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Top 10 river cruises from AmaWaterways

To coincide with National Cruise Week, AmaWaterways has come up with its top 10 pick of river cruises for 2012/2013, chosen for their cultural enrichment, specialist interest and access to spectacular sightseeing. Top romantic cruise Seine cruise – Paris in the springtime Take the train to Paris and embark the luxurious AmaLegro to see the world’s most romantic city from the water on a week long luxury river cruise along the Seine to Rouen. Visit Rouen cathedral, which inspired Monet to paint more than 30 canvases and take an excursion to Honfleur, the most romantic and picturesque harbour in northern France, a draw for artists and lovers alike. The cruise price of £1795 per person (3rd May 2013) includes return rail travel and a 7 night cruise with complimentary daily excursions, gourmet dining, outside luxurious staterooms, themed dinners and culinary demonstrations and free use of on board bicycles to explore ashore. Top exotic cruise Cruise the Mekong Experience the exotic villages, towns, markets and temples of the Mekong on a 7 night river cruise from Seam Reap to Ho Chi Minh City. AmaWaterways has two magnificent river cruise ships on the Mekong, providing the most luxurious way to see Vietnam and Cambodia from the water. Cruises include all meals, beer and soft drinks with evening meals, complimentary daily tours and excursions, gourmet dining. 7 nights cruise only costs from £1138pp (01 Oct), and 11 night holiday with two nights in Seam Reap and a 7 night cruise inclusive of two overnight flights, costs from £2420pp (9th November 2012) and a 17 night land-cruise holiday from £3745, (5th November 2012), including flights, transfers, 7 night river cruise and 8 night guided land tour Top gardening cruise Visit the Floriade World Horticultural Expo Keen gardeners should seize the opportunity to visit the Floriade World Horticultural Expo in the Netherlands between 5th April and 7th October 2012 on a choice of four AmaWaterways’ luxury river cruise itineraries. The show, which only takes place every ten years, covers 66 hectares of parkland and comprises of five horticultural worlds and themed zones, connected by wooded areas, with 100 exhibitors from around the world. Each day also features a cultural programme of music, dance, literature, theatre and visual art from all over the world. AmaWaterways’ 7-night `Vineyards of the Rhine & Mosel’ cruise between Luxembourg and Amsterdam, departing 23rd September 2012, costs from £1859 per person, based on accommodation in a stateroom with French balcony, including all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free Wi-Fi and free use of on-board bicycles, excluding flights. Top for history Jewish heritage Danube cruises Trace the fascinating Jewish heritage of the Danube from the comfort of a luxury river cruiser, with a selected daily touring programme of excursions that include synagogue visits, Jewish districts, museums, monuments and other landmarks of significance to Jewish history, led by knowledgeable guides. The cruises pass through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary and highlights include a special visit to the tomb of Chatam Sofer, the famous rabbi, a visit to Oscar Schindler‘s house in Regensberg, and Room 600 at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. Passengers will also visit the Jewish Museum, Judenplatz and Old Synagogue, Sigmund Freud House (outside), Jewish Cemetery and Jewish Quarter in Vienna. The 7-night `Jewish Heritage’ Blue Danube cruise between Budapest and Nuremberg, departing 28th October 2012, costs from £1395 per person including all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free Wi-Fi and free use of on-board bicycles, excluding flights. Top wine cruise In celebration of wine – wine themed cruises with presentations and excursions Francophiles and wine lovers will enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Rhone from Lyon to Arles, visiting wine growing regions such as Beaujolais, Côte du Rhône and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Arles and Avignon and the beautiful villages of Viviers, Tournon, Vienne and Trévoux. And to enhance their wine loving experience guests will cruise in the company of wine experts and vintners, enjoy complimentary tours to vineyards and cellars, wine lectures, wine tastings and fine dining with wine pairings on special `In Celebration of Wine’ cruises throughout November 2012. AmaWaterways’ 7 night `In Celebration of Wine’ cruises cost from £ 1525 for a ‘Legendary Wine Regions of the Rhone’ from Lyon to Arles , including all meals, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner, daily wine themed tours, presentations and wine tastings by wine hosts and free use of on board bicycles to explore on shore. Rhine and Danube Wine Cruise Departures throughout November 2012. Top for Christmas Christmas market cruises Savour the Christmas atmosphere and cruise on a luxury river cruiser through the heart of Europe, when the festive lights, the Christmas markets and often a dusting of snow capture the magic of Christmas. Between