River cruise specialist AmaWaterways will offer a new multi-ship, 46-night itinerary from Paris, France to Giurgiu, Bulgaria in 2023.
Scheduled for departure on 1 June 2023, the Seven River Journey Through Europe program is comprised of four back-to-back river cruises, encompassing the Seine, Rhône, Saône, Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube.
Countries visited will include France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
The itinerary comprises a seven-night sailing on the Seine aboard AmaLyra which starts and ends in Paris. Guests transfer to the TGV for the 1.5 hour train journey to Lyon where they board AmaKristina and cruise the Rhône and Saône. From there, guests transfer to Basel and sail for three-weeks on AmaPrima from Basel to Amsterdam, branching out on the Moselle to Luxembourg and likewise on the Main to Nuremberg. Following a transfer to Vilshofen on the Danube, guests will join their fourth ship, AmaVerde and explore the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.
Rudy Schreiner, President and Co-Founder of AmaWaterways said the extensive 46-night river cruise had been developed in response to demand for longer sailings and the thriving popularity for world cruises in the ocean cruising sector.
Interviewed during the Virtual River Cruise Showcase hosted by CLIA last week, Schreiner said ocean world cruises were “selling like hotcakes”.
Promoted to select past passengers already, Schreiner said the 46-night itinerary is proving so popular a second and third departure are being evaluated after demand was so high.
“We already have so many deposits,” he quipped.
Prices start at US$25,999 per person twin share.
The Seven River Journey will have a capacity of 144 passengers and is scheduled to go on sale to the public on 15 March 2021. Keep an eye on amawaterways.com/sevenriverjourney
More broadly, Schreiner stated that AmaWaterways was yet to decide if its planned May departures would be operating. But he expressed personal confidence that river cruising would most likely be back by the northern summer, from August 2021.
Schreiner said he believes AmaWaterways will likely attract more business from clients who in the past may have been more akin to taking an ocean cruise, but now seeking a more intimate experience with fewer crowds.
“Some people don’t want to go on the mega-ships, [and will] maybe want to go for a smaller environment.”
He said as river cruising operations resume, AmaWaterways’ ships may function with capacity as low as 20-25%, and that its vessels could be operational within “two- or three-weeks notice”, but would realistically require “at least six-weeks” for guests to make travel arrangements.
Schreiner also expressed his doubts over the immediate future of the Australian outbound river cruise market which has an ongoing outbound leisure travel ban in place.
While highlighting core markets for AmaWaterways (being the US and Canada), Schreiner added, “plus we have an Australian partner in APT.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen there in the next year with Australians,” he remarked.
Lead image: Moselle River (supplied)