Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

One of the common predictions about post-pandemic travel is that people will be looking for longer, more exclusive vacations to make up for time and money not spent during the pandemic.

River cruise lines are responding, and with positive results.

Last week, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises announced a 47-day, five-river cruise for 2023 that combines itineraries on the Nile, Po, Danube, Seine and Douro rivers with land packages along the way.

The trip follows -- and ups the ante on -- a 46-day, seven-river European cruise from AmaWaterways, which when unveiled in March was billed as the "world's longest-ever river cruise."

That sailing, also for 2023, proved so popular that AmaWaterways added another sailing.

The extended Uniworld sailing also comes shortly after the company announced its first "mystery cruise," where  guests don't know the itinerary until they're on their way to the airport. It sold out in less than 48 hours, prompting the line to add a second secret sailing

Both the multiriver and mystery cruises promise to be one-of-a-kind, bucket list-worthy adventures with never-before-offered excursions.

And they are just a few of the extended options being unveiled for upcoming seasons.

Last week, Crystal River Cruises released its 2023 lineup, which includes 14-, 15- and 17-night itineraries that combine two itineraries, such as cruises on both the upper and lower Danube, and others that combine a traditional Rhine itinerary with the waterways of the Netherlands as well as the Moselle Valley.

Likewise, AmaWaterways is offering discounts for custom trips when guests combine two itineraries, either on the same ship for an extended sailing or trips on more than one ship.

Lines are also increasingly adding more land excursion options to meet the expected demand for longer vacations.

And they are offering some shorter sailings for travelers who want to add river trips to their land vacations.

Crystal, for instance, is increasing the number of five-day cruises offered in 2023. And Avalon Waterways,  part of the Globus family of brands, offers cruises as short as three days that can easily be packaged with vacations from its sister companies.

Now all we need are some open borders.


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