Riverboat lines expand fleets

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NEW YORK -- Riverboat cruising is certain to get a big boost this year from the launch of custom-built vessels on Europe's most popular waterways.

According to a spokeswoman for Viking River Cruises, "U.S. travelers are finding river travel, particularly on the Rhine, Main and Danube, a comfortable and interesting way to visit the heart of Europe."

Viking is adding three new vessels in 2001, bringing its total fleet to 28 cruisers:

  • Viking Pride, which will offer 13-night cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest, Hungary, with departures scheduled until Oct. 6. The cruise-only price starts from $2,798 per person, double.
  • Viking Europe, with 12-night voyages from Vienna to Amsterdam. Departures are slated until Oct. 7 with prices starting from $2,498.
  • Viking Burgundy, which cruises the Rhone and Saone rivers between Chalon and Avignon, France, for seven nights. Rates are from $1,598 for departures through Oct. 19.
  • The Pride and the Europe feature 75 outside cabins (all with private bathroom, phone, television, radio, hair dryer and air conditioning), lounge, single-seating restaurant, library and a covered walkway on the promenade deck. The Burgundy has 80 outside cabins.

    Three new riverboats join Uniworld's fleet this season:

  • The 140-passenger River Princess, which debuted on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers between Amsterdam and Nuremberg, Germany, on April 14 for its first 14-night cruise.
  • The cruise-only itinerary starts at $2,598 per person, double.

  • The 142-passenger Amadeus Classic, which also cruises the Rhine, Main and Danube on a 14-night sailing starting at the same rate.
  • The 120-passenger Rhone Princess, which embarked on its inaugural cruise March 30, sailing through the heart of France's Burgundy and Provence regions between Lyon and Avignon. That program starts at $1,498.
  • The price of all cruises includes all meals and daily guided shore excursions.

    If the plan is booked air inclusive, airport transfers are included.

    Meanwhile, the five-star, 94-passenger Casanova was added to the roster of Peter Deilmann Cruises, debuting on Italy's River Po and cruising roundtrip from Venice through Nov. 17.

    Highlights of the seven-night voyages include Cremona, Verona, Mantua, Padua and Bologna along with a two-night stay in Venice and optional excursions.

    The cruise-only price of the itinerary begins at $1,555 per person, double.

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