Recipe: Traditional Hungarian Goulash

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Though many variations of Goulash exist, AmaWaterways is sharing this traditional, authentic recipe from the very heart of Hungary.

A Dish with Humble Beginnings

This classic Hungarian dish harkens back to cool fall nights in Hungarian fields. Imagine the herdsmen of Hungary’s history gathering to stir and savor Hungarian Goulash as it cooked over an open fire, the cold air nipping at their noses but a warm and tasty meal to keep them comfortable. Made with the freshest ingredients the Hungarian countryside can provide, this style goulash has been a cultural favorite for centuries. Everyone from shepherds to nobles fought off the fall chill with a bowl a goulash, but the dish owes its name to herdsmen, or “gulyás” in Hungarian, that first filled their cauldrons with the stewy combination of meat, spices, and wild vegetables.

Hungarian Culinary Culture

Hungarian Goulash is unique for its use of the spice that sets the country’s cuisine apart from the crowd – paprika. Considered the national spice by many, paprika was introduced to Hungary by the Turks around the 16th century. Since then, pinches of the rich, sweet, peppery powder have defined not just Hungarian Goulash but an entire culinary culture in which an abundance of paprika can be found in kitchens, gardens, and restaurants throughout the country.

While in Budapest, experience a true taste of Central Europe. It is a treat for the taste buds as much as the senses.

Ingredients

2 onions, sliced
½ cup¬corn oil
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
2 cups hot water
2 tsp. salt
3 bay leaves

OPTIONAL: Potatoes, chopped fresh parsley

Preparation Method

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet; add the onions and sauté lightly. Add the garlic and continue to sauté. Next add the meat, stir well with the other ingredients, and season with salt. Cover and let cook gently until meat browns. Add the sweet paprika, caraway seeds and bay leaves. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until meat has picked up the flavor of the seasonings. Adjust heat so that the goulash simmers very gently and let it cook for approximately one hour, or until meat is fork tender. Serve over buttered noodles or rice.

Makes 6 servings.

Uniworld Generations Collection voyages

Generations Collection with Uniworld

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruises believes that world travel is a family affair and have created their Generations Collection of voyages to reflect that. Every Uniworld Generations cruise includes special programs, events and excursions designed specifically for your world travellers in training.

SPECIAL GENERATIONS AMENITIES

  • 25% off the fare for travellers 4 to 17 years old when traveling with an adult (suites excluded)
  • Exciting shore excursions tailor-made for families and hosted by local experts
  • Kid-friendly menus for each meal and unlimited beverages onboard
  • Young Travellers’ Table, a special dining table reserved on certain nights just for our younger guests and Family Hosts
  • Onboard activities just for kids, such as cooking classes and dessert-making with the ship’s chef and pastry chef
  • Hands-on craft workshops tailored to the destinations you visit
  • Young travellers’ lounge and game room, complete with PlayStation, games, movies and local treats
  • Two dedicated Family Hosts to oversee all activities for Junior Cruisers (ages 4 to 12 years) and Teen Cruisers (ages 13 to 17 years)
  • Opportunities to “Live the Lingo” and learn words and phrases in other languages from our Family Hosts
  • Kids-only movie nights, where kids can enjoy popcorn-fueled screenings of family-friendly films along with their new onboard friends and Family Hosts
  • A special VIP ship tour with the Captain or Hotel Manager
  • Complimentary bicycles, helmets and Nordic walking sticks for use onshore
  • Young travellers will receive special surprise pillow gifts for each night of the cruise
  • Convenient departures scheduled during summer and winter breaks

Uniworld specializes in personalized travel, with the Generations Collection of voyages they have included extra special options for the younger travellers. Since everyone has different likes there are a range of onshore excursion and onboard activities available. Some are geared toward children while others are tailored for tweens and teens. Options such as these …

ART LOVERS – excursions and hands-on activities to inspire creative expression
Sample: Glassblowing and Mask-making in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages

CURIOUS MINDS – Excursions designed to cultivate a greater sense of curiosity
Sample: NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages

LET’S GO – Exhilarating outdoor pursuits geared especially towards tween and teens
Sample: Gondola rowing in Venice on select Gems of Northern Italy voyages

THRILL SEEKERS – Exciting adventures that will appeal to junior adrenaline junkies
Sample: Climbing Forest in Germany on select Castles along the Rhine voyages

ASPIRING FOODIES – Tasty activities for adventourous eaters seeking new flavours
Sample: Pretzel-twisting workshop in Wertheim on select Classic Christmas Markets voyages

MYSTERIOUS STUFF – Excursions for young people who love intriguing tales with a historical twist
Sample: Nuremberg’s secret tunnels on select Delightful Danube & Prague voyages

 

With a Uniworld Generations Collections voyage you can be sure children, teens, tweens and adults alike will come home with memories to last a lifetime.

