On Ama sailings, more active options

As part of an ongoing effort to attract more active river cruisers, AmaWaterways is adding more biking and hiking tour options to its 2016 Europe river cruises.

AmaWaterways already carries a fleet of bicycles onboard its vessels for passengers to use, and for 2016 is introducing several new escorted bike tours, including a tour of Willemstad, the Netherlands; cycling along the Sava River and through Kalemegdan Park in Belgrade, Serbia; and a ride through Antwerp, Belgium.

Additionally, in 2016, AmaWaterways will have new hiking excursions in 12 port cities, including a hike to the castle ruins in Durnstein, Austria; a hike up Fourviere Hill in Lyon, France; and a hike to the Dom Luis Bridge, Old Harbor Quarter and the cathedral in Porto, Portugal.

River cruising tops 2016 trends, according to Travel Leaders survey

European river cruises topped the list of luxury travel destinations outside of North America, in Travel Leaders Group's survey of top luxury travel trends for 2016.

Results of the annual survey were released last week and were based on responses from 964 of Travel Leaders Group's luxury travel agent experts.

European river cruises were cited as the top luxury travel destinations outside of North America, followed by Italy, Mediterranean cruises and Australia.

Additionally, 50% of those surveyed said that luxury river cruise bookings were experiencing an increase in 2016 compared with 2015, and 38.6% said they were on par with 2015 bookings.

Emerald Waterways newbuilds to sail France, Portugal in 2017

Emerald Waterways will launch two new river cruise vessels in 2017, the Emerald Liberte on France's Rhone and Saone rivers and the Emerald Radiance on Portugal's Douro River.

The 138-passenger Emerald Liberte and the 112-passenger Emerald Radiance will be smaller versions of Emerald's existing Star-Ships, as the company refers to its vessels, in order to better navigate the rivers they will be sailing.

Both ships will feature two restaurants: Reflections, the main dining room, and the Terrace for light breakfast and lunch. There will also be an onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area, as well as bicycles for complimentary use.

The seven-night Portugal itinerary, priced from $2,195 per person, based on double occupancy, will include stops in Porto, Regua and Lamego in Portugal, and in Vega de Terron and Salamanca in Spain.

The seven-night Rhone and Saone river cruise, priced from $2,695 per person, will travel from Lyon to Arles with stops in Beaune, Tournon and Avignon.

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