There’s a reason so many great cities are built along rivers. They provide natural highways to go from the city to the country and to other cities. They offer majestic views. Beyond the practical, rivers make life along them much more pleasant. So it’s no wonder so many travelers take to river cruises. They can bring you into the heart of a destination, telling the story of the place along their bends. Some of our favorite lines have introduced new ships and itineraries that river cruise enthusiasts should check out.
The new 82-passenger Viking Osiris debuted late last year and was specially built for sailing the Nile. Its sister ship, Viking Aton, will begin sailing in August on the 12-day Pharaohs and Pyramids itinerary.
“Egypt has always drawn curious explorers for its rich history and ancient antiquities, and ever since we first began operating on the Nile River in 2004, our guests continue to be amazed by the country’s many cultural treasures,” Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said at Osiris’ christening.
Closer to home, Viking has unveiled the 386-guest Viking Mississippi, purpose-built for voyages between New Orleans and St. Paul on the great river of the U.S. Voyages from one end to the other last 15 or 17 days. There are also eight-day sailings that highlight specific sections of the river, such as New Orleans to Memphis and St. Paul to St. Louis.
The line’s Colors of Provence itinerary gets a little soul on the Aug. 24 seven-night sailing from Arles to Lyon, with an additional three nights in Paris. The “Soulful Epicurean Experience” showcases France’s Black history with special tours in Arles and Paris, plus a specially curated Josephine Baker excursion and jazz performances.
The Black History of Paris tour includes a walk through the city’s African district, “renowned for its African food and street vendors, and a visit to Little Africa, a gallery space and cultural initiative in La Goutte d’or district.”
Uniworld will feature two mystery cruises in Europe this year, one a 10-day sailing starting and ending in Amsterdam departing June 18, the other a 10-day France cruise from Nice to Lyon starting July 7. The start and end points are known, but the excursions, itineraries and special events are a complete surprise.
The line is debuting a cruise and rail trip through India, with seven nights along the Ganges and another week on a private luxury train through the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan to Mumbai. The 16-night journey departs Oct. 28.
With three December sailings, Uniworld’s Nile offering takes on a family atmosphere for Generations Collection offerings. The itinerary mirrors the 12-day Splendors of Egypt and the Nile with extra family-themed experiences, including sand dune boarding and a friendly soccer match with local children.