Europe River Cruise with Viking

Exploring the rivers of Europe with Viking

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Are you charmed by the idea of exploring Europe but do not want a traditional coach tour? You want to be right in the heart of the towns and villages but still want the comfort of having a guide? Then a river cruise sounds just about perfect for you! Immerse yourself in the Old World as you sail Europe’s most iconic rivers. Discover Danube gems like Vienna and Budapest. See storied Rhine castles. Trace French history along the Seine. From the Main to the Moselle, the Douro to the Dordogne, the Viking experience is unsurpassed.

Why Cruise the Rivers of Europe with Viking?
Viking takes you to the heart of Europe via its grand waterways, providing you with boundless insight into the continent’s cultural and historic treasures. Immerse yourself in the storybook villages, vibrant cultural centers and picturesque landscapes of The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland, and unlock a whole new world of discovery. Here is a sample of what you will see on one of their European river cruises:

  • Culinary delights in Lyon, France
  • Medieval Prague, “City of a Thousand Spires”
  • The elegant boulevards and grand monuments of Paris
  • Historic Wittenberg, home to Martin Luther
  • Fairytale windmills of The Netherlands
  • Wine tastings in the quintas of Portugal’s Douro Valley
  • Budapest’s regal Parliament building and Chain Bridge
  • Vienna’s inspirational legacy of classical music
  • France’s famed wineries in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and beyond

 

The Viking Difference

Award-Winning Viking Longships – Viking’s Longships showcase innovative engineering, streamlined Scandinavian design with understated elegance, and provide you with unprecedented levels of comfort designed to connect you to your destination.

Unparallelled Staterooms & Suites – with their exclusive patented corridor configuration, Viking is able to offer a variety of stateroom choices that include spacious Veranda and French Balcony staterooms. As well as Veranda and Explorer Suites.

Destination Focused Dining – Menus include regional cuisine and always available classics enhanced with locally sourced ingredients, so you can explore new cultures through food.

Award-Winning Service – Viking has over 7,000 staff members worldwide devoted to making your stay on board as memorable as possible. And with 90% of their staff returning year after year, you can expect the same quality service, cruise after cruise.

Onboard Enrichment Programs – While sailing you’ll want to take advantage of Cultural enrichment programs to supplement your onshore experience such as Guest Lectures & Port Talks, Destination Performances, Craft and Cooking Demonstrations and Destination Insight films available right in your stateroom.

Onshore Experiences – You’ll enjoy an included guided excursion in every port, plus The Viking Way® of exploration.

 

THE RIVERS OF EUROPE

Danube River Cruises
Coursing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea, the Danube is the soul of Central Europe. Join us along these culture-rich banks, whose scenic vineyards, ancient monasteries and elegant cities have inspired travelers for centuries.

Rhine River Cruises
Raise a glass of Riesling to our acclaimed Rhine River cruises through Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands. See how the Rhine, Main and Moselle river systems unfold to create a spellbinding display of storybook villages, Dutch windmills, German vineyards and Gothic cities.

Elbe River Cruises
Sail the Elbe to reaches seldom seen in Germany and the Czech Republic. Insights greet you at every bend as you explore majestic Berlin and Prague, delve into Wittenberg’s religious history and contrast the delicacy of Meissen porcelain with the rocky brawn of Saxon Switzerland.

Main River Cruises
Winding between Mainz and Bamberg, the Main passes through 34 locks—16 more connect it to the Danube via the Main-Danube Canal. While this engineering feat enables river travel across the entire length of Europe, it also unlocks a trove of unspoiled landscapes and historic towns.

Seine River Cruises
The Seine meanders on a serpentine path through the Norman countryside, an historic region of great pastoral beauty. Drift along dreamy apple orchards and medieval ruins. Explore elegant Paris. See Monet’s Giverny home. And honor World War II heroes on Normandy beaches.

Moselle River Cruises
The romantic Moselle winds through an enchanting landscape of castles, picture-book villages and terraced slate hillsides that form one of the world’s richest wine regions. With a settled history that predates the Romans, it is yours to discover on one of our Moselle river cruises.

Saône River Cruises
Cruise the Saône with Viking, as gentle countryside and historic cities unfold before you. Savor Lyon, France’s traditional gastronomic capital. Taste ruby-red wines in the lush vineyards of Beaujolais and Burgundy. Join us to experience this rewarding corner of France, up close.

