dock that would put us within walking distance of the cathedral and the city center.

Ready For Christmas? Ours Starts Tuesday. Come Cruising With Us On Two Christmas Markets’ River Cruises

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Christmas cruise 8f4c6edBeginning Tuesday, we’re going to take you on a walk through winter wonderland on two river cruises along the Rhine River.

There’s no guarantee that snow will blanket the ground as we cruise between December 3 and December 17 (fingers are crossed), but the Christmas Markets will be in full swing. 

What are Christmas Markets? Check out our Christmas Markets River Cruise primer on River Cruise Advisor.

Amazon River Cruises are Heating Up

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The river cruise industry is growing at such a rapid pace that it’s sometimes difficult for us here at River Cruise Advisor to know where the next big trend will come from. But during the course of this year, one rather surprising destination has emerged as a serious contender.

The Peruvian Amazon has long fascinated explorers and travelers. Second in length only to Egypt’s Nile, the Amazon River discharges more water than the world’s seven largest waterways combined. It runs for nearly 7,000 kilometers – or approximately 4,345 miles. And it’s quickly becoming a popular river cruising destination.

Discovering the Balkans with Avalon Waterways

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The Danube is one of the most popular waterways in the world when it comes to river cruising. Much has been written about journeys that take travelers from the Hungarian capital of Budapest to Nuremberg and points beyond, but the eastern Danube – or Lower Danube - is often overlooked.

From April until October of 2014, Avalon Waterways operates a 10-night Balkan Discovery voyage that highlights some of the most important sights and ports of calls along the Lower Danube. Sailing aboard the Avalon Luminary and Avalon Illumination (constructed in 2010 and coming in 2014, respectively), these voyages operate from Budapest, Hungary to Bucharest, Romania or reverse.