When a cruise line’s special interest offerings are always sell-outs, what comes next? New themes! For 2015, Avalon Waterways is introducing author and opera cruises to its already diverse and robust lineup of “passion” cruises.

Book lovers will adore the Author Cruise featuring guest lectures about must-see destinations around the world by renowned writer and Avalon Expression godmother Patricia Schultz of the international bestseller, 1000 Places to See Before You Die. Patricia will autograph books as the Expression sails the Blue Danube from Budapest to Vienna, Durnstein-Melk, Linz-Passau and Regensburg before reaching Nuremburg.

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Music enthusiasts will love the latest addition to the Avalon lineup of music-themed cruises – a 13-day adventure through a symphony of destinations, from Budapest to Prague, with thrilling live opera performances along the way.

 

Everything’s Flexible!

When DMI launched A-Rosa in North America and Canada just over a year ago, they were intent on creating the most all-inclusive upscale product in the river cruise industry. To date, they’ve increased the number of 2015 departures to 201 on the Rhone & Saone, Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle on five different vessels. Their appeal for younger cruisers has been boosted by offering such included amenities as open bar, gratuities, prepaid port charges, taxes and free WiFi. Perhaps most importantly, they’ve changed the way shore excursions are handled, giving each stateroom a 400 euro credit to be used either for a tour each day, or to put towards an ultra-luxe tour such as a balloon ride. To keep guests active, complimentary bicycles are available for independent touring. Dining on board has also become more flexible with two-hour windows for meals, upscale superior buffets with cooking stations combined with a private dining room and all-inclusive beverages. Guests preferring a three-course plated dinner can make reservations for the evenings of their choice.

Discovering The Columbia River

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Always wanted to retrace the steps of Lewis and Clark through the beautiful Columba River Gorge? Un-Cruises is ready to take you there in 2015, sailing round trip from Portland, Oregon. Itineraries will include the stunning Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and towering Multnomah Falls and will take guests through eight locks. They’ll enjoy a thrilling jet boat ride into Hells Canyon and hear the fascinating history of the Nez Perce, as well as tales of the early American pioneers – the perfect introduction for tours at Fort Clatsop and Fort Walla Walla. The daily narrative will be led by guest experts and historians as well as an onboard heritage team outfitted in period uniform. Guests will visit charming Victorian Astoria and tour the Columbia River Maritime Museum, the Maryhill Museum and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. To toast the experience, there will even be a private tour and tasting at a Washington winery.

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