Rhône River Cruises
Enjoy the diverse pleasures of life along the Rhône with Viking. Savor Lyon, France’s gastronomic heart; the Beaujolais wine region; quaint Provençal villages; and historic Avignon and Arles. For those who love fine food, beauty and riveting history, Rhône cruises are pure bliss.

Douro River Cruises
Our Portugal cruises uncover one of Europe’s oldest and most renowned wine regions. Cruise the Douro River through ancient wine estates, passing barcos rabelos laden with casks en route to Porto and Lisbon. A sublimely scenic corner of Europe, with equally sublime food and wine.

 

And although not traditionally “Europe” river cruises through Russia and the Ukraine are not to be missed!

Russia River Cruises
The Viking fleet is the finest operating along Russia’s rivers today, delivering eye-opening experiences in historic Moscow and canal-laced St. Petersburg. Beyond, see the domed churches of Uglich and Yaroslavl, and witness the seldom seen rural tranquility of this enigmatic country.

Ukraine River Cruises
Uncover Europe’s best-kept secret as you sail Ukraine’s Dnieper River through a maze of whisper-thin tributaries and village-studded bays. Colorful folk traditions, hearty cuisine and rich culture lead the way from the Golden Gates of Kiev to the Odessa Steps of the Black Sea.

 

Destination focused. Culturally enriching. Carefully curated. Isn’t it time you discover what makes Viking the world’s leading small ship cruise line? Check out Vikings current offers here

Avalon Waterways introduces shorter itineraries in Europe

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It’s no secret that Canadians love their vacation breaks. From weekend getaways to shorter stays in more exotic destinations, it seems we like to vacation for a shorter time – and more often.

In 2020, Avalon Waterways will be the only river cruise company offering time-starved travellers – or those wanting to dip their toes in river cruise waters for the first time – a choice of 4, 5 and 6 day river cruise itineraries comprising A Taste of the Rhine, Heart of Germany and A Taste of the Danube.

Priced from $2,586 Cdn (all prices exclude airfare), the new A Taste of the Rhine is a 5-day cruise featuring immersive opportunities to explore must-see sites along the Rhine River including: a culinary walk through Amsterdam, a guided tour of Cologne, a wine-tasting in Boppard, free time in Rudesheim and of course, cruising through the picturesque, castle-dotted Rhine Gorge.

Formerly a Christmas markets cruise, the new 6-day Heart of Germany will be offered year-round in 2020. Priced from $2,743 Cdn, this itinerary features stops along the Main River and Main-Danube Canal including a guided walk through a picturesque Bavarian village, time in Würzburg with its towering fortress and Baroque Bishop’s residence, enjoying Bavarian wines in Kitzingen, partaking in an onboard beer-tasting near Volkach, and taking in the sites of Bamberg, a Bavarian oasis built on seven hills. The cruise concludes in Nuremberg.

Priced from just $1,449 Cdn, the 4-day A Taste of the Danube has become a very popular itinerary for first-time river cruisers and time-starved travellers alike, with visits to Budapest, Bratislava, Melk and Dürnstein. The cruise ends in Vienna.

For those travellers who are testing the river cruise-waters but want to add on time on land in popular European destinations, Avalon Waterways is introducing three Your Way options in 2020: 1) An Avalon Waterways land extension; 2) A Monograms independent vacation package or 3) A Globus escorted touring vacation.

“With our new Your Way program, we’re making it easier for travellers to extend their river cruise vacation with land itineraries that are perfectly suited to their preferences and budget,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In addition, with our exclusive onboard Avalon Choice feature on every itinerary, our guests have their pick of the widest array of included excursions, from classic sightseeing to immersive discoveries and active adventures.”

All cruise itineraries – short and long – sail on Avalon Waterways’ signature Suite Ships which provide guest two full decks of 200-square-foot, one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites featuring the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which river cruising is famous.

Outlander author to escort Avalon Waterways European river cruise

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AVALON INVITES TRAVELLERS TO BOOK A NOVEL VACATION IN 2020 PLUS OTHER NEW “SPECIAL INTEREST” CRUISES

It’s bound to be the most memorable trip of 2020 (or a lifetime): author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER series Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting a NEW Author Cruise on the Rhine River, giving fans the chance to get insider OUTLANDER insight with their favourite author for a week in June of 2020.

“Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives while also inspiring travel with her literature,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “In her OUTLANDER series of novels and novellas – now an award-winning series on W Network – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland, North America, France, Germany as well as dozens of destinations across the globe. On the June 9, 2020 departure of Avalon’s Romantic Rhine Author Cruise with Diana Gabaldon from Basel to Amsterdam, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise – and daily excursions – with an intimate group of her fans.”

