Viking to offer a special river cruise in Germany

SHIP SHAPE

Last year Scenic introduced a new design for two of its Scenic Space-Ships in France, Scenic Sapphire and Scenic Diamond. Now the company is remodelling eight more Space-Ships on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers over the northern winter, in time for the 2019 river cruising season. The number of suites will be reduced and a new, one-bedroom Royal Owners Suite added. A new wellness centre will include a salt therapy lounge. The humidity and temperature-controlled room of salt bricks creates the micro-climate of a natural salt mine and is said to promote relaxation.

Phone 13 81 28. See scenic.com.au

FINE FARE

Oceania Cruises, already noted for its culinary focus, is unveiling new dinner menus that promise to be the most expansive and diverse at sea. The all-new "Executive Chef's Food & Wine Pairing" will offer four-course menus matched with four different wines, while new and bolder "Global Cuisine" dishes will focus on particular regional cuisines such as French, Indian, Thai, Moroccan and Greek. The new menus comprise more than 800 dishes and have already been introduced on Riviera, and will be rolled out on Oceania's other ships over the next few months.

Phone 1300 355 200. See oceaniacruises.com

POLE POSITION

Luxury French expedition company Ponant has opened bookings for 22 departures on five different itineraries to the Antarctic over the November 2019 to March 2020 season. Among them are three expeditions that take passengers beyond the polar circle at latitude 66° 33' 39" South, and a brand-new 21-night "Antarctic Odyssey" itinerary between Montevideo and Ushuaia on Le Lyrial to the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and largely glaciated South Orkney Islands, with their exceptional wildlife. Also notable is a 21-night "British Overseas Territories" cruise from Montevideo to Cape Town that links Antarctica with Africa.

Phone 1300 737 178. See ponant.com

REGENCY PERIOD

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is now taking bookings for the inaugural season of its newest ship Seven Seas Splendor, which will carry 750 passengers. Splendor sets sail on February 7, 2020, on a 14-night transatlantic journey from Barcelona to Miami and then sails a variety of destination-rich itineraries across the Caribbean, North America and the Mediterranean, with unlimited shore excursions on every voyage. Among the journeys is a transit of the Panama Canal, an American east-coast cruise between Miami and New York, and a 12-night cruise between Barcelona and Venice.

Phone 1300 455 200. See rssc.com.au

DRAMATIC EFFECT

Viking is offering a special river cruise that will allow guests to experience the renowned Passion Play in the southern German town of Oberammergau, which is performed only every 10 years. In 1634, the town's inhabitants promised to produce a play depicting the life of Christ every decade if they were spared the plague. Today, over 2000 of Oberammergau's residents still take part in the dramatic performance. The 10-day cruise sails the Danube River between Munich and Budapest with visits to Nuremburg, Regensburg, Passau, Krems and Vienna, and has several departures between June and October 2020.

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Phone 138 747. See vikingcruises.com.au

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