the end of November through to New Year, AmaWaterways’ luxury river cruisers offer guests time to visit the festively lit cities and villages with their Christmas markets piled high with gifts and decorations and where the festive scent of gingerbread, sizzling sausages and spicy mulled wine add to the Christmas atmosphere. Return to a luxury river cruiser teeming with atmosphere and adorned with Christmas trees, garlands, colourful lights and swags to complete the festive spirit. AmaWaterways’ 7 night Christmas Time cruise costs from £1265 pp, (based on 12th December departure) including all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, complimentary daily tours and excursions, free Wi-Fi and free use of on-board bicycles, excluding flights. Departures on 21st, 28th and 29th November, 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th and 27th December 2012. Top for wildlife Into Africa for a wildlife land-cruise spectacular ‘Africa Safaris and Wildlife Cruise’ programme, includes a four-night cruise aboard the beautiful MS Zambezi Queen, specially-designed for wildlife viewing on the Chobe River, preceded by a choice of three extensive land tours into the heart of Africa, from the expanses of the Serengeti to the awe-inspiring Chobe National Park and the towering landscape of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Each tour concludes with two nights in Victoria Falls. During the cruise the ship travels along the banks of Chobe National Park, home to one of the densest populations of wildlife in Africa. Here guests will encounter elephants, leopards, lions, and buffalo on excursions by boat or open-air vehicles, a visit to a local village, an authentic ‘boma’ dining experience and delicious cuisine on board. AmaWaterways’ three new Africa itineraries, ‘Stars of Africa’, `African Sunsets’ and `Golden Trails of Africa’, range from 16 to 19 days with prices from £5932pp, excluding flights and transfers including all meals on board, complimentary wine and berr with lunch and dinner, city hotels (b&b), all meals at the Lodges during the safaris. Top city cruise One cruise, three cities Three of Europe’s most spectacular and historic cities are included on AmaWaterways’ Legendary Danube cruise. Visit Austria’’s capital, Vienna, during 2012 when the city is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Klimt, the Slovak capital of Bratislava, with its historic castle and medieval streets, and the Hungarian capital, Budapest, divided into the old and the new by the mighty Danube, before continuing on to visit historic and pretty towns and villages in Austria and Germany. AmaWaterways’ seven-night Romantic Danube cruises from Budapest to Vilshofen departs on 31st October 2012 and costs from £1545pp including return flights, transfers, all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free Wi-Fi and free use of on-board bicycles. Top for ‘rail & sail’ Relax on a rail and cruise combination The combination of rail travel and river cruising must add up to one of the most relaxing and least stressful ways to holiday. With a new rail route direct from London to Cologne starting in 2013, river cruises along the Rhine and Danube will become more accessible by train, while new Seine cruises for 2013 will open up rail travel to France’s waterways, such as AmaWaterways’ 7 night Seine River from Paris to Vernon, Rouen, Les Andelys and Conflans before returning to Paris. Excursions include visits to the village of Giverny, where Monet lived for 43 years and tours of Honfleur, a charming French harbour town made famous from artist’s paintings, and the historic capital of Normandy, followed by an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches. The week long cruise costs from £1795pp (3rd May 2013) , including return rail travel and transfers, all meals on board, drinks with dinner, complimentary daily excursions, free wi-fi and free use of on board bicycles. Top for foodies Love food? Love river cruising. New from AmaWaterways for 2012 are complimentary `Culinary delights -sights and bites’ themed river cruises, incorporating cooking classes, food themed walking tours and food and wine tastings on a choice of European river cruise itineraries. The culinary experiences include visiting markets, cooking schools and distilleries, specialty food shops, chocolatiers and charcuteries, to appreciate local produce and prepare regional specialties such as the Bulgarian dish ‘banista’ and smoked salmon rolled with ‘cervelle de canuts’. And it doesn’t stop when guests get back on board, as the gourmet dining on all AmaWaterways’ ships comes as standard. AmaWaterways’ `Culinary delights, sights and bits’ complimentary tours are included on selected European river cruises throughout 2012, including a round trip from Paris along the Seine to Rouen, departing on 3rd May 2013 including return Eurostar, transfers and the 7 night cruise, from £1795.00 per person, including the sights & bites tours, all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free Wi-Fi and free use of on-board bicycles.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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