A MAGICAL JOURNEY: From the German Black Forest of fairy tales to the historic canals of Amsterdam, Avalon Waterways and Diana Gabaldon invite travellers to savour the magic of the Rhine River. This week-long vacation on board the Avalon Expression (with a capacity of just 166 passengers) delivers cruisers to the heart of Europe to explore towns and cities along the Rhine River while they enjoy panoramic views and spectacular, castle-lined backdrops day and night.

Also NEW for 2020 is themed cruise Reflections on the Seine for Photography Enthusiasts hosted by Brenda Tharp, photography veteran and co-author of EXTRAORDINARY EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHY.
Avalon Waterways invites photography enthusiasts and aspiring shutterbugs on this picture-perfect itinerary along the Seine River to learn from a seasoned photographer, cruise through postcard-perfect backdrops and enjoy the beauty and scenes of France, from Paris, the “City of Light,” to Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stops in between include the WWII Landing Beaches in Normandy, Monet’s Giverny, Rouen’s astronomical clock, Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Napoléon’s Chateau de Malmaison.

“Avalon’s Special Interest itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Hoffee. “In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed vacations and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas markets. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled vacations have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”

Other 2020 Special Interest cruises include:

Palate-Pleasing Adventures: NEW Culinary Cruises.
Enter a food-lover’s paradise in the land of haute cuisine – France! These river cruises invite travellers to enjoy delectable flavours, decadent aromas and delightful textures sure to send taste buds into overdrive.
NEW A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence (March 31 departure)
NEW A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhone Revealed (March 24 departure)

The World in Red & White: Wine Cruises.
Whether travellers are weekend-sippers or wannabe sommeliers, it’s time to take a cruise where the river and Rieslings flow. On these 2020 wine cruises, vino lovers of the world will unite with some of the world’s most renowned winemakers and wine masters on the rolling vineyards of Europe.
NEW Danube Dreams for Wine Lovers (April 30 and October 29 departures)
Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (October 6, October 20 and October 25 departure)
Grand France for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)

Adventure is Brewing: Beer Cruises.
Pairing fascinating history with a beverage that goes just as far back in time, an Avalon Beer Cruise promises incredible scenery and visits to the greatest beer scenes in Europe.
Tulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 4 departure)
Enchanted Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (July 16 departure)
Magnificent Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (October 27 departure)

Holiday Joy and Jolly Abound on Festive Time Cruises.
Experience the holiday season the European way! Travellers will enjoy the jolly atmosphere on their festively decorated Suite Ship as they delight in the sights, smells, tastes and local traditions of Europe’s Christmas markets. In 2020, Avalon Waterways is offering 16 Christmas Market Cruises throughout Europe.

Wonder in Bloom: Garden & Nature Cruises.
Spring in Holland and Belgium is no time to tiptoe through the tulips. It’s time to sail and stroll through their glorious splendour.
Tulip Time Cruise for Garden & Nature Lovers (April 11 and 18 departures)

Remembrance on the River: World War I and II Cruises.
All river cruises venture back in time. These World War I and II-themed history cruises make a special trip to honour and commemorate the significant sites of the fearless and fallen who fought for freedom.
Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium WW1 Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)

Once Upon a Castle: Habsburg Cruises.
In fairytale settings of Germany, Austria and Hungary, Avalon Waterways is rolling out the red carpet for travellers sailing along the Danube. From the palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and estates of the surrounding countryside, it’s time to sip Champagne in the same reception rooms and walk the same art-filled corridors of Europe’s royal past.
Danube Dreams with Habsburg & Royalty (July 11 departure)
From the Danube Delta to Prague with Habsburg & Royalty (July 2 departure)

Under the Star: Jewish Heritage Cruises.
History’s most moving chapters come to life sailing down the Danube, Rhine and Rhône Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, explore museums and monuments, cemeteries and synagogues and learn the touching stories behind them all.
Romantic Rhine with Jewish Heritage (July 21 departure)
Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (July 14 departure)
The Legendary Danube with Jewish Heritage (August 13 departure)

Passion for the Passion Play.
Finally, for travellers who have been waiting years (and years) to experience Oberammergau’s Passion Play – a theatrical tradition that has taken place every 10 years since 1634 – Avalon Waterways is delivering an unforgettable cruise experience and preferred seating at the Passion Play.
Danube Dreams with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)

 

Avalon Illumination

Avalon Waterways Launches Flash Sale

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Avalon Waterways just announced it has launched its newest offer – a flash sale for European River Cruise sailings! You will be able to save $1,200 per person PLUS fly from Canada for just $499!

