What's New for River Cruising in 2019? | Miles Morgan Travel
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What's New for River Cruising in 2019?

Viking Longship

19th April 2018: With the ever-increasing popularity of river cruising continuing throughout 2017 and early 2018, it’s no surprise to hear that more and more river and ocean cruise lines are choosing to invest more into their river cruise ships. Never has there been such a wide range of itineraries and ships available on the world’s rivers. River cruise ships are also getting bigger as well as itinerary inclusions broadening. As a result river cruising is appealing to more and more people.

As the Home of River Cruise in the South West and South Wales, we've seen these changes first-hand and with this, we've put together just some of the most exciting things we can expect to see in the world of river cruising for 2019.

River Cruise Ship Launches

With even more ships being added to the world’s rivers, we can look forward to a whole host of different features and itineraries. Here are our picks for the most hotly anticipated cruise ship launches and river cruise features for 2019.

Viking Cruises: Six Viking Longships plus an additional ship to sail Portugal

With an impressive seven ships launching in 2019, Viking Cruises will have 69 river cruise ships sailing around the world. Viking Cruises will begin 2019 with the impressive launch of six Longship class vessels which will sail along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers next year.

Viking Longship

They will be named: Viking Einar, Sigrun, Sigyn, Tir, Ullur and Vali respectively. Each ship will accommodate 190 passengers across 95 staterooms which will include hotel-style beds, heated bathroom floors and mini-fridge. Also joining the fleet in 2019 will be The Viking Helgrim, an additional Longship-style vessel specifically designed to navigate along Portugal’s Douro River.

Riviera Travel: MS George Eliot & MS William Wordsworth

Riviera will be launching two new river cruise ships for 2019, the MS George Eliot and the MS William Wordsworth. The five-star MS George Eliot will measure 110m long and can look forward to elegant features and craftsmanship. The vessel will offer a friendly atmosphere and include the personal service expected of a luxury boutique hotel.

MS George Eliot

*Images of MS George Eliot and MS William Wordsworth are artist impressions and used in conjunction with Riviera Travel.

With just 70 suites and cabins on-board, the vessel will serve 132 guests who will enjoy a whole host of exciting features including a sun deck, observation lounge and bar, a restaurant, bistro and wellness centre. A standard cabin on its Ruby Deck will feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors which will slide away to create a French balcony so guests can make the most of the river's panoramic views.

George Eliot Balcony

*Images of MS George Eliot and MS William Wordsworth are artist impressions and used in conjunction with Riviera Travel.

Also set to launch in 2019 is the all-suite MS William Wordsworth, the sister ship to the much-admired MS Emily Bronte . The vessel will carry 169 passengers, 37 more than the MS George Eliot. Swiss-operated the ship will offer guests the intimate ambience and service of a boutique hotel.

MS William Wordsworth

*Images of MS George Eliot and MS William Wordsworth are artist impressions and used in conjunction with Riviera Travel.

The vessel will move away from the current trend of minimalist interior design and will instead feature hardwoods, marble floors, polished copper and intricate wrought iron.

Ama Waterways: AmaMagna will sail along the Danube

In 2019, AmaWaterways will launch its AmaMagna river cruise ship which is expected to enter service in May 2019. The AmaMagna will be 72 feet wide, almost twice the width of AmaWaterways' existing river cruise ships. This extra length will enable the ship to sail on wider stretches of the Danube River.

The added on-board space will allow for larger staterooms, many of which are expected to measure 355 sq. f.t and feature outside balconies.

AmaMagna Stateroom

The 194-passenger ship is also anticipated to have large en-suite bathrooms, many with double sinks. As well as the main dining room and the Chef's Table specialty restaurant, which are featured on most AmaWaterways vessels, the AmaMagna will also feature a new al fresco dining area which will boast retractable windows, a wine bar and an additional restaurant.


Not only this, the AmaMagna is expected to include a pool and a whirlpool on its sun deck, a health and wellness studio complete with fitness equipment and group classes, a hair salon as well as two spa treatment rooms. The AmaMagna will also give guests the opportunity to board smaller river vessels for more intimate excursions along the Danube. Guests are also welcome to explore each location at their own pace by making the most of the vessel's on board bicycles.

