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river cruising | cover story


Scenic Splendor


n WE SUGGEST: Avalon Waterways’ eight-day Romantic Rhine cruise n WHY: Panoramic windows allow guests to capture dramatic snapshots of the Rhine Gorge, where more than 40 picturesque castles and fortresses are scattered over the hillside and villages line the riverbanks. Discover myths and legends, including Lorelei, the beautiful siren of the rocks; visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz; take an excursion to the Black Forest; and sip exquisite wines from the surrounding vineyards. n THE DETAILS:Te seven-night Amsterdam to Basel cruise is priced from $2,449 per person departing April 5, 2015. Te price includes tours, lectures and meals. avalonwaterways.com n WHERE ELSE: CroisiEurope offers a series of ‘Romantic Rhine’ cruises, including a seven-day Alsace and the Romantic Rhine Valley sailing, between Germany and France, taking the Alsatian wine-producing region. Priced from $1,530 per person, double. croisieurope.com


Burg Stahleck, Germany Below: Tulip fields, Netherlands


Along the Rhine Gorge, more than 40 castles and fortresses are scattered over the hillside and villages line the riverbanks


City Sights


nWE SUGGEST: Viking’s 15-day Grand European Tour along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers n WHY: Viking’s most popular itinerary begins in Amsterdam, and encompasses numerous cities including Cologne, Nuremberg, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. From the Netherlands’ windmill-studded tulip fields to Germany’s fairytale castles, and from the engineering marvel of the Main-Danube Canal to the picturesque vineyards of Austria’s Wachau Valley, this epic voyage presents the highlights of Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Along the way, discover the legend of the Lorelei, the art of glassblowing, the music of Mozart and more.


n THE DETAILS: Tis itinerary runs through to November and includes sailings on the new Viking Longships. Priced from $3,762 per person, it includes 13 guided tours, all meals, drinks, visits to nine UNESCO sites and entertainment, plus free wi-fi, L’Occitane products and bottled water in every room. vikingrivercruises.com n WHERE ELSE: If the political situation is resolved, Uniworld’s 13-day Imperial Waterways of Russia tour follows the path of Peter the Great and sails from Moscow to St Petersburg, taking in the architecture, ballet and museums — not forgetting the country’s caviar and vodka. It’s priced from $3,999 per person in September. Alternatively, Uniworld offers the 29-day Grand European River Voyage, taking in cities such as Istanbul, Vienna, Amsterdam, Cologne, Budapest and Belgrade. uniworldrivercruises.com u


summer 2014 | ASTAnetwork | 69


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