The charms of European river cruising are legendary: sailing at a leisurely pace past castles and vineyards, stepping off the ship docked in the heart of a centuries’ old town or city, gourmet meals – with wine included – in the company of new-found friends.

And now thanks to a flash sale from Avalon Waterways, these charms are more accessible to Canadians than ever. They have slashed prices on a select number of their Tulip Time and Active & Discovery on the Rhine sailings.

Not only will you save $1,200 per person on each one of these 16 sailings, but you will have access to airfares to Europe at incredibly low prices.  Using major scheduled airlines, Avalon will fly you from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal for just $499, taxes included.  And for just $100 to $150 more, you can add on connecting fares from 16 additional cities across Canada.*

Tulip Time cruises are a wonderful way to get a jump on spring. Sailing past acres of colourful tulip fields and enjoying the urban vibe of cities including Amsterdam and Belgium’s Antwerp, these 8-day sailings are in March. During the Flash Sale, prices start at $1,895 (excluding airfare).

Or sail from Amsterdam down the romantic Rhine on an 8-day Active & Discovery sailing – your choice of numerous departures from May to October. Every day you can choose a classic walking tour, an experience of discovery with, say, a local producer or vintner or a shoreside activity such as guided hike. All included in the Avalon price. During the Flash Sale, prices start at $3,209 (excluding airfare). Some departures sail from Wiesbaden, Germany back to Amsterdam.

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises Announces Complete 2021 Deployment

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Luxury line becomes the first river company to open its reservations nearly three years in advance

Book Now Savings guarantee the lowest fares with up to $2,000 per suite on select sailings

MIAMI, November 1, 2018 – Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line, announced the complete deployment for its award-winning fleet in 2021 giving travelers nearly three years in advance to plan luxury vacations along Europe’s rivers. The line’s five luxury river ships – Crystal Mozart and the four identical sister ships Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler, and Crystal Ravel – will sail the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers on itineraries of seven to 16 days. With 45 unique ports of call, dozens of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, every voyage features at least one overnight stay, many with double and even triple overnights, allowing guests to further immerse themselves in the ports’ charm and history, or venture to nearby towns for broader experiences.

“We have seen such great demand and increasing desire by luxury travelers to secure their ideal European vacations earlier than ever and we are pleased to make our complete offerings for 2019, 2020 and now 2021 available for booking,” said Walter Littlejohn, Crystal River Cruises’ vice president and managing director. “Not only does this advance ability to plan help ensure that our guests enjoy their Crystal River Experience precisely the way they wish, but our Book Now Savings adds more incentive to book early, guaranteeing the best fares for guests who plan ahead.

“In 2021, more than 180 Crystal River Cruises’ departures invite the most discerning travelers to experience the nuances of true luxury on Europe’s rivers – a standard unmatched by any other line. UNESCO-recognized Old Towns in Bamberg and Brugge, epicenters of art and music in Vienna and Salzburg and dramatic landscapes like the Wachau Valley and Middle Rhine Valley add historic and natural flavor to itineraries that also feature contemporary hubs like Düsseldorf and Basel,” Littlejohn added.

The “Eastern Danube Discoveries” voyage will debut on Crystal Mozart offering deeper exploration of Hungary as well as Serbia and Croatia. Other itineraries highlight the seasonal delights of riverside destinations, like springtime “Tulips & Windmills” sailings that explore the flower-laden fields of the Netherlands and Belgium; and winter sailings that focus on the dazzling spectacles of the region’s famed Christmas markets. Crystal will also sail the river less traveled, with “Enchanting Moselle” voyages through the scenic Moselle Valley.

Seemingly timeless medieval towns mix beautifully on Crystal River Cruises with modern hubs of culture and commerce. Guests can explore Germany’s oldest town of Trier, Beethoven’s birthplace in Bonn, the famed windmills of Amsterdam, Dusseldorf’s vibrant art and culinary scene and the stunning musical heritage of Vienna. On every voyage, the Crystal River Collection of more than 200 inclusive, curated experiences ashore will enhance the journey for guests with an abundance of options that cater to varied interests. Complementary Signature Events, optional more elaborate excursions and exclusive dining experiences are also on offer.

Now available for booking, Crystal River Cruises’ 2021 itineraries include:

Rhine & Moselle River cruises: Crystal Bach and Crystal Debussy

“Legendary Rhine,” 7 nights, Basel to Amsterdam
Featuring overnights in Koblenz and Amsterdam; calling in Cologne, Rüdesheim and Mannheim, Germany; and Strasbourg, France.

“Romantic Rhine,” 7 nights, Amsterdam to Basel
Featuring overnights in Koblenz and Amsterdam; calling in Cologne, Rüdesheim and Mannheim, Germany; and Strasbourg, France, and cruising through Boppard and Lorelei, Germany.