Ama Waterways: AmaMora will sail along the Rhine & Danube

A sister ship to the AmaLea and AmaKristina, the AmaMora will also be inspired by luxury yachts, having been specifically designed to maximise guest enjoyment. With just a 156-passenger capacity, this intimate vessel will make for a hassle-free and relaxing space to enjoy your time on the waters. Staterooms on-board will range from 155-235 sq.ft. and can be adjoined by request. A handful of rooms on-board will offer triple occupancy to also accommodate for the needs of young families.


Many rooms will also include twin balconies, both a French and outside balcony, so you can get even closer to the glorious changing scenery. AmaMora will also offer a host of added comforts, including a massage and hair salon, gift shop and specialty coffee station. On the Sun Deck, guests can look forward to enjoying a dip in the heated pool, as well as a refreshing beverage at the swim-up bar.

AmaMora gym

The Main Lounge will provide guests with a wonderful space to meet fellow guests as well as a place to soak up the nightly entertainment. No river cruise experience would be complete without the use of a bicycle to explore your destination at your own pace, that’s why the use of bicycles will be included on board AmaMora. Not only this, there will also be healthy menu choices as well as use of the on-board gym; guests will have everything they need to stay active while sailing.

Avalon Waterways: Avalon Envision will sail along the Danube

As the newest addition to Avalon’s fleet, Avalon Envision will include a whole host of exciting new features. Arguably one of the most impressive features on-board is the inclusion of Panorama Suites which will feature wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows which will act as an open-air balcony.

Sun deck

Guests can look forward to a state-of-the-art fitness centre and adventure centre (which will be home to bicycles and active gear) amongst a whole host of on-board activities to entertain both day and night.

2019 also marks the introduction of Avalon Waterways’ FlexDining program, which will allow guests to dine at their convenience. Like many other river cruise lines, Avalon typically offers open seating during the buffet-style breakfast and lunch service, but dinner has traditionally been at a set time.

Club Lounge

As part of the dining overhaul, Avalon will add more two-top tables to its dining venues as well as bar service on the sky decks of its vessels and an evening food menu at the bar.

Avalon will also prepare complimentary picnic lunches for passengers who would like to take their dining experience off the ship allowing for hassle-free leisure time. The idea is to allow passengers to dine "at whatever table setting or time our guests choose to dine." Currently the Avalon fleet offer several dining options; the main dining room, the Panorama Bistro, the sky grill and in-room dining.

Themed Cruises

As discussed above, the increasing popularity of river cruising has allowed for river cruise lines to cater to a wide range of different markets. Long gone is the notion of river cruising being for the more mature holidaymaker, and with the introduction of more niche itineraries and destinations there really is a river cruise out there for everyone.

Wine tasting

Cruises to European Christmas markets are proving increasingly popular as are wine cruises, golf cruises and even fairy-tale cruises, where guests can sail to sights across Europe and see unique destinations which have inspired popular fairy-tale films.

Christmas Markets

Uniworld has recently launched its U by Uniworld collection aiming to showcase a more modern way to river cruise. Initially catering for ages 21-45 these river cruises are designed with exploration and interests at its heart. With fewer included meals and longer times in port, this new approach to river cruising allows for greater exploration of a destination and, with some overnight stays, passengers can also experience the location’s nightlife too.

River Cruising in Asia

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently reported that river cruises to the region have significantly increased with passenger capacity for overall cruises to Asia tripling since 2013, reaching 4.24 million passenger visits to the region in 2017.

Cruises along the Mekong, Irrawaddy and Yangtze are proving the most popular, having seen a 53% increase along these rivers since 2013.

We can expect to see these numbers increase further and we’re likely to see many more exciting new cruise ships along these rivers as Asia is fast-becoming one of the most popular destinations for cruise travel. Cruise lines such as APT, Viking Cruises, Riviera Travel, Emerald Waterways, Titan, Avalon Waterways and many more have a vast range of voyages which cruise along these rivers.

The Home of River Cruise

Travel Talk brochure coverDue to the overwhelming success of our last issue we're excited to launch the next edition of our Home of River Cruise brochure. It's packed with many inspirational journeys on stunning voyages across Europe and Asia, plus we have many exclusive savings and early booking offers.

Download our latest brochure here

We're passionate about river cruising; we can tell you everything you need to know from what's special about river cruising, through to which river, ship and cabin would suit you. We have a Cruise Specialist in every one of 15 our shops, so contact us to find out about these offers plus many more.

Travel Blog by Miles Morgan

Miles Morgan

Phone: 01291 762007

Email: miles@milesmorgantravel.co.uk

Visit: 14 High St, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 5LQ

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