Viking has announced that from 2020 its river-cruise fleet in France will expand with the launch of four new Viking Seine Ships, which will sail an eight-day "Paris & The Heart of Normandy" itinerary along the Seine River. The new ships will feature the same interior design, staterooms and common areas as current Viking Longships, but will be smaller (168 guests) and have customised hulls and engines specifically built to navigate the Seine River and sail deeper into Paris to dock at Port de Grenelle, a 10-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.
Phone 138 747. See vikingcruises.com.au
'TIS THE SEASON
Seabourn has five special holiday cruises in December this year in Antarctica, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, and Vietnam and Thailand. Each cruise features Christmas and Hanukkah festivities, decorated gingerbread villages and evergreen displays, and New Year's Eve celebrations with dancing and champagne toasts at midnight. The 16-day "Holiday Australia & New Zealand" itinerary on Seabourn Encore sails from Sydney on December 21, 2019, spends Christmas Eve in Melbourne and continues to Milford Sound, Oban, Wellington and Fiordland National Park, with New Year's Eve in Lyttelton (Christchurch), before finishing in Auckland.
Phone 13 24 02. See seabourn.com
APT will be serving a new range of premium wines on board its European river cruises, such as its popular "Magnificent Europe" river cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest. A range of complimentary beverages including regional wines is already offered, but in 2020 APT will add a selection of premium wines with dinner each evening aboard its Aria- and Concerto-class river ships, allowing guests to enjoy some of France's best-known wines from Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône and the Loire Valley. Among them will be a notable Pouilly-Fumé and a boutique Rhône Grande Réserve.
Phone 1300 196 420. See aptouring.com.au
Abercrombie & Kent has released its new portfolio of expeditionary voyages for the 2020-21 season. Luxury polar expeditions visit Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands as well as the Arctic, with one expedition navigating the Northwest Passage from Greenland to the Bering Sea. Elsewhere, there are more culturally focused expeditions to Japan, the Baltic, the Greek Isles and Australia's Kimberley coast. An Italy cruise in August 2020 sails from Florence to Venice. All the small-ship cruises feature curated shore excursions, expert on-board lectures and various enrichment programs and special events.
Phone 1300 590 317. See abercrombiekent.com.au
WHISKY AND WINE
Barging company European Waterways has new themed cruises in 2020 with enhanced itineraries that highlight particular interests. Among them is a "Whisky Trail" cruise aboard Scottish Highlander which visits distilleries for tours and tastings, and a "Golf Cruise" aboard Spirit of Scotland. Both depart in April 2020 and sail the Caledonia Canal. Also in April 2020 is a "Wine Appreciation Cruise" aboard L'Impressionniste in Burgundy in France. In August 2020, opera enthusiasts can take an "Opera Cruise" aboard La Bella Vita, which sails out of Venice and takes in a performance of Verdi's Nabucco in Verona.
Phone 1800 828 050. See europeanwaterways.com