“Tulips and Windmills,” 7 nights, Amsterdam Roundtrip
Beginning and ending with overnight stays in Amsterdam; calling in Kinderdijk, Hoorn, Rotterdam and Middleburg, Netherlands; and Ghent and Antwerp, Belgium.

“Enchanting Moselle,” 10 nights, Amsterdam Roundtrip
Featuring overnight stays in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Trier, Germany; calling in Dusseldorf, Koblenz, Bernkastel, Cochem and Bonn, Germany; and Arnhem, Netherlands.

“Rhine Christmas Markets,” 10 nights, Amsterdam to Basel/Basel to Amsterdam
Beginning and ending with overnights in Basel and Amsterdam (double overnight), as well as overnights in Koblenz, Germany; calling in Rüdesheim, Speyer, Breisach, Cologne and Strasbourg, France.

 

Danube River cruises: Crystal Mozart, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel

“Eastern Danube Discoveries,” 11 nights, Vienna Roundtrip
Beginning and ending with overnights in Vienna; also calling in Esztergom, Budapest, Visegrad, Mohács and Kalocsa, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; Vukovar, Croatia; Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia and cruising through Iron Gate Gorge.

“Delightful Danube,” 7 nights, Budapest to Regensburg/Regensburg to Budapest
Featuring overnights in Budapest, Regensburg and Vienna; calling in Dürnstein and Melk, Austria; and Passau, Germany, as well as cruising the Wachau Valley.

“Danube Serenade,” 7 nights, Vienna to Budapest/Budapest to Vienna
Featuring overnights in Vienna and Budapest; calling in Dürnstein, Melk, Linz and Krems, Austria; and Bratislava, Slovakia, and cruising the Wachau Valley.

“Treasures of the Danube,” 10 nights, Vienna Roundtrip
Beginning and ending with overnights in Vienna and also overnighting in Budapest and Passau; calling in Bratislava, Slovakia; Dürnstein, Melk and Linz, Austria; and cruising the Wachau Valley.

“Christmas Wonders of the Danube,” 7 nights, Budapest to Passau/Passau to Budapest
Featuring overnights in Vienna and Budapest; calling in Bratislava, Slovakia; Krems, Melk and Linz, Austria and cruising the Wachau Valley.

 

Ultimate Journeys – Danube, Rhine & Main Rivers combined

“Grand Europe,” 16 nights, Budapest to Amsterdam/Amsterdam to Budapest
Overnighting in Budapest, Vienna, Amsterdam, Regensburg (westbound only) and Rüdesheim (eastbound only); calling in Bratislava, Slovakia; Dürnstein and Melk, Austria; and Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Rüdesheim, Bamberg, Cologne, Miltenberg and Würzburg, Germany, as well as Koblenz, Germany and the Rhine Gorge on the westbound route; and cruising the middle Rhine Valley.

 

Holiday Cruises

December 22 – Crystal Ravel Holiday Cruise, 11 nights, Budapest to Regensburg with New Year’s Eve in Regensburg
Beginning and ending with double overnights in Budapest and Regensburg (including New Year’s Eve), respectively, including New Year’s Eve, and also overnighting in Vienna; calling in Passau, Germany; Krems, Melk and Linz, Austria; and Bratislava, Slovakia.

December 22 – Crystal Bach Holiday Cruise, 11 nights, Basel to Amsterdam with New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam
Beginning with three nights in Basel (including Christmas Eve and day), ending with a double overnight in Amsterdam (including New Year’s Eve) and also overnighting in Breisach; calling in Strasbourg, France; Mannheim, Worms, Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Dusseldorf, Germany; Arnhem and Lelystad, Netherlands.

December 23 – Crystal Mahler Holiday Cruise, 10 nights, Regensburg to Budapest with New Year’s Eve in Vienna
Beginning with an overnight in Regensburg and ending with a double overnight in Vienna (including New Year’s Eve) and also overnighting in Linz and Budapest; calling in Melk, Austria; Passau, Germany; Esztergom, Hungary; and Bratislava, Slovakia.

 

Crystal’s new-build river vessels are the river cruising industry’s first and only all-balcony, all-suite, all-butler vessels in Europe, with every category of accommodation positioned above the water line. All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows™ and walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms are featured in most categories. Sister-ship Crystal Mozart is Europe’s most spacious river ship, at twice the width of any other, and offers an unrivalled number of social spaces, restaurants and the largest spa on the rivers.

