River-cruise company CroisiEurope has introduced a new Loire River itinerary featuring its popular Loire cruise combined with various châteaux visits and an overnight stay in Paris. The seven-day itinerary visits Chambord, the Renaissance hunting palace built by King Francis I, and Chenonceau, one of the region's most famous chateau, spanning the Cher River. Guests then head to Nantes to board Loire Princesse for a six-day, round-trip cruise that visits Saint Nazaire, Ancenis, Angers and more chateaux, including Château d'Ussé, Azay-le-Rideau and Villandry, particularly noted for its gardens. There is also wine tasting in the cellar of the Château de Brissac.
Celebrity Cruises will have three ships in Alaska in 2019 on itineraries to 13 destinations, and with more than 40 extended port visits. Celebrity Eclipse will sail round-trip from Los Angeles, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, or from San Diego to Vancouver on seven- to nine-night Pacific Coastal sailings that include overnight stays in San Francisco. Celebrity Millennium sails between Seward and Vancouver (or the reverse), while Celebrity Solstice journeys from Seattle on round-trip cruises that visit Victoria, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Tracy Arm fiord. Land extensions in Alaska are also available.
Phone 1800 754 500. See celebritycruises.com.au
Azamara Club Cruises has three new Land and Sea packages in South America that explore the Galapagos in Ecuador, Machu Picchu in Peru, and Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Guests on the five-night Machu Picchu package visit local artists and explore salt mines as well as visiting Cusco, the onetime capital of the Incan Empire, while the four-night Iguazu Falls experience offers a boat ride and visit to an indigenous village in the rainforest to learn about the Guarani way of life.
Phone 1800 754 500. See azamaraclubcruises.com
Captain Cook Cruises has announced 2018 dates for its popular seven-night Loxton cruises on the paddle-wheeler Murray Princess. The Mannum to Loxton cruise will depart on November 23, 2018, while the Loxton to Mannum cruise will depart on November 30, 2018. The 339-kilometre voyage through South Australia only operates once a year and features overnight stops at Katarapko Creek, Cobdogla, Overland Corner, Old Distillery, Morgan, Sunnydale and River View Lodge. Shore excursions visit an Aboriginal reserve, a woolshed, a native wildlife shelter and historic pioneer towns, as well as the Cobdogla Irrigation & Steam Museum.
Phone 1300 729 938. See murrayprincess.com.au
FAR AND WIDE
Crystal Cruises has released its latest voyages on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, with 54 voyages in 2018 and 65 in 2019. This year sees two epic World Cruises, a return to the Holy Land and Arabian Gulf, and specialised itineraries exploring the North Cape, Amazon, Persian Gulf and Red Sea. In 2019 there is another World Cruise, an expanded Mediterranean season and new Far East routes through Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and China, as well as cruises visiting remote regions such as Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.
Phone 02 8074 6500. See crystalcruises.com
Riviera Travel has expanded its Christmas offerings in 2018 to meet ever-growing demand for December river cruises. It will offer 16 sailings on four of its river ships, including four-night festive Enchanting Rhine and Yuletide Markets journeys on the Rhine from Cologne that take in popular Christmas markets in Rudesheim, Frankfurt and Koblenz. A new five-night Danube Imperial Cities and Yuletide Markets cruise on the Danube from Budapest visits Bratislava and Vienna. UK-based Riviera Travel, which has been marketing in Australia since mid-2016, operates 12 ships that sail more than 300 cruises annually on European rivers and waterways.