All of Crystal’s river ships feature private butler service in every room category, king-sized beds, ETRO amenities, robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs. Additional enticing features include farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court for entertainment, enrichment presentations and sweeping views of the countryside. Crystal’s attention to detail reaches ashore, as guests are transported on the days’ adventures in luxury motor coaches equipped with complimentary water and Wi-Fi for added convenience and comfort.

Fares for Crystal River Cruises’ 2021 voyages start at $2,399 per person. Book Now Savings are up to $2,000 per suite on select voyages through November 30, 2018. Crystal also recently unveiled the complete deployment for 2020, which features new itineraries and special programming, including the decennial Oberammergau Passion Play.

Crystal Cruises welcomes Crystal Debussy

Crystal Cruises welcomes Crystal Debussy

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Crystal Debussy Officially Joins Crystal River Cruises Fleet During Christening Ceremony In Amsterdam

MIAMI, May 28, 2018 – Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line™, officially welcomed its newest ship to the fleet today, as Crystal Debussy was christened in Amsterdam. Marking the occasion were Crystal’s president and CEO, Tom Wolber, Crystal River Cruises’ vice president and managing director, Walter Littlejohn, and Crystal Debussy’s godmother, Broadway star Rachel York.

The ceremony took place during the ship’s three-day stay in Amsterdam on its 10-day “Splendors of the Rhine” voyage, allowing guests aboard the sailing to participate in the traditional festivities, while Crystal crew members looked on from the decks of the ship.

“Crystal River Cruises has raised the bar of excellence with each new ship, and now again as Crystal Debussy joins the fleet, effectively redefining true luxury in the river industry,” Wolber said. “At the heart of this achievement are the crew and officers, all of whom are members of the Crystal team that ensure that every detail of our guests’ experience is seamless, from ship to shore.”

Littlejohn, who presided over the ceremony as emcee, added, “It is fitting that our crew and guests, as well as representatives from our parent company and the city and port of Amsterdam are all part of this milestone for Crystal Debussy and the Crystal River fleet. They each embody elements of the Crystal Family and our vision to create the most memorable luxury travel experiences in the world.”

Godmother Rachel York serenaded guests with her rendition of “Defying Gravity,” a nod to her esteemed career on the stages of the world, including those aboard Crystal’s ships as part of the Crystal on Broadway program.

“Crystal Debussy is an exquisitely-designed ship and her crew are so warm and welcoming,” York said. “I am truly honored to be the Godmother of this beautiful ship.”

Crystal Debussy joins Crystal River Cruises, which was voted “Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure in the magazine’s 2017 World’s Best Awards.

Sailing itineraries between Amsterdam and Basel, the 106-guest Crystal Debussy embarked on her maiden voyage along the Rhine River on April 9. Guests visit ports in the Netherlands and Belgium on her seven-day itinerary, with 10-day voyages also calling in Germany. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the ship sails routes of seven and 10 days between Amsterdam and Basel along the Rhine and Moselle rivers, visiting Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.

Crystal’s new river vessels are the river cruising industry’s first and only all-balcony, all-suite, all-butler vessels in Europe, with every category of accommodation positioned above the waterline. They offer Crystal’s acclaimed butler service in every room category, king-sized beds, Panoramic Balcony-Windows™, walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms in most categories, ETRO amenities, robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs. Additional enticing features include farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court for entertainment, enrichment presentations and sweeping views of the countryside.

 

Photo: Captain Ferenc (Captain, Crystal Debussy), Tom Wolber (President & CEO, Crystal Cruises), Walter Littlejohn (Vice President and Managing Director, Crystal River Cruises) and Rachel York (Godmother)

Avalon Waterways

Avalon’s Active Discovery cruises

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 1158 0

Avalon’s Active Discovery river cruises in Europe: learn, encounter, get out there!

European river cruises are getting more popular each year – and what’s not to like?  Cruising at a leisurely pace through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, past ancient vineyards and medieval towns.  So close to shore you can wave to locals walking their dogs (who, in our experience, always wave back).

Add fine dining with delicious regional wines and beers and you’ve got a recipe for a great vacation!

Until recently, though, some would-be cruisers worried that a European river cruise didn’t offer options for a holiday where you can keep up your fitness regime from home (perhaps the impression of “Too much time sitting listening to lectures on Beethoven”?)

To the rescue:  Avalon Waterways and their Active Discovery Cruises.

Launched last year on the Danube River and proving so popular that the company has this year added the Rhine and next year will add France’s Rhône, they combine just the right amount of fitness and fun that lots of Canadians are looking for.

Every day you have the option of three types of shore excursion:

– “Active” – such as a guided biking tour or run…perhaps a hike through vineyards or even a canoeing trip.  How Canadian is that!

– “Discovery” – a special encounter, perhaps with a local chocolatier or farmer…channel your inner Van Gogh at a painting class in Amsterdam or have a hoot at a language lesson in “Fungarian” in Budapest.

– “Classic” – usually a guided walking tour in the company of a local who’s an expert in culture, history, architecture – and where the best shopping is!

Best of all, every shore excursion is included in the price of your Avalon Waterways cruise – and you don’t need to decide which one you want to take until that day.

Avalon’s sparkling new ships accommodate a maximum of just 168 passengers and offer a small but lovely selection of dining options:  the main restaurant, where expansive buffet breakfasts and lunches and four-course sit-down dinners are served; the Bistro Resto for small-plate, light dinners; and the roof-top Sky Deck grill for al-fresco lunches.  Continental breakfast served to your cabin is free of charge and self-serve teas and specialty coffees are always on tap in the Club Lounge.  Local wines and beers are included at lunch and dinner.

Nightly entertainment comprises lively and interesting port talks as well as live entertainment, often entertainers who come on board just for the evening to give you an authentic taste of local music.

 

To make your 2018 or 2019 European River cruise a reality connect with an ilovecruising.com cruise specialist today!

Crystal Ravel Joins Crystal River Cruises Fleet

Posted By : Courtney Anderson/ 943 0

The new luxury ship will set sail on European rivers next month

MIAMI, April 12, 2018 – The fifth luxury vessel for Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line™, was officially handed over to the company today in Wismar, Germany. Crystal president and CEO, Tom Wolber, took the “keys” to Crystal Ravel, welcoming the ship to the award-winning fleet ahead of its maiden voyage next month.

The handover ceremony for Crystal Ravel took place at MV WERFTEN shipyard, where each of her predecessors were built. Joining Wolber were Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO of Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK), Colin Au, group president of GHK, and Jarmo Laasko, Managing Director of MV WERFTEN. They were joined by the ambassador of Malaysia, Sarah Nava Rani Al Bakri Devadason, who attended as the guest of honor.

“We are thrilled to welcome Crystal Ravel to the fleet, which will further expand the many choices our guests have for experiencing luxury on the rivers of Europe,” Wolber said. “Since launching Crystal River Cruises two years ago, our ships and their dedicated staff and crew have consistently raised the bar of excellence in the industry. Once again, I thank the experts at MV WERFTEN for their continued partnership and for sharing our commitment to building and delivering award-winning vessels.”

“Crystal Ravel is the fourth river cruise ship that was built at our shipyard – a ship that combines comfort and elegance with the highest standards in safety and navigation,” said Jarmo Laakso, Managing Director of MV WERFTEN. “Within eight months we were able to deliver four river ships to Crystal River Cruises. I would like to thank all of MV WERFTEN’s employees, our partners and the Crystal team for this achievement.”

Crystal launched its Crystal River Cruises experiences in 2016 with Crystal Mozart and was quickly voted “Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure in the magazine’s 2017 World’s Best Awards after only one year in operation. The new ships comprise the first and only all-suite, all-balcony, all-butler ships on Europe’s rivers, boasting all categories of accommodations above the water line.

Crystal Ravel joins Crystal River Cruises approximately one month after her sister ship, Crystal Debussy, was received by the company at the shipyard. Crystal Debussy embarked on her maiden voyage last week on April 9 from Amsterdam.

Crystal Ravel embarks on May 10 from Basel to Vienna, and sails itineraries along the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle rivers visiting medieval towns and cosmopolitan hubs in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland and Slovakia. Like her newly built sister ships Crystal Bach, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Debussy, the 106-guest Crystal Ravel offers Crystal’s acclaimed butler service in every room category, king-sized beds, Panoramic Balcony-Windows™, walk-in closets and dual vanity in the bathrooms in most categories, ETRO robes and slippers, and wall-mounted flat-screen HD TVs.

Additional enticing features include farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries: the elegant Waterside Restaurant, namesake Bistro cafés and the exclusive Vintage Room; and the Palm Court for entertainment, enrichment presentations and sweeping views of the countryside.

As with all Crystal River Cruises voyages, more than 200 inclusive shore-side adventures enhance the journey. Each river itinerary also feature inclusive Signature Events – special events that offer rare access and musical performances in iconic landmarks including Vienna’s Belvedere Palace, Linz’s St. Florian Monastery, Rüdesheim’s Monastery Eberbach, and others.

To ensure that every detail of each experience is in line with Crystal’s exacting standards of service, excursion group sizes are limited to no more than 15 guests; for larger groups, guides are available to lead the tours in German, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages upon request. Crystal Collection shore excursions offer guest transport to iconic sites and regions via spacious motor coaches that include free WiFi.